Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "The new strategy of Boko Haram terrorists to use innocent children as human bombs is abhorrent and unimaginable" says His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, after the recent attacks perpetrated by three girls who blew themselves up in a crowd, causing the death of a total of 27 people in northern Nigeria.
According to Mgr. Kaigama it is likely that the girls themselves activated the bombs, and not, as assumed by some, were detonated with a remote control.
"These girls were indoctrinated, brainwashed into believing that they will go to heaven by doing these actions. Besides, we have in mind the sad phenomenon of child soldiers in various parts of Africa who are indoctrinated with horrific methods of brainwashing so that they become killing machines".
In this sense we ask Mgr. Kaigama if he considers Boko Haram a sectarian movement. "Yes, it is a sectarian movement, which has nothing to do with the vast majority of Nigerian Muslims, who are good people. I am very happy with the fact that some prominent religious leaders of the Muslim community are distancing themselves from Boko Haram and have condemned their terrible actions, saying that they are contrary to Islamic teachings".
"But we must do more", says Mgr. Kaigama. "I am thinking about the big demonstration which took place in Paris against the killings in France. I hope even here a great demonstration of national unity will take place, to say no to violence and find a solution to the problems plaguing Nigeria".
The advance of Boko Haram in several areas of northern Nigeria has caused the flight of thousands of civilians. We ask Mgr. Kaigama if his archdiocese has welcomed these people. "IDPs are welcomed in different parts of Nigeria, even here in Jos we have several", he says. "During the Christmas period we organized a special collection to meet the needs of these people. Among the displaced there are several priests whose parishes were destroyed. But it is necessary to emphasize that there is no distinction between Christians and Muslims: they all fled because of the violence of Boko Haram also because in many families there are Christians and Muslims who live together peacefully. Those who do not share the ideology of Boko Haram, and many are Muslims, are forced to flee", concluded Mgr. Kaigama. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/01/2015)