President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday promised to end discrimination by state governments against their citizens over religion and other social issues.
The president spoke while receiving the 2012 Christian pilgrimage report from the head of delegation, Ayo Oritsejafor, and urged state governments to give equal opportunities to all Nigerians to practice their religion, irrespective of where they are located.
The president was reacting to revelation by the Ayo Oritsejafor-led Federal Government delegation that states like Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Benue and Gombe refused to assist Christians from the state to perform the holy pilgrimage.
Oritsejaor had disclosed that 16,372 Nigerians took part in the pilgrimage which the states from the northern part of the country did not sponsor any pilgrim for the exercise.
Jonathan noted that although the Federal Government cannot force any state government to sponsor pilgrims if they do not want to do so, but added that any decision not to sponsor pilgrims must affect both Christian and Muslim pilgrimages.
TONY AILEMEN, Abuja