As the Christian community of Nigeria suffers two large-scale terror attacks in the course of a week, Luca Volontè, Chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, spoke of his outrage at the disregard displayed by Western governments:
“For four years, Boko Haram has conducted a campaign of mass slaughter and wanton destruction. Like a cancer, their reach and influence has been allowed to spread unchecked, the number of innocents dead now ranges in the thousands, the extent of property and communities destroyed incalculable. While European officials rush to Kiev to take undeserved credit for the hard-won liberty of Ukraine’s people, they seemingly ignore the suffering of those in Nigeria.
As has repeatedly been made clear by Nigerian officials, the domestic security and military services lack the expertise to conduct an effective counter-insurgency campaign. As it was in Mali, it is our duty to give our full support to the besieged communities and make available any means that they so require.”
Last week saw Boko Haram (which means “Western education is a sin”) conduct two attacks on predominantly Christian towns – Bama and Igze – the latter of which had only been attacked three weeks previously. With the use of sophisticated military hardware, the Islamist attackers destroyed public buildings, burned Churches and killed over one hundred people in each attack. The savagery and scale of the raids further demonstrates the inability of Nigeria’s security forces to prevent the murderous campaign of Boko Haram, despite a State of Emergency already being in place.
In a statement unlikely to give much solace to the besieged population of Nigeria, US Ambassador James Entwistle pointed the finger to underlying social causes for the rise of Islamist terrorism, including the ‘lack of employment opportunity’ and ‘the education system.’ Luca Volontè retorted:
“Given their expressed desire to enforce an Islamic state upon all, ruled by Sharia Law in its entirety; I doubt that tinkering with the nations’ employment opportunities or the education system is likely to convince Boko Haram to give up its weapons. Rather than blaming a suffering society for the intent of their attackers, it is imperative that all unequivocally reject the agenda of Boko Haram. As we have seen in Sri Lanka, with the right conviction and the necessary means, terror groups can be suppressed and the rule of law restored.”