President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria is a secular state, and its citizens are free to hold on any religious belief.
The president made the declaration Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.
Buhari, represented by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, acknowledged the fact that the Catholic Bishops Conferences were crucial, and commended the Catholic Church for its humanitarian works in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the North Eastern part of the country.
”The business of the state is to protect the lives, livelihood and properties of all Nigerians regardless of religion, ethnicity or political affiliation. There shall be no state religion, and all Nigerians are guaranteed freedom of worship,” the president said, saying that his administration was focused on the issues of security, the economy and corruption.
According to him, the menace posed by Boko Haram will soon be over, as the Federal Government is winning the war.
He advised that the poor and vulnerable in the society should be considered, as they constitute two-thirds of the population, and advocated for substantive investment in education, teachers’ training and entrepreneurial training, calling for the diversification of the economy and investment in infrastructure.
In his speech, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike promised to maintain good relations with the Catholic Church, saying that he would support missionary schools and make them regain their lost glory and prestige; “so that they can become centres of educational excellence.
“As my government settles fully into the business of governance, we hope to engage the church in all the areas where our unique competence and moral suasion are likely to bring about a faster realization of the common good of the people.”