Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has attributed the killings of Christians and the burning of Churches by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists to the relentless onslaught on them by the Nigerian Military.
He said the repeated attacks on Christians were aimed at dividing Nigerians along the religious line just as he advised religious leaders not to fall for the antics.
About five churches were reportedly attacked recently by the insurgents including two houses of worship belonging to the Church of the Brethren denomination, an Anglican Communion church, and a church and a separate office of Living Faith Church in Adamawa State.
At a press briefing in Abuja, Lai Mohammed insisted that the terror group has lost many of the territories it used to occupy.
“Recall that Boko Haram insurgents didn’t use to discriminate between Christians and Muslims when they carried out their attacks in the past. Churches and mosques, Christians and Muslims were attacked without discrimination. When they targeted motor parks, the religion, gender, ethnicity or political leaning of the victims didn’t matter, as long as they inflicted the maximum damage to lives and property.
“But in the wake of a renewed onslaught by our tireless military against Boko Haram and their ISWAP allies in recent times, the insurgents have changed their strategy: They have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos.
“They have realized how emotive and divisive religion can be when exploited by unscrupulous persons. “Lest I am misunderstood, let me repeat: the insurgents, who delude themselves as Muslims whereas they are nothing more than blood-thirsty, rapacious killers who subscribe to no religion, have recently started targeting Christians to sow the seed of confusion between the two great religions.
“This did not in any way signify that they have stopped attacking Muslims. But they seem to now have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians,” Mohammed explained.” The information minister said.
Is Nigeria Winning the War?
The Nigerian Government had repeatedly claimed to have decimated the but the dreaded Boko Haram group and its offshoot, Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) have continued to carry out attacks in the North East.
It was reported that more than 100 Boko Haram militants opened fire sporadically and indiscriminately and set churches and houses on fire, killing many people, in the town of Garkida in Gombi area of the of Adamawa.
“Garkida is currently on fire … many people have been killed and their houses covered with smoke,” TheCable quoted a source as saying.
“People ran to hide inside the mountains while they watched their houses being burnt by the insurgents,” a resident added.
Earlier this month, suspected Boko Haram militants burnt and killed at least 30 people, including a pregnant woman and her baby, and abducted others in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
They were reported to have set the sleeping travellers on fire in the Auno village of Borno state as they were camping out for the night after missing an evening curfew in the state capital of Maiduguri, about 10 miles away. The nefarious activities of the Boko Haram terrorists have claimed many lives and countless forceful abductions.
Last month, the terrorist executed Rev. Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria’s chapter in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
In the same month of January, the Islamic State also released a video showing the killing of a UNIMAID Student, Daciya Dalep who was shot in the head by a child soldier.
Also in December 2019, the Islamic State faction claimed to have killed 11 Christian aid workers in Nigeria in retaliation for the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.