Buhari will never tolerate religious intolerance, says aide

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has 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.

Shehu, who was responding to some recent statements from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), noting that politicisation of religion – as forbidden by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) – has no place in Nigeria.

Recall that the leadership of 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.