The minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday, said that Boko Haram terrorists are now targeting Christians and Christian villages to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos.
He said the group has realised how emotive and divisive religion can be, when exploited by unscrupulous persons.
While addressing a press conference, the minister said although Boko Haram has also not stopped attacking Muslims, it seems to now “have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians.”
Recently, the insurgents attacked a Christian village, Kwarangulum, near Chibok and also killed the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Lawan Andimi.
Also in recent times is the killing of a student who was also a member of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Ropvil Dalep, and the killing of 11 Christians on Christmas eve.
The minister said all these killings are new strategies adopted by the insurgents at the wake of their ceaseless pounding by the military.
“Recall that Boko Haram insurgents didn’t use to discriminate between Christians and Muslims when they carried out their attacks in the past.
“But in the wake of a renewed onslaught by our tireless military against Boko Haram and their ISWAP allies in recent times, the insurgents have apparently changed their strategy.
“They have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos.
“Apparently, they have realized how emotive and divisive religion can be, when exploited by unscrupulous persons.
“Lest I am misunderstood, let me repeat: the insurgents, who delude themselves as Muslims whereas they are nothing more than blood-thirsty, rapacious killers who subscribe to no religion, have recently started targeting Christians with a view to sowing the seeds of confusion between the two great religions.
“This did not in any way signify that they have stopped attacking Muslims. But, they seem to now have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians” he said.
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The minister appealed to religious leaders not to fall for the tactics of the insurgents.
He said the renewed vigour by the military in the war against the insurgents “is paying off handsomely.”
He cited the killing of top ISWAP leaders at two separate meeting venues at Marte local government in Borno State a few days ago.
According to him, a similarly one is the successful attack against the leadership of Boko Haram in Alafa Yagayaga in Borno earlier this month and the killing of Boko Haram chief Judge in Lake Chad.
“The in-fighting in the leadership cadre of Boko Haram is a fallout of the pressure on the insurgents by the military.”