The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it will start monitoring the activities of churches and mosques in the state to check the ones spreading hate messages stating that religious intolerance will not be accepted.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, made this statement during a meeting with members of the Nigeria inter-Religious Council, at the state secretariat, Ikeja.
“Henceforth, we will start to monitor mosques and churches and ensure that clerics do not engage in hate preaching capable of endangering people’s freedom.
“Our constitution recognises the rights of every citizen to express himself or herself in a way he or she believes. Also, everyone has the right to freedom of religion and conscience.”
He also asked clerics to remove their external loudspeakers after use so as not to constitute a nuisance to their community.
“This is the time for advocacy; let everybody realise that they have the right and freedom to practice their religion, but you will be stopped from practising that religion if it creates mischief and under Section 45 of the constitution, the government is empowered to put a stop to your freedom when it endangers other people’s freedom.
“We are going to ensure that this advocacy is taken to the grass roots to let people know that we are not stopping them from practising their religion but the rights of others must be taken into consideration,” he added.
The co-chairman of NIREC in Lagos, Dr. Saheed Timeyin, also advocated the need to prevent youths from having contact with religious extremists.
He advised the state government to include Peace Education in the curriculum of primary and secondary schoolchildren for them to imbibe tolerance.