- Presidency kicks against utterances by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) concerning attacks by Boko Haram terrorists
- Garba Shehu maintains that the federal government has confidence in the security agencies to rescue hostages held by the insurgents
- Shehu further warns that the government will not tolerate religious intolerance in the country
The presidency has warned the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to abstain from further comments that could encourage Boko Haram members in their attacks.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, in the evening of Tuesday, January 7, said the Boko Haram group aims to pitch Nigerians against themselves using religious intolerance.
According to him, the activities of CAN as a result of attacks of by Boko Haram members would make the terrorists the happiest.
"Not seeing them as they should be is exactly what Boko Haram and groups wish: they want Nigerians to see their beliefs as reason to turn against one another.
"Boko Haram should be the happiest, seeing our religious leaders tearing at one another," he said in a statement.
Shehu noted that the federal government is really working to rescue those held hostage by the sect and that there is full confidence in the security agencies to achieve the task.
He further noted that the government had condemned recent attacks by the Boko Haram, especially the ones carried out during the festive period.
"Yet, to continue to see these happenings solely in religious terms - removed from social, economic and environmental factors - simplifies complexities that must be heeded," the statement lamented.
The presidency said it was happy that citizens of the country, irrespective of their religious beliefs, had united in their opposition to the terrorist group and the hatred for decency that the infamous group stands for.
"Unfortunately, some leaders and politicians seek to make political capital from our religious differences.
"As we fight Boko Haram on the ground, so too must we tackle their beliefs: stability and unity in face of their hatred is itself a rejection of their worldview," the statement said
It warned that the federal government will never tolerate religious intolerance.
"What this country needs urgently at the moment is addressing rampant unemployment, alleviating poverty and delivering long-delayed infrastructure.
"We urgently need jobs, economic growth and relief from debilitating corruption," it said adding that the president does not wish to be distracted from this focus.
Legit.ng had reported that the chairman of the Adamawa chapter of CAN, Reverend Lawan Andimi, was recently kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.
The cleric was kidnapped during the recent attack by the insurgents on Michika in the northeast state.
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