Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has said the rising cases of terrorist attacks on churches acrosshe country have a political undertone.
Buhari said the attacks are planned to cause distraction and division in the country.
President Buhari who made the assertion in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Wednesday, also said that the attacks are meant to cause religious stress in the country.
According to the statement, the President said the deadly attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo on Sunday, June 5 and the killing and kidnapping of congregants in a Catholic Church in Kaduna State on Sunday, two weeks later, amongst other attacks, are a clear indication that the enemies of the country want to cause a religious crisis.
He said, “Our religious freedom, our diversity is what makes Nigeria great. It is this diversity that gives Nigeria its strength. That is why Nigeria’s enemies seek to destroy it by pitting us against one another.
“We will not let them. The nation will not be distracted or divided by these obviously planned and politically motivated criminal outrages.
“The perpetrators are cowards, weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship.”
Buhari maintained that “Seeing the crowd of Nigerians voluntarily rushing to donate blood after the attack, thronging the local hospitals, even in the midst of mourning,” made him proud of his country.
“I was filled with hope,” he said.
“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice. Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavour.
“For now, I urge all Nigerians to come together in prayer-whether Christian, Muslim or any of our great faiths- let us hold the victims and their families in our hearts and minds.
“Let us show the cowards who seek to divide us along religious lines that we will not be divided. Let us show them that Nigerians will continue to cherish what we share while respecting each other’s differences. Let us show them that Nigerians will never be bullied by cowards, extremists or terrorists.”