Danger in Religionalisation of Government policies

The religious sentiments and high dose of biases being associated with decisions, actions and policies of Government has widen the division and creates a setback in the journey to build a united nation. The anomaly cut across all religious divides with religious related organisations and leaders of faith openly ascribing religious motive to virtually all government decision or policies. It will throw spanner in genuine efforts to unite the citizenry in demanding for good governance or collectively reviewing service delivery.

Recently, the Kaduna State Government announced a new policy that will usher in a four-day working week from December 1. Announcing the new policy, by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Media Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the measure is designed to help boost productivity, improve work-life balance and enable workers to have more time for their families, for rest and for agriculture. According to the state government, the “measure reflects lessons learnt from managing the Covid-19 pandemic which required significant relaxations of old working traditions and the ascendance of virtual and remote working arrangements.

The implementation of the policy commenced on December 1st in Kaduna with hours for public servants adjusted to 8 a.m-5 p.m, Monday to Friday Except those in schools and healthcare facilities that works from home on Fridays.

The state government further said it will “ramp up its efforts to give public servants access to digital devices and platforms to enable them work effectively from home. Given the significant investments the state government is making in ICT, it will ensure that most of its automated services deliver the levels of performance required to give citizens seamless access.

In a typical case of stereotyping government policies, the head of Kaduna Christians association of Nigeria, Rev. Joseph Hayab, urges civil servants not to celebrate the new four- day working week until they are convinced that there is no hidden agenda.
The reason behind Rev. Joseph Hayab statement as published by some national dailies is hinged on economic considerations. However, social media commentators immediately interpret the statement based on religious affiliations.

They posit that CAN is being selfish because Sunday in Nigeria is a work free day and Kaduna State Government decision does not goes down well simply because Muslims will now enjoy the same privilege being enjoyed by Christians.
When Jaiz Bank was about to be introduce in Nigeria financial sector, CAN and some prominent Christians tagged it as an “islamisation agenda” and today many Christians are banking with Jaiz Bank.

The Islamic Development Bank sukuk bond has benefited Nigerians irrespective if their religious affiliations but we once campaign against the sourcing of funds from IDB because of the “word” Islam on its name.
We should understand that peace can be fully accomplished only when the wisdom and efforts of the religious leaders, work positively and respectfully with national or political leaders.

Likewise, there is not only a role of the religious leader but also the role of religion itself in peace building and governance. It is my believe that Peace building, service delivery, and compassion are most effectively addressed by religious leaders and the peacemakers who are people of faith and compassion.

Finally, we have a duty to harps on issue that will benefits and unites Nigerians for common purpose as opposed to hysteric statements.

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