Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has threatened to bring to book those “making religiously-charged posts with fabricated quotes about his position on fasting.”
“This is a governor that has insisted that religion is a private matter. He pulled the state government out of sponsoring religious pilgrimage and Ramadan feeding within weeks of taking office in 2015,” the governor’s spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
The governor is reacting to a false statement on social media quoting him as warning Christians against eating while Muslims fast.
But in his statement Saturday, the governor said the comment was fabricated, and vowed to brink to justice those circulating such falsehood about him.
“When a citizen was attacked in June 2016 in the Kakuri area of Kaduna for reasons attributed to religious differences during Ramadan, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and Deputy-Governor Barnabas Bala visited the victim at the Saint Gerards’ Hospital on 8th June 2016, and he made an emphatic statement for religious freedom, declaring that “there is no compulsion in religion,” the statement said.
“It is a free country, and that means no imposition of faith or religious practices on anyone.”
The governor added that “nobody can impose the tenet of his faith on another person. The decision to observe any religious activity is the prerogative of the individual.”
He explained that even a Muslim cannot be compelled to fast.
“What Malam Nasir El-Rufai will not do is to allow anybody to get away with bad behaviour by citing their religious, regional or ethnic identity. Equality before the law requires that every citizen must be held responsible for their conduct.
“The legion of cowards and fraudsters ever ready to spread and amplify falsehood on social media, without any effort at verification, must know that they can be held responsible for what they share.
“The laws of our land rightly protect the freedom of speech, but the same laws provide remedies against defamation and incitement, even in cyberspace.”
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