The Federal Government has rejected the United States designation of Nigeria as a country that engages in or tolerates severe violations of religious freedom.
In a statement, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the iniquitous tag stems from an orchestrated narrative that has long been discredited.
He says Nigerians enjoy unfettered freedom to practice their religion, and it is unfortunate that the U.S. fell for the antics of failed politicians and disgruntled elements.
The minister says while the government welcomes constructive criticism, it rejects any attempt to sow the seed of mistrust among the various religious groups in the country.
On the El-Zakzaky issue, which was referred to in the report by the U.S., he described it is as purely a criminal matter, which is being handled by a court of competent jurisdiction.