President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians not to let terrorists divide the country along religious lines, following execution of some Christians and Muslims by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The president made the call in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday.
Buhari said the terrorists had no clearly defined agenda except the pursuit of evil through indiscriminate murder of innocent people, contrary to the teachings of Islam, which prohibits massacre.
According to him, no true Muslim will be shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ while killing innocent people, an evil frequently condemned by the Holy Qur’an.
“These agents of darkness are enemies of our common humanity and they don’t spare any victim, whether they are Muslims or Christians, and therefore, we shouldn’t let them divide us and turn us against one another.
“The goal of these psychopaths is to cause confusion and spread distrust between Muslims and Christians, despite the fact that they aren’t representing the interest of Muslims or Islam.
“While I condemn this evil, I wish to reassure Nigerians that this administration will not lower its guards in the war against terrorism, and we will continue to intensify our efforts towards strengthening international cooperation and collaboration to break the backbone of these evil doers,’’ the president stressed.
Buhari called on all Nigerians to be united against terrorists and avoid unhelpful conspiracy theories that serve the interest of Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP.
Recall that ISWAP, the Islamic State released a video purporting to show its militants beheading 10 Christian men in Nigeria, saying it was part of a campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and its spokesman.
The militant group posted the footage on its online Telegram news channel on Thursday, the day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio.
The video showed men in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives then beheading 10 of them and shooting an 11th man.
An earlier video seen by Reuters said the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate Islamist state.
In that video, the captives pleaded for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to save them.
Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) split from the militant group Boko Haram in 2016 and has become the region’s dominant jihadist group.
Islamist insurgents have killed about 30,000 people in northern Nigeria in the past decade.
Islamic State leader Baghdadi died during a U.S. military raid in Syria and Muhajir in a separate military operation, both over the same weekend in late October.
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