Militant Islamic Group Suspected of Attack on University in Nigeria
President of Nigerian Bishops Conference Urges Government to Act
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JOS, Nigeria, OCT. 8, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Nigerian Bishops Conference condemned the October 2nd attack on students at the University of Mubi in Northeastern Nigeria.
In an interview with Agenzia Fides, Archbishop Kaigama said that while authorities have not confirmed the perpetrators, he believes that "it seems to have been perpetrated by Boko Haram members, because it is similar to other acts committed by them recently."
Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group in Nigeria, is suspected to be behind several attacks against Christians and Muslim holy sites. Most recently, the group was behind an attack in St. John's Catholic Cathedral where a suicide bomber attacked faithful leaving Sunday mass. Since 2010, the militant Islamic group has claimed the lives of over 1,400 people in attacks on churches, mosques, government and security buildings, and markets. Last week's attack claimed the lives of 40 students and is the third such attack in less than a month.
The Nigerian prelate criticized the groups actions against the people of Nigeria, both Christians and Muslims. "Boko Haram is a criminal sect separated from the rest of Islam," he said. "Its members are criminals who make no distinction between Christians and Muslims. The reasons for their violence go beyond religion."
"Our security services must find out what is behind the Boko Haram attacks," he continued saying. "I wonder if there is a political force with its strategy behind all this. But it is not my job to find out. I am a religious leader, it is not my job, it is up to the government and security forces. "
Archbishop Kaigama has been critical of the government's insufficient response to the attacks and has called on the government to increase security measures in the country. Two days after the University massacre, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan announced a new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.
Commenting on President Jonathan's announcement, the president of the Nigerian Bishops Conference said it was time for the President to act. "It can be a way to respond to the situation, because the population gets angrier and angrier by the day due to the massacre of innocent people killed for no reason," he said to Agenzia Fides.