AFRICA/NIGERIA-The Bishops ask President Jonathan vigorous action to stop the Boko Haram sect

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has ruled out the imposition of a state of emergency in the State of Borno, shocked by the violence of the Boko Haram sect. The Nigerian Head of State stressed that normality is gradually returning to the north-east State and that therefore the imposition of emergency measures is not necessary. Previously, the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria had launched an appeal to the President, as he is the maximum authority of State security, to undertake energetic action against the Boko Haram sect. In a statement signed by Fr Peter Okonkwo, Assistant Secretary of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, the Bishops urged the President to act before the violence of the sect causes a real interfaith crisis. The Bishops emphasize that the attacks on behalf of the Haram Boko sect are part of a clear attempt to destabilize the country, by exploiting religion. Meanwhile, divisions have emerged within the Boko Haram, with the establishment of a faction, Yusufiyya Islamic Movement, which has condemned the indiscriminate attacks against civilians. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/07/2011)