The Presidency has cautioned the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against politicising the rampant kidnappings in the country perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.
A statement issued by presidential media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, said so on Tuesday while reacting to the assertion by CAN that Government needed to do more free Christian taken hostage by Boko Haram terrorists.
Shehu said it was important that CAN and other Nigerians were not deceived by the terrorists into developing deep animosity between the major religious groups of Islam and Christianity.
Besides, security agencies have been doing the much they can to stop the criminal activities of the terrorists.
According to the statement: “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.”