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US Watchlist: Centre writes Trump to counter religious right violations tag on Nigeria

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The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has requested that President Donald Trump counters the religious right violation tag placed on Nigeria by the United States authorities.

The Centre made this known in an open letter addressed to the American President titled “Religious Intolerance and Extremism: The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Boko Haram, should be held responsible”.

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had on Friday placed Nigeria on a Special Watch List for tolerating “severe violations of religious freedom.”

CESJET joined the Federal Government to rubbish the claim, especially as there is no tangible evidence that suggests that Nigeria is intolerant of religious organizations, and promoting violent extremism.

The Centre’s Executive Secretary, Comrade Ikpa Isaac, explained that the US’ assertion doesn’t hold water considering the country’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of association and the right to change/switch religions without any form of sanction or punishment.

Comrade Ikpa revealed that Nigeria embraces and encourages peaceful coexistence amongst all religions and wonders how the US drew its conclusion.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency, therefore, demanded an immediate withdrawal of the statement/classification for lacking in objectivity and merit.

The Centre further requested that an unreserved open apology be tendered to the Nigerian government and her citizens within a 72hour period in the interest of peace and tranquility.

Read full letter below:

The President,
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Av New York
Washington, D.C., 20500.

Dear Mr. President,

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) is one of the prominent civil society organizations in Nigeria dedicated to the entrenchment of the freedom of expression, association of all Nigerians regardless of their social status, religious and ethnic affiliations.

CESJET, as an organization, has also been at the vanguard of ensuring that government at all levels in Nigeria is accountable to the citizens by respecting the Letter and the Spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mr. President, we are constrained to write you this Open Letter in protest of the purported listing of Nigeria on the watch list of one of the countries promoting religious intolerance and extremism.

We wish to inform you that we are in shock as to how such conclusions were arrived at in the first instance without any tangible evidence that suggests that the Nigerian authorities are intolerant of religious organizations, and promoting violent extremism.

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