Boko Haram suspects
By Paul Obi
As Nigeria confronts the terror campaign by the Islamic extremist sect, Boko Haram, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Church in the world, Very Rev. Ron Williams, last week described the group’s attacks in the country as “disturbing”.
In a letter to the Nigerian church, the Archbishop observed that the incessant cases of terrorism carried out by the sect portended great danger to Nigeria and the world, as Nigeria is a prominent member of the comity of nations.
The letter, which was delivered by a member of the British House of Lords and Bishop of Durman, Rt. Rev. Justin Webly, who was in Nigeria to condole with Nigerian Christians, read thus: “The news of the ongoing attacks by Boko Haram continues to be very disturbing. We have heard from the Bishop of Damaturu via the Bishop of Herefold how many Christians have fled the city in fear of their lives. We are continuing to raise these issues with the government here in the UK and support the position of those who are living in fear of the ongoing violence.”
According to the Archbishop, the people and government of the United Kingdom will continue to be on the side of Nigerians, both on the Boko Haram attacks and the fuel crisis.
While welcoming the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emissary, the Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, stressed that Nigerians were not ready for any strife on religious lines. “Christians and Muslims are very ready to live together,” he said. Okoh said it was the hope of many Nigerians that the recent attacks by Boko Haram sect would be the last.
“It's our belief that it will not go beyond that, as the church is facing serious temptation. The church does not initiate confrontation; all along, we have tried to turn the other cheek. People at this moment, with the continuation of Boko Haram attacks, are seriously being tempted to find a solution in order to ensure their safety.”
While handing a note of warning on further attacks, Okoh said: "For now, people are being restrained by the Spirit of God. We are appealing to leaders who can reach the Boko Haram sect to dissuade them from reaching the trajectory they are traveling; they should leave the church alone.
“To use the church to settle scores with the government is certainly what I cannot tell you what would come out from it.”
On the national strike and the oil subsidy removal crisis, Okoh said though subsidy was a crucial issue, dwelling too much on oil subsidy would distract governance in the country.
In his view, “Subsidy problem is distracting government from the real issues of security. Security is the number one issue, it can decide whether Nigeria will move forward or not.”