The All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the reported conversion to Islam of the Christians among the over 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by the Boko Haram terror group four weeks ago, describing the development as totally unacceptable and downright unconstitutional.
In a statement issued in Abuja Tuesday, after an emergency meeting to deliberate on the Boko Haram issue, the party also described as utterly barbaric the action of the girls’ abductors in forcing them to make statements against their personal convictions.
It reminded the abductors that Nigeria is a secular state and that the country’s constitution recognizes the rights of the citizens to any religion of their choice, hence it is patently wrong and unconscionable to force any citizen to convert from one religion to another.
”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,” APC said.
The party urged the government to critically study the latest video by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau to see what other measures can 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,” it said.