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President Muhammadu Buhari has again condemned the attacks on Christians and their worship centres across Nigeria.
Recall that terrorists had attacked St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, killing over 20 people and injuring many others. Another set of terrorists had recently attacked a church in Kaduna this past weekend, killing three and kidnappings many others.
Reacting to recent targeting of churches in a statement on Wednesday by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said the attacks are a design by wicked people to put the country under religious stress.
Buhari said: “Our religious freedom, our diversity, is what makes Nigeria great. It is this diversity that gives Nigeria its strength. That is why Nigeria’s enemies seek to destroy it, by putting us against one another.
“We will not let them. The nation will not be distracted or divided by these obviously planned and politically motivated criminal outrages.
“The perpetrators are cowards; weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship.”
He stated that seeing volunteers rushing to donate blood after the attack in Owo, thronging the local hospitals, even in the midst of mourning, made him proud and filled with hope.
Buhari warned that those behind the attack will be punished for their crimes and be brought to justice, adding that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavor.
The president said: “For now, I urge all Nigerians to come together in prayer-whether Christian, Muslim or any of our great faiths- let us hold the victims and their families in our hearts and minds.
“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. Let us show them that Nigerians will never be bullied by cowards, extremists or terrorists.”