President Muhammadu Buhari has described a report that claimed that there is a deliberate killing of Christians in the country as false and mischievous.
An international report had claimed a group made up of British parliamentarians said Christians in Nigeria are being targeted by Boko Haram insurgents because of their faith.
Reacting to the report, Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the claim made by the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief, does not reflect the happening in Nigeria.
He added that Nigeria’s military has significantly neutralised the terrorists and largely reduced their capacity over the last five years compared to the previous decade.
Shehu noted that the government is increasing efforts “to fully defeat and finally finish Boko Haram”, it has not stopped seeking to negotiate for those held captive by the insurgents.
He, however, said that Boko Haram insurgents have targeted Christians because they know it drives religious tensions in the country.
“The president and government of Nigeria wish to thank members of the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief for their report, launched a few days ago,” he said.
“Although it is difficult reading, the statement also acknowledges the importance of accurate, unbiased, depoliticised and truthful information when it comes to understanding the realities and addressing the challenges for those of faith in Nigeria.
“In this regard when uncritical attention is afforded to critics with dubious intentions, it only becomes harder for both the government and people of Nigeria to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve our differences, and uphold what is enshrined in our constitution and laws: that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
“In concert with our American and British allies, Nigeria’s military have pushed back the terrorists and largely reduced their capacity over the last five years compared to the previous decade.
“Boko Haram have targeted Christians and Churches specifically because they know it drives forward religious and land tensions already existent in the country. Similarly, they attack mosques and Muslims in order to issue the threat: radicalise, or become targets yourselves.”