June 20, 2024

Nigerian President Buhari condemns recent attacks on religious people as “wicked” and “cowardly”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration condemned recent attacks against people of faith throughout Nigeria, calling the attackers both wicked and cowardly Wednesday.

On Pentecost Sunday several weeks ago, gunmen opened fire on a southwest Nigerian Catholic church, killing at least 50 churchgoers.

“From the tragedy in Owo two weeks ago that shook our nation to its core, to the killings and kidnappings just this weekend in Kaduna State, it is clear that there is a design by wicked people to put the country under religious stress,” said a statement from Buhari issued by Garba Shehu, the spokesperson to the President of Nigeria.

According to Open Doors, 5,898 Christians were killed across the world in 2021 and nearly 80 percent of them were in Nigeria. On average, nearly 13 Christians are killed every day in Nigeria.

“The perpetrators are cowards; weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship,” continued the statement.

“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice. Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavor,” said the statement.

Despite nearly half of the nation identifying as Christian, Nigeria is recognized as the most dangerous nation in the world for Christians.

As Buhari’s administration called on both Christians and Muslims to be in prayer, the statement also pleaded, “Let us show the cowards who seek to divide us along religious lines that we will not be divided. Let us show them that Nigerians will continue to cherish what we share while respecting each other’s differences.”

According to VIsion of Humanity, Nigeria is the sixth most impacted by terrorism out of every country in the world. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect reports that Nigerian armed bandit groups killed more than 2,600 civilians in 2021, which is a 250 percent increase from the prior year.

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