Published on Dec 22, 2016 Greenbarge Reporters
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has surprised Christians in the state, with the donation of a new bus to their umbrella body, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and promise to sponsor 117 Christians to Jerusalem on pilgrimage.
The governor, whose action was interpreted to mean that his government is not marginalizing Christians and any other group in the state, that the gesture is part of effort to allay the fears that Christians are being marginalized in the state.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, quoted the governor as debunking the notion in some quarters that the Sharia court in the state was created by his government.
He said that the outcry of marginalization by Christians in the state was not caused by his administration but that it is an age-long situation, which will be laid to rest soon as he had ordered the immediate employment of Christian Religious Knowledge teachers across the state by January 2017.
Governor Bello spoke when the leadership of CAN, led by the State Chairman, Rev. Mathias Echioda, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House.
He assured them of cordial relationship, saying that both Islamic and Christian Religious Knowledge would be taught in schools to help improve students’ moral lessons.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information, who spoke to news men at the first Niger State Christmas Carol Festival, which held 40 years after it was last observed, appealed to Christians to shun every form of division and to speak with one voice to achieve results.
“For the fact that Mr. Governor sponsored the first Christmas carol since the inception of the state 40 years ago, it shows that the government is not religiously biased and despite the ban on pilgrimage sponsorship to the Holy land, the Governor in his own benevolence still sponsored 117 Christians to Israel and the first batch left on Monday.”
Vatsa called on Christian politicians to come together and champion a cause for Christians as well as a positive course that will benefit the state rather than continuously complaining and making accusations.
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