Continuing in its tradition of speaking out against the activities of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, the main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday faulted the purported conversion to Islam of the Christians among the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the sect exactly a month ago in Chibok, Borno State.
APC described the development as “totally unacceptable and downright unconstitutional”.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, after an emergency meeting on the Boko Haram menace, the opposition party also described as “utterly barbaric”, the action of the girls’ abductors in forcing them to make statements against their convictions.
It reminded the insurgents that Nigeria is a multi-religious state where the constitution recognizes the rights of citizens to practice any religion of their choice, hence “it is patently wrong and unconscionable to force any citizen to convert from one religion to another”.
APC added: “This whole abduction saga has hit at the very soul of our nation. But just when we felt we had all witnessed the worst atrocity by the primitive and brutal group called Boko Haram, we are confronted with a totally repulsive scene of teenage girls, literally with guns to their heads, being forced to say they have converted to Islam.
“This is appalling, distasteful and unacceptable under any circumstance and we condemn it with all the strength we can muster”.
The party also urged the government to critically examine the latest video by the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau to see what other measures could be added to the ongoing international efforts to find and rescue the girls.
“We have consistently said some form of negotiation cannot and should not be ruled out to pry our nation from the grip of these terrorists and ensure the safety and security of our citizens.
“In this regard, we consider as prudent the government’s reaction that ‘all options are on the table’ to safely reunite our girls with their families”, APC said.