The National Coordinator of Yoruba self determination group, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams spared a thought for Nigerians who hide under religion to castigate their culture, customs and tradition.
Adams said it amounted to being a religious fanatic to condemn the tradition and customs of the Yorubas.
He said it is wrong for anybody irrespective of his religion to paint in bad light the tradition, customs and culture of his people.
Adams said as a Muslim, he owes it to his belief not to pull down the values of his culture because religion should serve as a rallying point to advance the traditions of a people.
Speaking in an interview at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on his way to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, Adams said unknown to most people that he is a practicing Muslim.
He said he decided to make known because a lot of people think his Muslim faith will make not respect the culture , customs and traditions of Yoruba race.
Adams said his Muslim faith will not in any way stand as a stumbling block to his struggle for self determination and adherence to Yoruba culture and tradition.
He said :” I am a Muslim, I am traveling to Saudi Arabia for Lesser hajj to carry out the obligations of my faith.
But, even as a Muslim, that does not stop me from promoting the customs and tradition of our people.
The problem with most Nigerians is that they hide under the guise of religion to castigate their customs and tradition .
This I think is contrary to the beliefs of self determination struggle.”
He said religion should play a key role in the promotion of culture affirming that the Islamic religion has helped to propagate the Arab culture , language and tradition.
Adams said. We must use our religion to promote our culture whether we are Muslim, Christian or traditional believers .
Religion should not be about self benefit , or exploitation, but must be used to promote education, cultural promotion and charity.
Many countries in world that are not fanatical about religion have achieved advances in education, technology and social welfare.
These some countries in Asia and Far East, Europe and other places.
We need to use religion as a unifying and rallying point to advance socio and economic development, not to castigate our culture and tradition .
In Nigeria, we need to take a cue from some climes to use religion as a tool to promote our tradition .”
He said it is wrong for religious organizations to pursue self interest but advance educational promotion and socio economic development.
He said government needs to restructure the country such that every region could develop at their own pace.
He said the regional structure will affirm every state the opportunity to utilize resources in their domain.
Adams called on government to diversify the economy by expanding frontiers in solid minerals, agriculture and tourism.
He said the poor state of electricity supply in the country is serving as a huge disincentive to investment in the critical a sectors of the economy.
The OPC leader said it is time government embarked on serious reforms that will create business friendly polices and environment at the ports, airports and other economic sector.
Without such reforms, the economy he said will not be in solid footing.