Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has tackled a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, that the Ganduje Foundation was being used to allegedly force some Christian faithful to join Islam.
Recall that Leakblast.com earlier reported that Babachir Lawal had accused Ganduje and some Northern Governors of attempting to Islamise Nigeria.
Babachir made the accusation in a lengthy article on Tuesday night while reacting to the decision of the APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to pick the former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate.
The former SGF claimed that Ganduje was part of the Northern Governors and Northern Moslem elites who persuaded Tinubu to pick a Muslim as his running mate.
Babachir stated that the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket is just a pointer to the alleged Islamization agenda of the country, adding that Ganduje had already confirmed that Tinubu would settle for the controversial ticket.
The former SGF claimed that Ganduje is in total support of the Muslim-Muslim ticket because he runs a foundation aimed at converting Christians to Muslims.
He said the claims are totally false considering that, while there is no compulsion in religion, Islam gave individuals the freedom to choose their own religion, and also provided non-Muslims with considerable economic, cultural and administrative rights.
Ganduje assured that the Bola Tinubu-Kashim Shettima ticket would not in any way result in the neglect of Christians in the country.
The governor urged Babachir Lawal, Christian party members and other Nigerians “to be mindful of their utterances, especially on religious matters and support the APC for quality leadership that will deliver the country from its challenges.”
He explained that the Ganduje Foundation “was set up about 40 years ago and is engaged in philanthropic, humanitarian and charitable activities that included medical, support and assistance to the needy in the society, particularly the orphans and the physically challenged, medical outreach to attend to those with diabetes, hypertension, malaria, dental as well as ante-natal and maternal care.”
He added that since its establishment, the foundation has built many schools, healthcare centres, distributed free school uniforms and instructional materials to new intake in primary schools, construction of boreholes and mosques.
Others include the distribution of food items to the orphanage and Muslim communities during the Sallah and fasting period, the Christian community during the Christmas and Easter period, provision of medical assistance to the needy as well as other philanthropic activities.
Ganduje stated that available statistics indicated that “no fewer than 380, 000 people have benefited from the foundation’s Eye Care Programme that included treatment for cataract and glaucoma, as well as distribution of medical glasses.
“Governor Ganduje always stands for religious harmony in Kano as exemplified by the administration’s creation of the Ministry for Religious Affairs, where the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria is a partner and enjoys a good working relationship with the governor as well as the introduction of an Inter-Faith Dialogue that promotes religious harmony between Muslims and Christians in the state.
“Governor Ganduje’s disposition on religious tolerance informed his administration’s stance on guaranteeing religious freedom and association for ethnic nationalities in the state, which earned him recognition and conferment of traditional title of Agu Na Eche Mba of Igbo land by the Chairman, Abia State/South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Eberechi Dick and another chieftaincy title conferred on him and his wife as Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadan by Olubadan, Oba (Dr.) Senator Mohood Olalekan Ishola.”
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