By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government has declared that it is difficult to Islamise Nigeria by any government, saying that it has no hidden agenda to achieve such plan.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed made declaration on Monday at the North-Central Edition of Town Hall Meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara state.
He said that the alleged Islamisation of Nigeria under the current Administration is totally false and should be perceived in its entirety as a campaign of calumny, saying that the secular nature of Nigeria’s Constitution makes the issue of religious dominance and impunity improbable.
Mohammed who condemned the action of those preaching religious intolerance stressed that it was difficult to Islamise Nigeria and those claiming the current Federal Government was plotting to Islamise the country were not only political but were also working towards diverting attention from the ongoing anti-corruption crusade.
‘‘The media has been increasingly awash with incendiary statements that seem designed to pitch the adherents of the two prominent religions in the country, Christians and Muslims against
‘‘Such fallacies like the Islamization of Nigeria, the killing of Christians by Muslims, the labelling of Nigeria as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world can only serve one purpose: trigger a religious war.
‘‘Needless to say that no nation ever survives a religious war. Those who are making these allegations know that they are not true, but they have found in religion another tool to demonize the government of the day, divert attention from the government’s anti-corruption stance and create undue tension in the polity.
‘‘It is also important to note that the underlying principle of religious conflict may not be purely religious, but more often than not coloured with political connotations as vividly depicted in the case of the terrorist group Boko Haram.
‘‘And more often than not, conflicts between Muslims and Christians are fuelled by political motivations, ethnic differences, extremism, intolerance and terrorism.’’
On achievements of the administration, the Minister said, “a lot has been achieved by this administration, despite the challenges that we have faced since assuming office.
“But whatever has been achieved in all spheres will pale into insignificance if there is no peace in the country. And there is no bigger threat to the peace and unity of our country today than religion-coated incendiary messages, which are being carelessly sent out there by some religious, political and opinion leaders.
“Make no mistake about it, there have been conflicts between adherents of the two major religions in certain parts of the country. To now extrapolate from that to say Nigeria is the most dangerous place for Christians in the world is a disservice to Nigeria and an overkill.
‘‘What those who are pushing this negative narrative about Nigeria do not know is that if they succeed in giving Nigeria a bad name in the comity of nations, they too will not escape the consequences that will result therefore,’’ he warned.