Response to Recent Statements from the Christian Association of Nigeria
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, the 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 a 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 politicization of religion – as forbidden by the constitution – has no place in Nigeria.