Of course, its understandable that Boko Haram feels little threatened by the Nigerian president given the response to Boko Haram’s suicide car bombing of UN headquarters in June in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja, an attack which killed 24 people and left another 116 wounded.
That attack led the Nigerian government to establish a presidential committee which called for establishing dialogue with Boko Haram as the means by which to deal with the terror group. Not surprisingly, that peace overture was rejected by Boko Haram, which chose instead to utilize the intervening time to coordinate a series of suicide bombings and assassinations across Nigeria.
Yet, Boko Haram isn’t the only ones questioning the resolve of the Nigerian government. International Christian Concern’s Jonathan Racho declared that “The Nigerian government has utterly failed to protect its citizens from attacks by Islamists and the deliberate targeting and killing of Christians.”
Mohammed Majeed Ali, a police chief from Bauchi, took that same view when he recently said, “I want to make it categorically clear that enough is enough…despite the fact that the Christian community has constantly remained peaceful, it has become a target for these extremist Muslims even when there is peace.”
Yet, while Boko Haram may publicly stake claim for most of the killings of Nigeria’s Christians, its actions have certainly found support among other Muslim Nigerians. Specifically, accusations have swirled that Boko Haram has been aided in some circumstances by Muslim soldiers in the Nigerian army.
In one such incident in August 2011 in Plateau state, Islamists killed nine members of one Christian family and whose lone surviving family member claimed, “I can swear to God Almighty that the attack was carried out with the support of the soldiers; I saw them.”
That view was apparently confirmed by Plateau’s Governor Jonah Jang who called for the immediate withdrawal of the Nigerian army because he believed Muslims in the army “have started taking sides in this religious crisis, and if they are not called to order it will be dangerous for the country.”
That danger was on full display in Plateau the following month when Muslims reportedly aided by men in Nigerian army uniforms butchered to death eight members of a Christian family in the village of Tatu; seven Christians in the village of Zakalio; ten Christians in the village of Tsohon Foron; and 14 Christians, including pregnant women, in the village of Vwang Kogot.
Unfortunately, the brutal trend continued in October in the town of Yelwa in Bauchi state when Muslim soldiers reportedly shot and killed a Christian mother of five after they had been called in to restore order after Muslims had attacked Christian residents and set their homes on fire. According to the dead woman’s husband, the soldiers broke into his home and “shot my wife twice in the chest.”
While the intent of these murderous actions by Boko Haram and its fervent Muslim adherents seem so awfully clear, to others they still remain a mystery. That view was perhaps best expressed by a Christian survivor of Damaturu who pleaded, “I don’t think I have offended anybody to suffer this. I am appealing to Boko Haram to consider the joy and happiness of living together as one.”
Tragically, as events continue to dictate, Boko Haram’s happiness can only be achieved by viciously eradicating a Christian presence in Nigeria.
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