Nigeria has denied the allegation, by the United States, of engaging in systematic and egregious religious freedom violations.
The United States had on Monday placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist, paving the way for potential sanctions if it fails to improve its record.
In a tweet, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Nigeria as “Country of Particular Concern” for religious freedom, alongside nations that include China, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The secretary of states did not elaborate on the reasons for including Nigeria.
But in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, described the allegation as a case of honest disagreement between the two nations on the causes of violence in Nigeria.
“Nigeria does not engage in religious freedom violation, neither does it have a policy of religious persecution. Victims of insecurity and terrorism in the country are adherents of Christianity, Islam and other religions,” the minister said.
He said Nigeria jealousy protects religious freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution and takes seriously any infringements in this regard.