President Muhammadu Buhari says the perpetrators of recent attacks on churches are “cowards” and will be punished for their crimes.
On 5 June, a mass shooting and bomb attack occurred at a Catholic church in the city of Owo in Ondo State, Nigeria. At least 40 people were killed.
Also, three persons were killed on Sunday, following an attack by gunmen on two churches in Kaduna state.
According to a statement on Wednesday by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, Buhari said the attacks are the works of “wicked people” who are trying to promote religious crisis.
The president also said Nigeria’s enemies seek to destroy it because “our religious freedom, our diversity, is what makes Nigeria great; it is this diversity that gives Nigeria its strength”.
“We will not let them. The nation will not be distracted or divided by these obviously planned and politically motivated criminal outrages,” Buhari was quoted as saying.
“The perpetrators are cowards; weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship.”
Buhari said seeing Nigerians rush to donate blood to victims of the Owo attack made him proud and filled with hope.
He also called on all Nigerians, no matter their religious beliefs, to be united and pray for the victims’ families.
“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 endeavour,” the statement partly read.