By Bolaji Ogundele (The Nation)
After reflecting on the spate of attacks on churches, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday concluded tAhat the trend is a plot to instigate religious crisis.
According to him, some wicked elements are behind such attacks. He vowed that his administration would not give in to their affronts.
President Buhari was reacting in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, to the currency with which attacks on churches had happened in the last two weeks.
The statement quoted the president as saying: “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.
“Having noted the starkness of the contrast between the actions of those hateful cowards and those of true Nigerians in the aftermath of Owo, the President observed that seeing the crowd of Nigerians voluntarily rushing to donate blood after the attack, thronging the local hospitals, even in the midst of mourning, I was proud of my country. I was filled with hope.
“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.
“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.”