Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has condemned and described as unacceptable last Friday attack and vandalisation of St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Bakin-Iku in Suleja by a group of miscreants who paraded themselves as Muslim youth.
The governor in a statement in Minna on Monday, through his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace warned that his administration will not tolerate anybody or group of persons who want to turn the state into a theatre for religious war.
It reads: “The attack on St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Barkin-Iku, in Suleja on Friday was a violation of the spirit and content of the 1999 Constitution and the action is condemned. The law of the land permits freedom of worship and nobody has the right to attack or challenge others for observing and practising his or her faith in accordance with the tenets of the profess religion.
“I received the report of the attack on parishioners of St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Barkin-Iku by some youth with a heavy heart at a time the government and religious leaders in the state are working tirelessly for religious harmony and to ensure peaceful co-existence of the people of the state.
“I call on our people to avoid anything capable of breaching the peace of the state, as this administration will not allow anybody or group of people to turn the state into a theatre for religious war.
“What we need as a people and a state now is peace and unity among our people, irrespective of tribe, religion or creed. We must and we should learn to live together in peace and tolerate each other. It is when this is done that we create environment for growth and progress”.
The governor commended the security agencies for curtailing the situation.
He then directed that the attack on St. Philip Catholic Church should be investigated and culprits brought to book.