Moves to stop Boko Haram

Government and the Islamic leadership move to stop Boko Haram

Abuja – “The solution is at hand, because the government is working to face the problem of Boko Haram” stated Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, where in the north attacks continue on behalf of the Islamic sect Boko Haram. Yesterday attacks were reported in the cities of Kano and Maiduguri. “The situation has become so embarrassing to the authorities that they must act decisively” underlines Archbishop Onaiyekan. “There is another positive development”, adds the Archbishop, in that “the Muslim leadership in Nigeria has clearly and strongly condemned this group. I believe that the Islamic leaders will endeavour to trace the members of Boko Haram, reporting to the authorities the imams who preach hatred against Christians and towards everything and everyone. We agree that terrorism is no-one’s friend”.

On February 1, the funeral of the victims due to the attacks at the church of Santa Teresa in Madalla (a suburb of Abuja) which occurred at Christmas took place. The Archbishop explained, “In Nigeria there is the custom, which I personally do not like to delay the funeral at times 2-3 months during which bodies are stored in the refrigerator. We had moments of strong emotion when the 21 tombs were excavated, because some of the dead were buried in the villages of origin. The Nuncio, the representatives of the government and various Muslim leaders were present, some of whom entered the church, others according to their customs, waited outside”.

“It was a moment to emphasize the importance of the virtues of Christian forgiveness” says Archbishop Onaiyekan”. “Despite the emotion, perhaps understandable angers, as Christians we have no choice other than the attitude of forgiveness, following the example and the words of Jesus. This is what I emphasized in my homily in which I invited all to pray for the conversion of bombers, people who let themselves be dominated by the spirit of evil, because throwing bombs against innocent children is certainly the work of the devil. We also prayed for the families who are in pain. I was struck by the drama of a poor woman who lost her husband in the attack and three children and is left alone. Our concern is for these situations and the wounded who are still in hospitals, some of whom are maimed ” says the Archbishop. (Agenzia Fides 07/02/2012)