AFRICA/NIGERIA - Boko Haram: over 500 Catholics killed and 20 churches and priests houses destroyed since 2009

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - More than 500 Catholics killed and 20 churches and priests houses destroyed. This is the death toll and damage carried out against the Catholic community in the north-east of Nigeria by the Islamist Boko Haram sect, since 2009. The assertion was made by the Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri, Most Rev. Oliver Dashe Doeme.
Mgr. Doeme says that at the root of the actions carried out by Boko Haram, that also kill for religious reasons, there is corruption. "Corruption is the number one problem of the nation – states the Bishop -, the Boko Haram insurgency is a product of corruption. The Federal Government should fight corruption headlong".
"It is sad to see how few people are sitting on billions of naira" (the local currency) added Bishop Doeme. "The youths that are involved in Boko Haram activities could have distanced themselves from it if they were given opportunities".
In an interview in 2011 with Fides Agency, Archbishop Doeme had denounced the connivance of some local politicians with Boko Haram: "The involvement of some politicians in the sect is relevant since its founding. At first it was a group created to defend the interests of certain politicians, then it turned into a violent sect, but political connections have always remained" (see Fides 22/11/2011). The fact that Boko Haram also attacks the local Muslim community is an indication that the sect pursues political objectives, and not only religious. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/03/2014)