President Muhammadu Buhari says 90 per cent of victims of Boko Haram victims are Muslims.
Buhari said the insurgents seek to divide Nigerians on the basis of religion and there is no room for that.
He said this while speaking in an article on Christianity Today on the death of Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa state on Monday.
Buhari said, “Indeed, it is the reality that some 90 percent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims: they include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate; shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams. ‘
“It is a simple fact that these now-failing terrorists have targeted the vulnerable, the religious, the non-religious, the young, and the old without discrimination. And at this point, when they are fractured, we cannot allow them to divide good Christians and good Muslims from those things that bind us all in the sight of God: faith, family, forgiveness, fidelity, and friendship to each other.
“The terrorists today attempt to build invisible walls between us. They have failed in their territorial ambitions, so now instead they seek to divide our state of mind, by pulling us from one from another—to set one religion seemingly implacably against the other.
“Of course, there is much of Christianity and Islam—both in teaching and practice—that are not the same. Were that not so, there would be no need for the separateness of the two religions.”
Buhari asked religious leaders to learn from the life of Andimi, who “acted selflessly in so many regards”, including “giving alms and prayers to both Christians and Muslims who suffered at the hands of the terrorists”.
“I call on Nigeria’s faith leaders, and Nigerians everywhere, to take these words of concord—and the many more that exist—to their hearts and their deeds. Just as my government, and our international partners, quicken our campaign to defeat Boko Haram within and without our borders, we must turn our minds to the future. There is no place in Nigeria for those who seek to divide us by religion, who compel others to change their faith forcibly, or try to convince others that by so doing, they are doing good,” he wrote.
He also promised that the insurgents would pay a heavy price for killing the CAN chairman.