AFRICA/NIGERIA - "The liberation of the girls in Chibok is an important sign", said Cardinal Onaiyekan

Friday, 20 May 2016 armed groups   bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "The question we must ask ourselves is: they were abducted two years ago, why haven’t we found them yet?" asks Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, to Agenzia Fides, commenting on the recent release of two of the 219 girls kidnapped on the night of April 14, 2014 in their school in Chibok in northern Nigeria by the Islamist Boko Haram sect.
"We know that several hundred women and children abducted by Boko Haram have been released in recent months thanks to the operations conducted by the army" said the Cardinal. "But the girls of Chibok have a special value, due to the mobilization of the international media in their favor, therefore it seems that Boko Haram hides them more carefully compared to other abductees. So if we begin to find the girls it is a sign that finally the organization of Boko Haram is collapsing", said the Cardinal, who says he is "concerned about the health of these poor girls who have suffered profound violence. The Boko Haram men are indeed rewarded by their organization not with money but with the girls abducted by them".
Despite the commitment of military forces in hunting Boko Haram, the general security situation in Nigeria is still a concern. Even Cardinal Onaiyekan was recently involved in a road ambush attributed to Fulani herdsmen (see Fides 02/05/2016). "I cannot tell if they were Fulani herdsmen who shot my car", says the Cardinal. "It was definitely a road ambush as there are unfortunately many in Nigeria. The violence of the Fulani herdsmen is a problem that must be resolved by seeking the interest of everyone, but it is the situation of general insecurity which the country lives that is more worrisome", concludes the Cardinal. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/05/2016)