President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday accused the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram of trying to set Nigerians against each other.
In a statement on the website of the media aide to the president, Femi Adesina, Buhari lamented the recent killing of Rev. Lawan Andimi, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michikka, Adamawa State, by Boko Haram.
He expressed regrets that Boko Haram could still attack Andimi’s church which was located about 60 miles from Chibok town.
According to the president, “Pastor Andimi’s ministry was located only 60 miles from the town of Chibok, from where in 2014 the world witnessed the shocking kidnapping of 267 schoolgirls.
“That even one individual—this time a man of the church—could still be taken by the terror group seven years later might be viewed as evidence the terrorists are fully functional and undefeated. But it is not.
“Since I was first elected to office in 2015, 107 of the Chibok girls have been freed. Today we seek the others. Boko Haram is no longer one, unified threat, but fractured into several rivals. These splinters are themselves degraded: reduced to criminal acts which—nonetheless no less cruel—target smaller and smaller numbers of the innocent.
“We owe thanks to the Nigerian defence forces, bolstered by our partnership with the British, American militaries and other countries that we are winning this struggle in the field.”
President Buhari warned Nigerians not to allow Boko Haram terrorists to divide the country into religious and tribal lines.
“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,” he added.
Buhari also praised the late Andimi for his refusal to renounce his faith in the face of his captors.