Former Nigeria vice president Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for saying the majority of Boko Haram victims are Muslims.
Buhari in an article published in Speaking Out, a guest opinion column for Christianity Today Magazine on Tuesday said that the perception that members of the sect were always targeting Christians in Nigeria is not true.
“it is the reality that some 90 per cent of all Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims,” Buhari said.
“They include a copycat abduction of over 100 Muslim schoolgirls, along with their single Christian classmate, shootings inside mosques; and the murder of two prominent imams.”
In reaction to Buhari’s claims, Atiku said it was wrong of the Nigerian president to “rationalise” the deaths of those killed in Boko Haram attacks.
“We mustn’t rationalise killings,” Atiku said on Twitter. “Whether Christian, Muslim, Traditionalist, or Atheist, the killing of any human being, by Boko Haram, or any misguided group, is wrong & should be condemned unequivocally.”
In the article, Buhari warned individuals, organisations and groups seeking to divide the country through religion to have a rethink.
The president said allegations that he was oppressing one religion over the other were false. He said the allegations were aimed at dividing Nigerians “by prying us from one from another—to set one religion seemingly implacably against the other.”
Buhari stated that neither Christianity or Islam is supportive of forcibly compelling people to convert to a certain religion.
Quoting different passages and chapters of the Holy Quran and Bible, Buhari said both Christianity and Islam preach love, peace and against compulsion to accept a certain religion.
Buhari’s stance was supported by Atiku who said, “There is no compulsion in religion. Only love.”