Buhari Assures Again – He Is Not Religious Fanatic
General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate under the platform of the Nigeria's main opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) and his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo met with some Catholic Bishops in Abuja yesterday February 10th.
Buhari while addressing to the bishops said he had no personal religious programme and as a practicing Muslim, he doesn't share the views of any extremist group.
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He said: “I would like to solemnly declare that in spite of what our detractors say, I am not a religious fanatic of any sort and I have never been. In all my life, I have never supported extremism of any kind, and nowhere in my record of service to this nation can this false toga, political opponents have tried so hard to put on me, be substantiated. Indeed, it is very unfortunate and I feel extremely sad that I have to give this type of assurance.
“My background is in the army, and there is no doubt that the military is the most integrated pan-Nigerian institution. And even today, the military is one of the institutions that represents the pride of our nation’s possibilities in unity. Compatriots from every corner of this country come together, work and live together, entrust their lives to each other and integrate their families. It is a military where many of my dearest friends, from all faiths and parts of the country, lost their lives defending the unity of our nation. That was the military I served in, and in that military it was impossible to be a bigot.
“For me, the issue of religion was, and should always, be a matter of personal conviction. This personal conviction approach to religion has defined my work and interactions all my life, including my tenure in office as military Head of State. The religion of all those I worked with was never a factor in their progress or in what happened to them. All that mattered then, and should still matter today, are competence, integrity and readiness to be fair to all.”
"Government has no business preferring one religion to the other. The role of government is to protect lives and properties of citizens and to respect and protect their constitutional rights. One critical freedom that every government must strive to protect is the liberty for citizens to exercise their respective faiths, Christians and Muslims or others, in a lawful manner without fear or hindrance and to prosecute those who use religion as an excuse to destroy homes, schools and places of worship. When governments fail in that duty, they must then assist in the rebuilding of structures including destroyed places of worship and giving full restitution for lost property. We, Nigerians, are a religious people, and the burning of places of worship constitutes one of the vilest forms of abomination to all those who believe in God. It is the duty of governments to protect this important sensitivity."
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It would be recalled that Buhari’s ethnical ground is Fulani, and he practices is Islam; he is a native of Daura in Katsina State of Nigeria.
General himself has recently assured Nigerians that he is not a religious fanatic. He also said he was not against to a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2015 elections.
But let’s recall just his desire of Sharia implementation in some northern states.
It should be noted that Buhari's running mate Prof. Osinbajo is pastor of the Redeemed Christian church of God.