Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor of Kano State, has dismissed as unfounded allegations made by Babachir Lawal, a former secretary to the government of the federation, that Ganduje used his charitable foundation to coerce certain Christians to convert to Islam.
The comment was deemed “totally false considering that, while there is no compulsion in religion, Islam gave individuals the freedom to choose their own religion, as well as providing non-Muslims with significant economic, cultural, and administrative rights,” according to a statement released on Wednesday by Mallam Muhammad Garba, the Kano State Commissioner for Information.
According to the statement, the governor guaranteed that the Muslim-Muslim ticket would not in any way lead to the country’s Christians being ignored.
He urged the former SGF, Christian party members, and other Nigerians to “be wary of their statements, especially on religious topics and support the APC for quality leadership that would rescue the country from its difficulties” and made similar appeals to other citizens of the country.
He claimed that the foundation has never forced a Christian or non-believer to convert to Islam because doing so contradicts Islamic teachings. Instead, he claimed that people are invited to convert to Islam of their own free will, just as missionaries do in Kano villages where they invite non-believers to accept Christianity.
It is regrettable, according to Ganduje, that “a man of Babachir’s calibre, who is highly respected, would spread falsehood without much consideration to his position in the All Progressives Congress and closed relationship with the party’s flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” at a time when the nation needs to be united for national development and religious tolerance.
According to its operations, he claimed, the organisation is not religious but rather solely humanitarian, which means that non-Muslims can equally take use of the services it provides.
At a time when the country needs to come together for national development and religious tolerance, it is regrettable that “a man of Babachir’s calibre, who is highly respected, would spread falsehood without much consideration to his position in the All Progressives Congress and closed relationship with the party’s flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
He asserted that the organization’s actions show it is purely humanitarian in nature and not religious, therefore non-Muslims are equally welcome to utilise the services it offers.