Niger governor condemns attack on Suleja church

By Isa Lapai, Minna 

Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has condemned last Friday’s attack on St. Philips Catholic Church in Suleja with a caution on residents that his government will not tolerate anybody or group of persons who want to turn the state into a theatre for religious disharmony. The governor in a statement in Minna on Tuesday through his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace observed that the attack was detrimental to peaceful co-existence that the state is noted for stressing that Islam is a religion of peace and not violence. 

“The attack on St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Barkin-Iku, in Suleja on Friday was a violation of the spirit and content of the 1999 Constitution and the action is condemned. The law of the land permits freedom of worship and nobody has the right to attack or challenge others for observing and practicing his or her faith in accordance with the tenets of the profess religion. 

“I received the report of the attack on parishioners of St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Barkin-Iku by some youth with a heavy heart at a time the government and religious leaders in the state are working tirelessly for religious harmony and to ensure peaceful co-existence of the people of the state. 

“I call on our people to avoid anything capable of breaching the peace of the state, as this administration will not allow anybody or group of people to turn the state into a theatre for religious disharmony. 

“What we need as a people and a state now is peace and unity among our people, irrespective of tribe, religion or creed. We must and we should learn to live together in peace and tolerate each other. It is when this is done that we create environment for growth and progress”. 

Bello then urged youths in the state to always conduct themselves in good manners and be good ambassador of their religion at all times commending the members of St. Philip’s Catholic church for not taking laws into their hands in the face of provocation. 

He directed security agencies to investigate the attack on St. Philip’s Catholic Church and bring the culprits to book. 

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