Nigeria faults U.S. blacklist over religion

Lai Mohammed

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Mohammed educates U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on religious freedom in Nigeria

By Rotimi Ijikanmi

The Nigerian Government has faulted US inclusion of Nigeria in a Religion Freedom blacklist, offering some education to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a statement on Tuesday, the government debunked the allegation by the United States of engaging in systematic and egregious religious freedom violations.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria does not have a policy of religious persecution.

The minister described the allegation as a case of honest disagreement between the two nations on the causes of violence in Nigeria.

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

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

Mohammed said Nigeria jealously protects religious freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution and takes seriously any infringements in this regard.

The U.S., reportedly on Monday placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Nigeria as “Country of Particular Concern’’ for religious freedom, alongside nations that include China, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo, however, did not elaborate on the reasons for including Nigeria on the list.

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