President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that he has enlisted Nigeria in the Saudi Arabia led Islamic coalition fighting terrorism. This revelation comes even as reports in the media said that the Nigerian President refused to join the coalition while on his trip to Saudi late February.
Speaking on Al Jazeera in an interview aired on Saturday, March 5, 2016, Buhari said Nigeria has enlisted in the Saudi Arabia Islamic coalition fighting terrorism, clarifying that such step would help the country tackle extremism. “We are part of the Islamic coalition because we have got terrorists in Nigeria, which everybody knows and the terrorists claim to be Islamic,” he said. “So, if there is an Islamic coalition to fight terrorism, we will be part of it because we are casualties of Islamic terrorism.
“Boko Haram has declared loyalty to ISIS and ISIS is based in Islamic countries, and if there is a coalition to fight them why shouldn’t we be part of it, particularly when those fighting the country claim to be Muslims, although what they are doing is against Islam.”
When asked if non-Muslims would not feel that he is attempting to change the religious identity of the country, Buhari said: “Why can’t those Christians that complain fight terrorism in Nigeria or fight the militants in the south? It’s Nigeria that matters, not the opinion of the religious bigots.”
The declaration of the Independent Republic of Biafra in 1967 caused a civil war that resulted in the death of millions and the re-annexation of the republic to Nigeria in 1970.
The administration of President Buhari has always maintained that Nigeria’s unity is a priority for the country and that while peaceful pro-Biafran protests are welcome, demanding the separation of the Biafran territories is against the constitution.
The video of the full interview is below: