Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Ambassador Habib Habu has said that attempts at painting him as a religious bigot are mischievous and a calculated attempt to ridicule his person and office.
The Consul General denied saying he can never enter a church, accusing “mischief makers” of attempting to malign and paint him as a bigot.
“I never said I can never enter a church, I have friends who are Christians and I have attended naming ceremonies, baptism and all that with them in churches,” the Ambassador said.
Habu in an interview with pointblanknews.com said in all his life in both private and public, he has related and worked perfectly well with both Christians and muslims and any other without prejudice.
The Ambassador was reacting to earlier report that his refusal to attend a church service in honor of five Nigerians killed in a ghastly motor accident in New York recently was because he said he can never enter a church.
“I had received an invitation to attend the church service but due to an already scheduled event same date and time, I sent one of the most senior staff of the consulate who incidentally is a Catholic to represent not just me but the Consulate General.”
Ambassador Habu added, “Since my arrival in New York, I have had the pleasure of attending meetings, dedications, baptismal and other functions in churches not only in New York but in other states under the jurisdiction of the Consulate General and so I find it mischievous to be labeled a bigot.”
According to him, “I have never been and will never be a religious bigot.
Anybody that has had any direct contact with me can vouch for me on this.”
He added that. “…I am proud of being a muslim but it has never ever clouded my judgement of other religions or people of religion. Like most Nigerians, I was born into a religion and I grew up to love it. If I had been born by Christian parents, I would have grown up being a Christian.”
According to him, “almost all Nigerians were born into a religion which they adhere to and love…”