President Muhammadu Buhari has once again appealed to Nigerians, especially religious leaders, not to allow terrorists escalate religious disharmony in the country.
He said contrary to the narrative being spread that insurgents target Christians, about 90 per cent of their victims are Muslims.
Buhari cited the 2014 kidnap of 276 Chibok girls, shooting inside mosques and murder of two prominent imams as proof that Muslims are the worst-hit by the insurgents, who he described as “now-failing” in their activities.
The President made the assertions in an opinion articles published in a Christian news outlet, Christianity Today.
The President lamented the beheading of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Pastor Lawan Andimi, which he described as part of the plans of the terrorists to set Nigerians against each other along religious lines.
In the article titled: PastorAndimi’s faith should inspire all Nigerians,’ Buhari charged all Nigerians, across all religious beliefs, to learn from the late CAN chief’s selflessness.
The President vowed that his administration would not relent in its efforts to free the country of all forms of religious disharmony.
He said: “We may not, yet, be completely winning the battle for the truth. Christianity in Nigeria is not—as some seem intent on believing—contracting under pressure, but expanding and growing in numbers approaching half of our population today.
The President said that it was sad that a few vocal Christian and Muslim clerics were “prepared to take their bait and blame the opposite religious side” even as insurgents continue to sow seeds of acrimony in the country.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has lauded the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for rising to its duty of sensitising Nigerians to stand against killings and other evils being perpetrated by terrorists.
It expressed relief that CAN is unlike “some groups that rally against the government instead of the enemy.”
The Presidency added in a statement on Tuesday that the Prayer rally on Sunday by the umbrella body of Christian bodies in Nigeria was in order and an exercise of a civic right.
General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adeboye, led the prayer walk in Lagos while CAN President Supo Ayokunle led in in Ibadan,. All the RCCG parishes nationwide participated.
In the statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Presidency said: “The actions of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in recent days represent the right of all Nigerians to protest and express their views on matters of religion, ethics, politics and society.