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“President Buhari is a serious Muslim and I am a pastor” – Vice President Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a model leader who respects other people’s beliefs, saying he has not had any dispute with him since they took over power in 2015.

Osinbajo said this when the Senegal-based Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya Movement, Worldwide, His Eminence, Sheikh Muhammadu Mahi Ibrahim Niass, paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa on Saturday evening.

“President Buhari is a serious Muslim and I am a pastor, both of us have worked together for about 7 years, we have not had any issues,” the vice president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, quoted him as saying.

“The President has shown great leadership, he has shown that he wants a country where people of different faiths live in harmony and with love for one another.”

The former Lagos State commissioner also reiterated the importance of religion to human development, calling for the promotion of peace using faiths.

Several nations, he said, have benefited immensely from the impact of religion – both spiritually and physically.

“So, we must use religion in our countries (in Africa) to help our people to live better lives because, in other parts of the world, leaders of faith have used religion to better the lives of the people,” Osinbajo told the cleric.

According to him, faith leaders should work together to address the challenges facing the continent. This, he said is because “no matter what the situation may be, we in Africa must be able to sit together and talk. We must never allow situations where we cannot sit together”.

With crises across the world, Osinbajo believes people of faith, especially in Islam and Christianity, should continue to promote “peace and we must allow our people to practice whatever religion they want to practice”.

Before then, Sheikh Niass, who spoke in French with interpretation by a spokesman, thanked Osinbajo for the opportunity to meet with him and his delegation. He described the Vice President as a great personality.

“The Vice President is a great personality with an exceptional character, standing on two feet: one as a political leader concerned about the progress of his people and the second, as a man of God,” the cleric said.

“Africa needs a person of your nature with [a] very strong background in religion and politics. I pray that the Almighty Allah will upgrade you and enable you to achieve your desires and aspirations because, like I said, not only Nigeria but Africa will benefit from your leadership qualities.”

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