Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has described allegations of discrimination against Christians levelled against his government as fictitious, saying he was not a religious bigot.
Nyako noted that during his tenure, adherents of all religious faiths have been given equal rights to practise their beliefs without hindrance as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution, adding that the allegation of any outstanding Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) of any Christian group in Adamawa State, which the governor purportedly refused to sign is utterly false.
His position was made known through a press statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Mallam Ahmad Sajo.
Gov. Nyako noted with concern the deliberate falsehood being promoted by a group called Christian Elders Forum of Northern States, which alleged that the Adamawa State Government was discriminating against Christian minorities.
“This is not only blatantly false but also a clear indication that the group has motives other than the promotion of peace and peaceful co-existence in our state. Their assertion is totally at variance with realities on ground in Adamawa State”, the statement noted.
The governor took exception to the use of the word ‘minorities’ in Adamawa State, stressing that all the local governments of the state had large and even distribution of Muslims, Christians and adherents of other religions.
“The term ‘Christian minorities’ is a misnomer in Adamawa State because we have 21 local government areas and about one-third are predominantly Muslim-populated, about one-third predominantly Christian-dominated while the remaining one-third have nearly equal populations of both.
The statement further noted that “the first eight years of the current democratic dispensation had a Christian governor in the State”, while “The first four years of Murtala Nyako’s leadership had a Christian deputy governor and a Christian Speaker of the House of Assembly as well the Secretary to the State Government and Head of Service all Christians.
“We are not aware of any outstanding C-of-O of any Christian group in Adamawa State”, the statement reiterated.