AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Boko Haram wants to punish Muslims who rebel against their violence", says a priest from Abuja

Friday, 3 July 2015

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "These terrible attacks against the Muslim community are signs of weakness and not of strength", says Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, Director of Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja, capital of Nigeria, where two violent attacks carried out by Boko Haram in the north east killed 145 people of Muslim faith. The fiercest attack occurred in the village of Kukawa, near Lake Chad. According to witnesses, about fifty men opened fire on the faithful gathered in prayer in a village mosque. 97 died, including women and children.
"The new President, Muhammadu Buhari, a devout Muslim, wants to defeat Boko Haram. Buhari appears more decided than the previous President, who was a Christian, in the fight against Boko Haram", said Fr. Patrick. "The measures taken by the Head of State have put in serious difficulties the Islamist sect. For example the transfer of the command of military operations against Boko Haram from the federal capital, Abuja, to Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, is seen by Boko Haram as a non-acceptable challenge".
"All this - continues the priest - is putting Boko Haram in difficulty, especially since the Muslim community are denouncing the atrocities committed by Islamists".
"Faced with the rebellion of Muslim communities, Boko Haram has decided to punish them, because in their ideology you are either with them or against them. But in the end this is a sign of weakness and not of strength", concludes Fr. Patrick. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/07/2015