In a press statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC titled “BMO TO CAN: STOP ENERGIZING TERRORISTS, HATE MERCHANT“, the Buhari Media organization said:
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stop pushing narratives that are capable of energizing Boko Haram’s terrorism campaign against the Nigerian state.
According to the group, the insurgents could capitalize on CAN’s rhetorics to further drive a wedge between the country’s two major religious groups. In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said CAN is unwittingly playing into the hands of the terror group and its affiliates.
“We know that since Boko Haram killed Reverend Lawan Andimi, one of the leaders of CAN in Northern Nigeria, the association has increased its attacks against President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and the Nigerian military.
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“The CAN leadership under its current president, Reverend Supo Ayokunle has never been a fan of this administration, but it has lately taken its opposition a notch higher with its allegation of an officially sanctioned persecution of Christians, just because of Boko Haram’s recent activities.
” We consider this a wildly outrageous claim with no basis in fact, and just like President Buhari wrote recently in an article, the terrorists are not known to primarily target a particular religious group, even before they attained global prominence.
“But now that their goal of seizing territory is far from achievable, having been repeatedly repelled by our military, it seems they now believe they can cause more trouble by driving a wedge between Muslims and Christians in the country.
“We admonish CAN and its leaders to avoid playing into their hands.”
BMO also wants religious leaders from both sides to be more circumspect in their reaction to purely criminal matters.
“We have seen how the arrest of a bomb suspect Nathaniel Samuel on a church premise in Kaduna with an improvised explosive device (IED) has triggered exchanges among a section of Muslim and Christian leaders.
“The ideal thing is to allow security operatives to do their job rather than insinuate meanings into the ongoing investigation.
“We are urging religious leaders not to rise to the bait of terrorists and other hate merchants, but rather to join hands with the Buhari administration to deal a decisive blow to Boko Haram and its splinter group who are now taking a leaf from the evil propaganda of the global terrorist franchise, ISIS, to instill fear and inflame passion among Nigerians by attacking soft targets, the statement added.