President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that those he described as “cowards” behind recent attacks on churches in the country will be punished.
The President said this on Wednesday following the recent spate of assaults on churches across the country.
“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,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.
“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.”
According to him, the country’s religious freedom and diversity are what make Nigeria great.
“It is this diversity that gives Nigeria its strength. That is why Nigeria’s enemies seek to destroy it, by pitting us against one another,” the President added.
“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.”
He lauded Nigerians for their actions in the aftermath of the attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.
The President said that “seeing the crowd of Nigerians voluntarily rushing to donate blood after the attack, thronging the local hospitals, even in the midst of mourning,” made him “proud of my country. I was filled with hope”.