Nigeria has lately experienced unprecedented spates of violence especially in the Northern part of the nation. In March we have seen attacks that have left scores dead and others hospitalized.
Day in day out attacks have been reported and owned up by the Boko Haram militia group- which means Western education is sacrilege – .
This group has wrecked havoc in the country and many are still mourning their loved ones. Attacks have been made in churches, The UN headquarters, and even in police stations. A recent attack saw over 180 people brutally killed.
International reports indicate that the militia group is feeding on ethnic tensions in the North. Reports indicate that over 150 people were killed in co-ordinated attacks which hit police stations, immigration offices, and the local headquarters of the of Nigeria’s secret police leaving corpses lying everywhere.
In recent attacks, gunmen surrounded a police station in Kano and ordered civilians at shops and homes surrounding the station to get off the streets then began shouting “God is great” as they threw locally made bombs into the station. The Police chief was relieved off his duties recently as President Jonathan Goodluck noted that Boko Haram had infiltrated the various sectors in his administration.
This is very sad indeed as the sect’s main focus is not only the Christians in the north but government institutions as well. However, Christians suffer great loss in all these. Concerned parties perceive the sect’s actions as those aimed at introducing Sharia legal System in all the northern states.
In January alone approximately 226 people have been killed by the group which is half the number of those killed in 2011 alone which is estimated to be over 500 people.
The country has a population of approximately 160 million people and it is sad to note that the militia group is working hard to ensure that it implements Shariah law in the troubled North.
As a member of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, (OAIC’s), we need to remember to pray for Nigeria’s churches and OAIC’s in specifically as well as the country’s leadership as they are overwhelmed by the subsequent attacks by the sect and the officials need God’s intervention in order to make appropriate decisions for its citizens and for peace to prevail.
We pray that the church leaders shall be able to take a forefront initiative and urge for dialogue between the group and the government and that the once peaceful country shall return to its peaceful past.
As we remember our brother and sisters in Nigeria, we should also remember the families of all those who have been hard hit and to the citizens at large to be tolerant of everyone regardless of their religion affiliation as we are all one people before God. That calm and peace shall prevail in Nigeria.
Let’s pray for Nigeria.
By: Fiona Imbali, OAIC Communications