Buhari, who made this known in a statement made available on the website of his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also lamented the kidnap and murder of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi.
Buhari regretted that Andimi, whose church was located about 60 miles from Chibok town, could still be taken by the terror group seven years after the abduction of 267 schoolgirls in the same town.
He said, “Pastor Andimi’s ministry was located only 60 miles from the town of Chibok, from where in 2014 the world witnessed the shocking kidnapping of 267 schoolgirls. That even one individual—this time a man of the church—could still be taken by the terror group seven years later might be viewed as evidence the terrorists are fully functional, and undefeated. But it is not.
“Since I was first elected to office in 2015, 107 of the Chibok girls have been freed. Today we seek the others. Boko Haram is no longer one, unified threat, but fractured into several rivals. These splinters are themselves degraded: reduced to criminal acts which—nonetheless no less cruel—target smaller and smaller numbers of the innocent. We owe thanks to the Nigerian defence forces, bolstered by our partnership with the British, American militaries and other countries that we are winning this struggle in the field.”
Buhari cautioned Nigerians neither to allow terrorist activities sow the seed of discord in the country nor allow the country to be divided on religious or tribal lines.
He said, “It is a simple fact that these now-failing terrorists have targeted the vulnerable, the religious, the non-religious, the young, and the old without discrimination. And at this point, when they are fractured, we cannot allow them to divide good Christians and good Muslims from those things that bind us all in the sight of God: faith, family, forgiveness, fidelity, and friendship to each other.
“The terrorists today attempt to build invisible walls between us. They have failed in their territorial ambitions, so now instead they seek to divide our state of mind, by prying us from one from another—to set one religion seemingly implacably against the other.”
The retired major general extolled the virtue of the late CAN chairman, especially his refusal to renounce his faith in the face of his captors, describing it as “an inspiration to all of us.”
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