Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, has dismissed as false, the United States statement that placed Nigeria among countries that violate religious freedom.
The monarch dismissed the allegations at the opening ceremony of the 77th annual Islamic Vacation Course, organized by Zone A of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria at Bayero University.
The Sultan of Sokoto argued that, if the alleged persecution or violation of religious freedom existed, it was unethical for it not to have been tabled at an interfaith forum, where both the Christian and the Muslim leadership meet periodically to brainstorm on harmonious co-existence between the two dominant religions.
The US, in a statement by its Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, had on Friday last week placed Nigeria and six other countries on the watch list of countries, which had been violating freedom of religion. Other countries on the list are Comoros, Russia, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Nicaragua and Sudan.
While reacting to the statement by Pompeo, the CAN spokesman, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, in a statement, said the US report on violations of religious freedom confirmed the fact that Christians had become endangered in the country, but the Sultan maintained that the numerous atrocities allegedly committed by Fulani herdsmen were by no means ignited by religion, noting that not all Fulani are Muslims.