Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said that the politicisation of religion – as forbidden by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) – has no place in Nigeria.
Shehu, who was responding to some recent statements from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), maintained that the Buhari’s administration will never tolerate religious intolerance, reiterating that administration’s support for the freedom to practice whichever belief any Nigerian wishes.
CAN, had on Monday urged the President Buhari-led government to deploy every necessary available resources at its disposal to ensure that all Christians in the captivity of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are freed.
A statement by President of CAN, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, signed by his spokesman, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, recalled that the Chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists last week when they invaded the predominant Christian community.
Responding via a statement personally signed by him, the presidential spokesman explained that the security forces of Nigeria are working continuously to return those taken hostage by Boko Haram to their families, friends and communities, adding that in doing this, the government has full confidence in their ability to accomplish the task.
According to the statement, “On its own part, government has condemned some of the appalling acts of terror, especially following the festive period.
“Yet, to continue to see these happenings solely in religious terms – removed from social, economic and environmental factors – simplifies complexities that must be heeded.