President Buhari said 90 percent of Boko Haram victims are ‘muslims’ and that the insurgents are seeking to use religion as a tool to divide Nigerians.
The president said there is no room for those who seek to divide Nigerians on the basis of religion.
He said this 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.
Andimi was abducted in Michika and killed by Boko Haram insurgents. In the article, Buhari said the death of the religious leader by Boko Haram was aimed at pitching Christians against Muslims.
He said Nigeria is winning the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, and that the group has failed in its campaign, but now seeks to divide Nigerians using religion as a weapon.
“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,” he wrote.
“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 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.
The president had vowed that the insurgents would pay a heavy price for killing the CAN chairman.
The statement made by the president that 90 percent of victims were muslims came as a sudden blow to Christians and Nigerians within the country and in diaspora.
One critic who bared his mind on the plea of anonymity said this statement was porous, not backed up by constant video footages of muslim massacres like that of Christians, no consistent mass burial of muslims, no incessant bombing of mosques nor frequent kidnaping and killing of same.
But on the flip side, one does not need to stretch their sight too far to see undeniable and overwhelming evidence of Christian mass burials, the staggering rate at which Christians and clerics are being kidnaped and some even killed, Church bombings and destruction of farms, lives and properties.
He further asked how many muslims have been kidnaped and ransom demanded?
He concluded by saying, putting such percentage on the number of muslims killed by Boko Haram insurgents begs the question, ‘so does it mean that the number of Christians killed since 2001 is only 10 percent’?