Catholic World News

Nigerian bishop charges government collusion with Islamic militants

May 03, 2017

A Nigerian Catholic bishop charges that government officials have been helping to supply weapons for Islamic groups.

Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan—whose diocese is located in the country’s north, where Islamic herdsmen have carried out numerous raids on Christian villages—said that the government has done little to stop the violence, which has claimed over 1,000 lives in the past year. The bishop lodged his complaint after a raid in which 12 people were killed in an attack on an Easter Vigil service near Kaduna. No arrests have been made.

Bishop Bagobiri said that members of the Fulani ethnic group, to which the Islamic militants belong, control Nigeria’s customs and immigration offices. “Therefore it is easy to bring dangerous weapons across our borders,” he said. The sophisticated weapons used by the Fulani herdsmen indicate that they are being supplied from abroad. The bishop said that he feared a “well-hatched and heavily funded program of systematic elimination” against Christians in the region.

Fulani extremists have formed a “sister organization” that in effect works with the Boko Haram terrorist group in a campaign against Christians, Bishop Bagobiri said. He argued that government officials “seem to be more sympathetic to the aggressors and killers than to the vulnerable victims.”

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