Minister Calms Nerve Over Islamic Coalition Membership

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BEVERLY HILLS, March 07, (THEWILL) – Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema has \reassured Nigerians that the nation's membership in the Saudi Arabia led Islamic Coalition against terrorism has no religious undertone.

He said it was a tactical move to completely purge Nigeria of terrorist attacks having been a victim for a long time.

According to the Minister, he said since terrorists hide under the guise of Islamic religion to perpetrate crimes, it was natural for the Islamic countries to show that they were anti-terrorism.

“It has nothing to do with religion as far as Nigeria is concerned. We have to look at what the objective is. We face terror challenges and it's a global phenomenon,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the problem we have today is that some of the terrorists groups are claiming some of the things they are doing is in the name of a particular religion and it is clear to everybody that this is not the case which is obviously a concern to people of Islamic faith and Islamic countries that their religion should be so abused.

“So, there is naturally a tendency to show that this has nothing to do with Islam. Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Islamic countries, Islamic people want to be seen as being in the forefront of the battle against these terrorists to show also that it has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

“That's what this is all about. So, we are supporting every move to achieve this, to disabuse people's minds that some of these terrorists are speaking in the name of Islam or are Islamic or that there's anything about Islamic teaching that somehow condones these barbaric actions.

While encouraging Nigerians to support and embrace the move, he called on the media to help educate the citizens concerning the membership.

“I think it's something we should all get together and we should all support whoever is working towards it. And that's what this coalition is for, to show too that we are a Muslim country, we are Muslims and these people do not speak for islam, have nothing to do with islam.

“Most of the victims of these people are Muslims if you look at it. So, that's what it is. “It has nothing to do with Nigeria, Christianity, Islam. I think the media should really get the main message across,” he said.

Story by David Oputah