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Nigeria

Has the government been infiltrated by terrorists?

 In an exclusive interview given to Aid to the Church in Need, a Bishop accuses the authorities in Nigeria of suspected supply of arms to an Islamist terrorist network whom he claims have infiltrated federal and state governments*.

These accusations come on the heels of the April 15 attack outside a village church and situated near Kaduna with inhabitants in the millions.  The assailants, Islamist Fulani herdsmen, killed 12 people — 10 of whom were Catholics. Everything unfolded during an Easter Vigil service.

Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan, Kaduna State, northern Nigeria, said he believed that the government has done little or nothing to stem “a wave of terror” by Islamist Fulani herdsmen against Christians and others, which he estimates, has claimed the lives of 1,000 people within the last year alone.

Describing the Fulani extremists as a “sister organization” to terror group Boko Haram, Bishop Bagobiri stated that, in spite of the many sightings of the Easter Vigil attackers, no arrests have been made. Bishop Bagobiri called the “Fulani Herdsman Terrorists … the third deadliest terrorist organization in the world today.” 

 

The bodies of three victims from the Eastern Vigil attack, prepared for burial.

 “… Mass graves littered all around us”

“Given the sophisticated nature of the weapons used in the [Islamists’] operations, it is suspected that their kin in government and the military are able to supply these arms to them,” said the Bishop. “Fulanis are in charge of customs, immigration and ministry of internal affairs in Nigeria today. Therefore, it is easy to bring dangerous weapons through our borders with no one to prevent this.

“When [the] weapons are discovered,” he continued, “they are often turned over to the police and other security agencies and nothing will be heard about such weapons again.

Of the Christians killed as well as those displaced in Nigeria, he said: “This is exactly what the Fulani jihadists are doing today in southern Kaduna, the middle belt region and now with incursions into both the south-east and south-west of Nigeria. The number of deaths seems to be rising every day with mass graves littered all around us.”

 

Gerrymandering and Electoral Fraud

The bishop noted that the Fulani terrorists’ strategy and resources used in the latest attack included a getaway vehicle and “sophisticated weapons” to kill Christians gathering to pray. In the homily for the funeral mass of some of the victims, he said :  “We can see that there is a well hatched and heavily funded program of systematic elimination.” In his sermon, he called on the government to reverse the Islamists’ alleged gerrymandering which the bishop claims is a vote-rigging policy foisted on the people to exclude Christians.

The funeral for the victims of the April 15 attack.

“The delineation of constituencies and siting of polling units which were arbitrarily and fraudulently carried out in the past to ensure rigging from the source in favour of one section and religion in Kaduna State must be revisited and corrected using both the geographical and numeric data that were ignored.”

“Please find a way to draw the world’s attention to this menace of the Fulani Herdsmen terrorist activities,” he pleaded.

 

Aid to the Church in Need is helping persecuted Christians in Nigeria—supporting the victims of atrocities, providing Mass Offerings for poor and persecuted priests, helping with repairs to church buildings and vehicles for clergy ministering in remote regions.

 

*Nigeria is a federal Republic modeled after the United States.

 

 

By Murcadha O’Flaherty and John Pontifex, ACN International
Adapted by: Amanda Bridget Griffin, Aid to the Church in Need Canada


 

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