AFRICA/NIGERIA - "I am skeptical about the imposition of a State of emergency," said Mgr. Kaigama

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "I do not know if this measure will lead to a reduction in criminal activities and achieve greater security," says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, commenting on the decision taken by President Goodluck Jonathan to impose a State of emergency in three States in the north-east of Nigeria (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa), where the Islamist sect Boko Haram is more active.
"I am in retreat with the other Bishops of Nigeria in Abuja and last night we took the imposition of the State of emergency and we still need to know all the details of this initiative," says Mgr. Kaigama, but does not hide his skepticism. "I am skeptical - says the Archbishop - because already in the past in some States of our Federation, including the state of Plateau (of which Jos is the capital, ed.) a State of emergency had been declared, but did not obtain the expected results. On the contrary, during the imposition of a State of emergency, violence has increased."
President Jonathan’s declaration argues that the imposition of a State of emergency is necessary to deal with "terrorist activities and the ongoing security challenges in several States." In addition to the three states where a State of emergency has been imposed, the declaration cites those of Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau, Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa. In this last State (in central Nigeria), according to the Nigerian Tribune, 270 people have died in clashes between security forces and members of the sect Ombatse, which presents itself as a movement whose mission is to cleanse the society of some bad habits, and in particular alcoholism and adultery. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/05/2013)