Muslim – Muslim Ticket: Watch Your Utterances, Ganduje Warns Babachir 

Muslim – Muslim Ticket: Watch Your Utterances, Ganduje Warns Babachir 

Caleb Ishaya 

As the Muslim-Muslim ticket controversy continues to generate more reactions, the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has described as unjustifiable claims by the  former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, that the Ganduje Foundation, a philanthropic, was being used by him to allegedly force some Christian to convert to Islam.

A  statement issued on Wednesday by the Kano State Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, described the comment as “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.”

Lawal while rejecting the choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as running mate to  Bola Tinubu, the  Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives, APC, accused Ganduje of attempting to Islamise Nigeria.

But the  governor 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 noted  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 stressed that available statistics indicated that, “no fewer than 380, 000 people have benefited from the foundation’s Eye Care Programme that included treatment of 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.”

He appealed to the former SGF, 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 challenge

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