Our govt won’t tolerate religious intolerance, Nigeria’s Presidency talks tough

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Nigeria’s Presidency said on Tuesday that politicisation of religion has no place in Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would never tolerate religious rascality in whatever form.

The Presidency also restated its support for Nigerians to practice the religion of their choice.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the security agencies are working hard to rescue people held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents and reunite them with their families.

The Presidency was reacting to calls by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to the Federal Government to deploy every available resources for the rescue of all Christians held hostage by Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists.

The Presidency said, “The security forces of Nigeria are working continuously to return those taken hostage by Boko Haram to their families, friends, and communities. In doing this, the government has full confidence in their ability to accomplish the task.

“On its own part, the 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.

“Not seeing them as they should be is exactly what the terrorists and groups wish: they want Nigerians to see their beliefs as a reason to turn against one another.

“On the contrary, Christians and Muslims alike are united in their opposition to Boko Haram and the hatred for decency that the infamous group stands for.

“Nigerians must continue to be united in ensuring that they do not subscribe to the terrorists’ message of division. Unfortunately, some leaders and politicians seek to make political capital from our religious differences.

”As we fight Boko Haram on the ground, so too must we tackle their beliefs: stability and unity in face of their hatred is itself a rejection of their worldview.

”This government shall never tolerate religious intolerance. We clearly and unambiguously restate our support for the freedom to practice whichever belief you wish. The politicisation of religion – as forbidden by the constitution – has no place in Nigeria,” the Presidency finally took a stand.

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