- FG has raised the alarm over the incessant Boko Haram attacks in the country
- The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, said that insurgents were attacking churches to create religious war in Nigeria
- Mohammed, however, appealed to religious leaders not to fall for the desperate move by the insurgents or allow them to divide the country
The Nigerian government has revealed why the dreaded Boko Harma insurgents are targetting some Christians and their churches in the northern part of the country.
Daily Times reports that the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, raised the alarm at a media briefing on Thursday, February 27, in Abuja, that the insurgents were trying to divide the country.
Legit.ng gathered that the minister said the insurgents didn't discriminate between Christians and Muslims when they carried out their attacks in the past.
He said the new strategy by the insurgents revealed that they were targeting Christians and Christian villages to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos.
He said: “Recall that Boko Haram insurgents didn’t use to discriminate between Christians and Muslims when they carried out their attacks in the past. Churches and mosques, Christians and Muslims were attacked without discrimination.
“When they targeted motor parks, the religion, gender, ethnicity or political leaning of the victims didn’t matter, as long as they inflicted the maximum damage to lives and property. But in the wake of a renewed onslaught by our tireless military against Boko Haram and their ISWAP allies in recent times, the insurgents have apparently changed their strategy.
“They have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos. Apparently, they have realised how emotive and divisive religion can be, when exploited by unscrupulous persons,” he said.
The minister noted that the insurgents, who deluded themselves as Muslims, were nothing more than “blood-thirsty, rapacious killers who subscribe to no religion,” adding that they were deliberately targeting Christians to sow the seed of confusion between the two religions.
The minister buttressed the government position with the attack on a Christian village, Kwarangulum, near Chibok and the killing of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government in Adamawa, Lawan Andimi.
The minister appealed to religious leaders, both Christians and Muslims, not to fall for the desperate move by the insurgents or allow them to divide the country and weaken the resolve to deal the insurgents the mortal blow.
He also canvassed for their unalloyed support to the military, which he said had also upped the ante against the insurgents.
“The resort to the increasing use of Guerilla tactics by the insurgents is a sign of weakness on their part. Contrary to the belief in certain quarters, these insurgents are getting weaker by the day, thanks to the gallantry of our men and women in uniform.
“We therefore, appeal to our leaders, especially religious leaders, not to fall for the antics of Boko Haram and ISWAP, who are trying to divide us along religious lines by targeting Christians for attacks," he said.
Mohammed stressed that the renewed vigour by the military in their war against the insurgents was paying off, judging by the victories they recorded in recent times.
He listed the successes to include, the killing of top ISWAP leaders at two separate meeting venues at Marte local government in Borno state and a successful attack against the leadership of Boko Haram in Alafa Yagayaga in Borno earlier in the month.
The minister also cited the killing of Boko Haram Chief Judge in Lake Chad and the in-fighting in the leadership cadre of Boko Haram which he said was a fallout of the pressure on the insurgents by the military (NAN)
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that crisis ensued in the camp of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), a faction of the Boko Haram sect.
Ba’a Idirisa, son of late Muhammed Yusuf, founder of the sect, who is the leader of the group in Nigeria, was killed.
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