THE Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) has commended the United States of America for removing Nigeria from the list of countries that violate religious freedom of citizens.
This commendation was contained in a statement in Abuja by the national coordinator of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi.
According to the statement, the United States under President Joe Biden has “done what is right at the right time” as listing Nigeria in that group last year was wrong in the first place.
The group wondered how Nigeria “with religious freedom entrenched in its constitution and which acts promptly on any issue of religious violation” should be put on that kind of list.
It noted that although the country was thickly populated by Muslims, the Vice President, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of Service of the Federation, among others, were Christians, with equal number of Muslims and Christians in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
On the question of Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the MMWG said “OIC is not a religious body but an international body of nations, including countries with high Christian populations, where issues of bilateral and developmental issues are discussed.”
The group stated that Nigeria and Nigerians had been benefitting from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), especially through products like the sukuk funds that are used to construct and rehabilitate federal roads.
It argued that the proportion of the devastation being caused by insecurity in Nigeria had been indiscriminate for both Muslims and Christians and as such, the situation could not be used to criticise the United States’ removal of the country from the religious violators’ list.
The group warned religious bodies and civil society organisations to stop misrepresenting Nigeria for “selfish and political reasons.”