The Federal Government on Thursday provided possible reasons why Boko Haram terrorists are now targeting churches and Christians in their murderous campaign in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said at a media briefing in Abuja the change of tactics by the terrorists and increasing attacks on Christians and churches were caused by the military relentless onslaught on their facilities and various hideouts.
He described the jihadists as blood-thirsty and rapacious killers who subscribe to no religion or faith.
According to the minister, the terrorists were deliberately attacking Christians and churches in order to sow the seed of confusion between the two religions even though they have not stopped attacking Muslims.
He warned Muslim and Christian leaders in the land not to fall for the desperate move by the insurgents by allowing them to divide Nigerians and weaken their resolve to deal the malevolent elements a mortal blow.
He also described the use of Guerilla tactics by the terrorists against Nigerians as a sign of weakness on their part, adding that they would get weaker and weaker by the day as a result of the relentless and tireless onslaught by the military.
Mohammed said: “As you would have noticed, Boko Haram and the ISWAP have recently changed their strategy, in the wake of their ceaseless pounding by the military. At its peak, Boko Haram in particular was a fighting force, conquering and keeping territory, installing and deposing Emirs and also collecting taxes.
“It had the capability to take the battle to many states, mostly in the north, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, where it bombed the police headquarters, the UN Complex, shopping complex and motor parks.
“Upon assumption of office on May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Command and Control centre to relocate from Abuja to Maiduguri and rallied the support of our neighours as well as the international community. This yielded immediate results as Boko Haram was not only decimated, but all the territory under its control was recovered. The insurgents also lost the capability to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks they were used to, and then resorted to attacking soft targets, including churches and mosques as well as schools.
“Recall that Boko Haram insurgents didn’t use to discriminate between Christians and Muslims when they carried out their attacks in the past. Churches and mosques, Christians and Muslims were attacked without discrimination. When they targeted motor parks, the religion, gender, ethnicity or political leaning of the victims didn’t matter, as long as they inflicted the maximum damage to lives and property.”
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