Ganduje rejects the alleged forced conversion of Christians to Islam
July 13 (THEWILL) — The Kano state government has denied claims by a former Federation Government (SGF) secretary, Babachir Lawal, that the Ganduje Foundation, a philanthropic organization, is being used by the governor of the state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to coerce certain Christian followers to adhere to Islam.
THEWILL recalls that Babachir, while warning the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu against his decision for a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 presidential election, had alleged that the governor of Kano, Ganduje, ran a foundation, whose major objective is the conversion of Christians to Islam.
The former SGF, which warned of a possible Islamic agenda in the Muslim-Muslim ticket, had alleged: “…Evidence of a possible Islamic agenda was leaked when Governor Ganduje, the ‘Kadmul Islam’, announced in advance that Tinubu had assured them that he would appoint a Muslim as his running mate.
“For those who may not be aware, Governor Ganduje has a foundation called the ‘Ganduje Foundation’, whose purpose, according to its website, is ‘to provide selfless service to humanity and Islam’ , but whose main goal seems to be the conversion of Christians to Islam, so if my very good friend Tinubu, in a desperate attempt to become president, allows himself to be transformed into a religious fanatic or even a mujahideen, he is welcome.
But a statement released by Kano State Information Commissioner Malam Muhammad Garba on Wednesday called the allegation unjustifiable and completely untrue.
While the statement emphasized that there is no compulsion in religion, it said Islam gives individuals the freedom to choose their own religion and also grants non-Muslims economic, cultural and administrative rights. considerable.
Garba said there has never been a time when a Christian or a non-believer is forced to embrace Islam by the foundation, adding that this action denies the teachings of Islam.
Malam Garba said it was unfortunate that at a time when the country needed to be united for national development and religious tolerance, a man of the caliber of Babashir, who is highly respected, would spread lies without holding too much account of his position in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and close relationship with the party standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The commissioner further clarified that the Ganduje Foundation is not denominational, but purely philanthropic, and that non-Muslims can also benefit from the services it renders.
He said the Foundation, established some 40 years ago, engaged in philanthropic, humanitarian and charitable activities which included medical care, support and assistance to those in need in society, especially the orphans and people with disabilities, medical assistance to care for people with diabetes, hypertension, malaria, dental care, as well as prenatal and maternal care.
Malam Garba added that since its inception, the foundation has built many schools and health centers, distributed free school uniforms and teaching materials to incoming primary school students, and constructed boreholes and mosques.
Others include distributing food items to the orphanage and Muslim communities during the Sallah and fasting period, the Christian community during Christmas and Easter, providing medical assistance to the needy, as well as other philanthropic activities.
The commissioner said available statistics indicate that as many as 380,000 people have benefited from the foundation’s eye care program which included treatment for cataracts and glaucoma, as well as the distribution of medical glasses.
He said Governor Ganduje always upholds religious harmony in Kano as evidenced by the administration’s establishment of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, where the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is a partner. and maintains a good working relationship with the Governor. , as well as the introduction of an inter-religious dialogue that promotes religious harmony between Muslims and Christians in the state.
Malam Garba further said that Governor Ganduje’s provision on religious tolerance has informed his administration’s stance on ensuring religious freedom and the association of ethnic nationalities in the state, which has won him recognition. and the bestowal of the traditional title of Agu Na Eche Mba of the Igbo Land by the Chairman, Abia State/Council of Traditional Rulers of the South East, Eze Eberechi Dick and another title of Chief conferred on him and his wife as Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadan by Olubadan, Oba (Dr.) Senator Mohood Olalekan Ishola.
According to the statement, Governor Ganduje appealed to the former SGF, members of the Christian party and other Nigerians to heed their words, especially on religious matters, and support the APC for quality leadership that will deliver the country of its challenges.