Presidency warns CAN over religious intolerance


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.

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