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Nigerian Archbishop Criticizes Governments Lack of Action

ICC Note:

A Nigerian Archbishop stated that the government of Nigeria has failed to provide security for Christians in Nigeria's "Middle Belt" region. Boko Haram, an Islamic Extremist group, has perpertrated numerous acts of violence against Christians and in this year alone has killed more that 1,400 people. Christians of Nigeria's Middle Belt are not completely demoralized. t

09/28/2012 Nigeria (IndependentCatholicNews) - The government in Nigeria has failed “to get on top of the security situation”, according to the leader of the country’s Catholics, who has issued a strongly worded criticism of the regime following the latest deadly attack on Sunday churchgoers.

Commenting on Sunday’s bomb blast which left three people dead and more than 40 injured, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos criticised President Goodluck Jonathan’s regime of ineffective intelligence gathering and a failure to root out the perpetrators.

In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Kaigama said that, despite the attack outside St John’s Catholic Cathedral, in the northern city of Bauchi, the Christian faithful would not be deterred from practising their religion.

In the second attack against Christians in Bauchi within a week, the dead included a boy, a young woman and the suicide bomber who reportedly rammed his car into a security barrier outside the cathedral.

Nobody has yet admitted responsibility for the attack but Archbishop Kaigama described it as “typical” of Islamist group Boko Haram who since 2010 has reportedly killed 1,400 people in attacks on churches, government and security buildings, and markets.

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Archbishop Kaigama, who is president of Nigeria’s Catholic bishops’ conference, added: “The government and the security services do not seem to be able to find out who is responsible for these attacks. I do not feel that they have got to the root of the matter.”

“Unless the individuals are identified, we will continue to go round in circles and the violence will occur again and again. The government is not on top of the security situation.”

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“People cannot assemble freely. Until people can gather freely, it will be very difficult to see a way forward.”   But the archbishop said the Christian faithful refused to be cowed by the militants, adding: “There is anger; there is fear and anxiety – everything – a real mixture of emotions.

“People somehow have become much stronger. If there is any event in that cathedral over the coming days, you can be sure that it will be full. No matter what, the people will not give into Boko Haram and other extremists. They have a courage and a determination to go back to church regardless of the dangers.”

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