AFRICA/NIGERIA - There are 25 cities in the hands of Boko Haram: the complaint of the Bishop of Maiduguri

Friday, 19 September 2014

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Boko Haram has taken control of 25 cities in the north-eastern part of Nigeria: said His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, Borno State capital. Msg. Doeme, who was forced to flee along with thousands of faithful in the parish of Santa Teresa in Yola, Adamawa State (see Fides 15/09/2014), outlined the discouraging situation during the meeting of the Episcopal Conference in Warri, in the Niger Delta due to the action carried out by Boko Haram.
In a statement of which a copy was sent to Fides Agency, the Bishop of Maiduguri (whose diocese includes the states of Borno, Yobe and some areas of Adamawa, where the actions committed by Boko Haram are more intense) said that the devastation carried out by the Islamist sect last month may be comparable to those committed by ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
"Thousands of people are living in caves on the mountains, in the forest; the few who were able to escape are being assisted by friends in Maiduguri, Mubi and Yola. Thousands have managed to escape into Cameroon and are living under a very difficult condition".
Mgr. Doeme underlines the sophisticated weaponry the Islamist group have been using in recent months (armored tanks and APC, rocket launchers, anti aircraft and anti-tank destroyers, Sub-machine guns, new and latest guns), while he accuses the regular military of being "aloof" in front of the threat posed by the sect .
The Bishop finally notes that although the violence of Boko Haram hits both Christians and Muslims, "there is still a religious under-tone to this whole mess (...). We may be silent and unable to speak up or speak out now against the plan to Islamise the North East and eventually, Nigeria. But what we are witnessing in Northern Adamawa, is a clear confirmation and the unfolding of this agenda", concluded Mgr. Doeme.
The army said in recent days that they have inflicted heavy losses on Boko Haram, to the point that, according to the authorities, the Islamist sect is apparently planning a series of attacks in other Nigerian States to divert attention from the losses suffered in the north-east. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/09/2014)