The Nigerian Government on Thursday admitted that members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect and ISWAP have changed tactics.
It said they had decided to be targeting Christians and Christian communities.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
It said the insurgents’ latest strategy was meant to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos.
The minister’s position contradicted the President Muhammadu Buhari’s assertion in an op-ed article published three weeks ago in a United States-based magazine, Christianity Today.
In the op-ed which was a tribute to the Michika Local Government Area Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Adamawa State, Pastor Lawan Andimi, who was abducted and killed by insurgents, Buhari had said that it was not true that Christians were the primary targets of Boko Haram insurgents.
He stated, “Christianity in Nigeria is not – as some seem intent on believing – contracting under pressure, but expanding and growing in numbers approaching half of our population today. Nor is it the case that Boko Haram is primarily targeting Christians: not all of the Chibok schoolgirls were Christians; some were Muslims, and were so at the point at which they were taken by the terrorists.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, had faulted the President.
Samuel said Boko Haram from the outset did not hide their mission. “The sole purpose of Boko Haram is the killing of Christians and Islamisation of Nigeria,” he added.
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