A ministerial nominee, Adebayo Shittu, who was screened by the Senate on Tuesday declined to publicly comment on the extremist Boko Haram sect, saying he feared for his safety.
Boko Haram is currently ravaging North-East Nigeria, killing, bombing innocent citizens.
Mr. Shittu, responding to a question pertaining the activities of sect, said he could not publicly comment on the sect, expressing fear over his safety.
“I cannot publicly comment on Boko Haram; I still have family to care of,” he said
He noted that many northern leaders were “unfairly” criticised for not speaking out against the sect.
Mr. Shittu explained that Boko Haram had killed anybody who spoke out against the sect.
“So anybody that still wants to live will not condemn that faceless group publicly.”
Mr. Shittu, a lawyer and Islamic scholar, however, insisted that the activities the sect negated the principles of Islam.
“They can claim to be anything,” the ministerial nominee. “They even claim to be a Christian; but if you are Christian and still goes to babalawo (herbalist), you are not really a Christian.
“So also if you say you are a Muslim but kills innocent people, you are not really a Muslim,” he explained.
He further said Islam teaches freedom of religion as a central tenet, pointing that “Almighty Allah says he wants everybody to be of same faith, he will have done so”.
He had earlier said he was never indicted for religious intolerance in Oyo State.