ISWAP, only group to specifically target Christians in Nigeria — FG replies US lawmakers

ISWAP, only group to specifically target Christians in Nigeria — FG replies US lawmakers

The Federal Government denounced on Monday the request by five Republican US Senators that Nigeria be reclassified as a nation of particular concern due to alleged persecution of Christians, while linking the recent terrorist activities to the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP).

In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the senators; who made the call, also said that Christians’ freedom to exercise their religion had been violated.

However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, responded to the claim. He spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in London, on Monday, July 4.

Specifically, he said the call was founded on faulty premises and an incorrect understanding of what was happening in the nation.

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The minister is in London to meet with several important non-governmental organizations and members of the international press.

According to the minister, the only known group that target Christians was ISWAP.

He, however said that the federal government had mounted a large scale military operations to wipe out the criminals and it is yielding results.

“What ISWAP is doing is that because of their dwindling influence; they are now attacking Churches and Christians n order to create crisis between varios religious groups.

“But as a government, we are after them,” he said.

The minister said some NGOs were also feeding the international community with wrong information to get funds from donors.

Mohammed reiterated that the two major religions in Nigeria; Islam and Christianity are also collaborating to find solution to the crisis ad bring peace and harmpn.

He gave the example of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC); which is working to foster unity and better understanding between the Christian and Islamic faiths.

The minister solicited support from multilateral organisations and foreign countries in tackling the challenges if insecurity.

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