President Goodluck Jonathan says unfolding events in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have confirmed his belief that religion is not the cause of the insurgencies in the country.
Jonathan, who stated this on Thursday during the opening session of a meeting with the Honorary International Investor Council led by Baroness Lynda Chalker at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also attributed the insecurity in the country to the activities of “internationally-backed terror groups”.
He said, “The issue of security is quite worrisome. We are trying our best. You are aware of the declaration of state of emergency in three of the northern states. From that time till now, the situation has improved.
“The positive aspect of that is that the civilian population is now working with us with young men within the areas volunteering information about these criminals.
“Initially, people thought the insurgency is about religious issues but the pattern of attacks shows clearly that it has nothing to do with religion. Just as there are threats to churches, so also are threats to mosques.
“They attack everywhere, killing Muslims and Christians. Even more Muslims have died in the conflict than Christians have. So the groups, whether political or whatever interest have external influence, considering the issues of Al Qaeda.
“Basically, it goes beyond religious issues. They are terrorists that have decided to destabilise the country for some reasons, sometimes it could be western influence, governance issue and so on. They are terror groups that are not representing any religion.”
Chalker challenged the government to take pro-active actions to address the problem of oil theft, which she said was diminishing the nation’s income.
Jonathan, who assured investors of an investment-friendly environment, noted that his administration was winning the war against terrorism.