A university don, Dr Aliyu Umar, has advised clerics to stop using religion to criminalise Nigerians or create problems for the country.

Umar, who is the Head of Department (HOD), Islamic Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, gave the adice on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the 3rd Annual International Conference.

NAN reports that the conference has as its theme: “Islam, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development’’.

The conference was organised by the department in collaboration with International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance (IIIBF), Bayero University, Kano, and International Institute of Islamic Thought, Nigeria Office (IIITN).

He enjoined religious leaders to use the faith and pulpit to promote peaceful coexistence, unity and progress of the country.

The don explained that the aim of the conference was to give the proper information and knowledge to the world on what Islam is all about for the benefit of humanity.

Umar said that the theme of the conference was timely considering the growing economic challenges in the country.

He urged Muslims to adhere strictly to the teaching of Islam in the interest of peace and national development.

“Let’s see Islam in you through doing good things for the benefit of humanity and we must have to live according to Islam so that the nation will be fair, good and there be prosperity in the nation,’’ according to him.

Besides, the don advised that religion should not be used for non-religious purposes.

“This workshop had brought together participants within and outside the country including participants from Niger, Malaysia and Sudan, among others, in order to brainstorm on the real message of Islam to the world.

“The aim of the conference is to give the proper knowledge of what Islam is teaching and how Islam touches human lives positively.

“We want the world to know what Islam teaching is all about,” he said.

Umar also urged Nigerians to use religion to better the lives of others and to live in peace irrespective of their affiliation.

He commended the Nasarawa State Government and the management of the University for creating an enabling environment to ensure the success of the conference.

The don restated the commitment of the department to continue to organise and key into good policies and programmes that have direct bearing on the lives of Nigerians.

NAN reports that the conference attracted Islamic scholars within and outside the country as well as different paper presentations.

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