Two Nigerian archbishops have criticized their government’s response to terror attacks by the Islamist group, Boko Haram. The two were reacting to recent terrorist attacks on worshippers, where at least 21 people were killed on Sunday, April 29, 2012, in coordinated attacks targeting Sunday services at a university campus in Kano and a Church of Christ in Nigeria, chapel in Maiduguri.
Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja Archdiocese said, “At first we were ready to be patient with the government when it was saying that this kind of Islamic terrorism is new.”
“It has become clear that we have a weak government that has put together a whole lot of compromises that means that the action that should be taking place is not taking place,” said Archbishop Onaiyekan.
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) added, “The rampant attacks show that government security is not working.”
Archbishop Kaigama further said, “Why the government cannot identify the people involved baffles the imagination. We pay tax money and we have a right to know what is being done about the problem.”
Both Archbishops Kaigama and Onaiyekan denounced the government’s response to the growing threat from Islamist groups, saying Christians were increasingly at risk of attack.
Speaking from Nigeria in interviews with Catholic charity organsaition Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the two bishops said they had lost patience with the government’s efforts to stem the crisis caused by Boko Haram and other militant groups.
Islamist group Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, is said to have killed at least 450 people this year alone in violence targeting not just churches but government and police buildings and markets.
Last month, a Boko Haram spokesman reportedly said the Islamist terrorist group had declared “a war on Christians” aimed at “eradicating” them from parts of the country.