Don’t impugn religion into Boko Haram kidnappings, Presidency replies CAN

By Chesa Chesa

The Presidency has cautioned against politicising or impugn religious intents in the rampant kidnappings in the country perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.

A statement issued by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, made this clear in a reaction to a position taken by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) asking the Federal Government to so more in rescuing Christian captives of the terrorists.

The statement noted that both Muslims and Christians were united in condemnation of the atrocities committed by Boko Haram, and nobody or group should fall for the antics of trying to see them for other than the criminals that they are.

The statement reads: “The security forces of Nigeria are working continuously to return those taken hostage by Boko Haram to their families, friends and communities. In doing this, the government has full confidence in their ability to accomplish the task.

“On its own part, government has condemned some of the appalling acts of terror, especially following 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.

“Not seeing them as they should be is exactly what the terrorists and groups wish: they want Nigerians to see their beliefs as reason to turn against one another.

“On the contrary, Christians and Muslims alike are united in their opposition to Boko Haram and the hatred for decency that the infamous group stands for.

“Nigerians must continue to be united in ensuring that they do not subscribe to the terrorists’ message of division. 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.

“This government shall never tolerate religious intolerance. We clearly and unambiguously restate our support for the freedom to practice whichever belief you wish. The politicisation of religion – as forbidden by the constitution – has no place in Nigeria.”

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