By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
Contrary to the federal government refuting the allegation by the United States that Nigeria was engaging in systematic religious freedom violations, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has said that there are a lot of religious persecutions in most of the states of the federation, especially in the Northern part of the country.
Recall that the US had placed Nigeria, among other countries on a religious freedom blacklist.
The Christian Association of Nigeria in a statement from the Special Assistant, Media and Communications, to the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, expressed fears that the blacklisting might attract sanctions.
The Federal Government on its part had on Tuesday denied as untrue the allegation by the United States that Nigeria was engaging in systematic religious freedom violations.
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.
CAN feared that the blacklisting might attract sanctions.
The leadership of CAN said that 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.
CAN said it is encouraged that the global world is aware of what is happening in the country, stressing that although there is religious freedom in the country, there are a lot of religious persecutions in most of the states of the federation, especially in the Northern part of the country.
CAN cited an example of many States like Kano and Jigawa where Christians are denying the Certificate of Occupancy, adding that churches are not allowed to purchase lands and they have to be going through individuals to buy lands and even if that is done, they will be denied of the CofO.
The statement described such policy as discriminatory policies, adding that as religious persecutions, mosques are built wherever they desire and no government dared to ask for any document.
It explained that in Education, Christians are not allowed to study courses like Medicine and Law in some universities in the North, adding that most of the federal owned universities in the North, Christians are not allowed to become the Vice Chancellor even if they are qualified.
The statement said in University of Ilorin, in the last 25 years or more, no Christian has been allowed to be its Vice Chancellor.
It further explained that about 95 per cent of those who head our security agencies are sharing the same faith with the President, pointing out thatn some agencies, Christians are replaced with Muslims. This is what we witness every day.
CAN lamented that the country belongs to every citizen irrespective of their religious affiliations but the government is not interested.