Religious rights violations: CAN insists Christian persecution exist in Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has alleged religious persecutions in the Northern part of the country.

Their allegation is in reaction to federal government’s denial of any religious freedom violations, as accused by the United States.

Recall that recently, the US had placed Nigeria, among other countries on a religious freedom blacklist.

The Christian Association of Nigeria in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, expressed fear that the blacklisting might attract sanctions.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, explained that Nigeria does not engage in religious freedom violation, neither does it have a policy of religious persecution, saying that victims of insecurity and terrorism in the country are adherents of Christianity, Islam and other religions.

The leadership of CAN said it is not happy that the US has placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist because of the implications which include possible sanctions if it does not improve its record.

The association, however, said it is encouraged that the global world is aware of the happenings in Nigeria, stressing that although there is religious freedom in the country, there are other religious persecutions in most of the states of the federation, especially in the Northern part of the country.

CAN allege that’ ‘in many states like Kano and Jigawa, Christians are denied the Certificate of Occupancy and churches are not allowed to purchase lands and they have to go through individuals and even if that is done, they will be denied the Certificate of Occupancy.

The statement described such policy as discriminatory policies, adding that as religious persecutions, mosques are built wherever they desire and no government dares to ask for any document.

”In education, Christians are not allowed to study courses like Medicine and Law in some universities in the North and in most federal owned universities in the North, Christians are not allowed to become the Vice-Chancellor even if they are qualified.

The statement said in the University of Ilorin, in the last 25 years or more, no Christian has been allowed to be its Vice-Chancellor.

About 95 percent of those who head security agencies are sharing the same faith with the President, pointing out that some agencies, Christians are replaced with Muslims. This is what we witness every day.

CAN maintained that the country belongs to every citizen irrespective of their religious affiliations but the government is not interested.

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