Lai Mohammed

‘We protect religious freedom jealously’: FG, on US blacklist

The Federal Government of Nigeria has denied allegations levelled against it by the United States that it engages in religious freedom violations.

It will be recalled that the United States had announced on Monday that it had blacklisted Nigeria for “engaging in systematic, ongoing, egregious religious freedom violations”.

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The US did not state why Nigeria was blacklisted, however, Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State who announced the sanction measure, said his country will continue to act when “religious freedom is attacked”.

However, reacting to the development, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement he released on Tuesday, described the allegation as a case of “honest disagreement between the two nations on the causes of violence in Nigeria”.

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”Nigeria does not engage in religious freedom violation, neither does it have a policy of religious persecution,” he said.

“Victims of insecurity and terrorism in the country are adherents of Christianity, Islam and other religions.”

The minister added that the Nigeria “jealously protects religious freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution and takes seriously any infringements in this regard”.

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