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Attacks on churches, christians unacceptable – Buhari

  By Wale Odunsi   President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the attacks on churches and worshippers are unacceptable.   A statemen...


By Wale Odunsi


President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the attacks on churches and worshippers are unacceptable.


A statement on Wednesday by spokesman, Garba Shehu, conveyed the President’s message.


Buhari said it was clear that there’s a design by wicked people to put the country under religious stress


The Nigerian leader referred to the massacre in a church in Owo, Ondo State, and killings and kidnappings in Kaduna State,


Buhari said religious freedom and 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 putting 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 President called the perpetrators cowards, weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship.


“Seeing the crowd of Nigerians voluntarily rushing to donate blood after the attack, thronging the local hospitals, even in the midst of mourning, I was proud of my country. I was filled with hope.


“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice.”


Buhari appealed to Nigerians to come together in prayer – whether Christian, Muslim or any of our great faiths.


He charged citizens to 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”, the statement added.


On Tuesday, the Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) condemned the attacks on Nigerian churches and christians in strong terms.


The body called on President Buhari to protect peaceful Christian population – the largest in Africa – from extremist terrorist violence.


OPAC declared that the “continuous targeting of Christians during principal religious holidays is beginning to feel like Nigerian state-sponsored terrorism against its own citizens”.


OPAC charged the United States Department of State to insist on measures to protect Christians within Nigeria.


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