AFRICA/NIGERIA – “Boko Haram has escaped even its Nigerian sponsors and risks becoming an international threat for the whole of West Africa” Fides learned from Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, Social Communications Officer of the Abuja archdiocese, commenting recent revelations by Stephen Davis, the Australian negotiator who for some months has sought by means of talks to free the group of some 200 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by the Islamic sect last April at a school in Chibok (north east Nigeria).
“In general, revelations by the Australian negotiator are reliable – says Fr. Patrick -. Even President Goodluck Jonathan had said there were Boko Haram infiltrators in his government and three years ago a Nigerian senator was named as a possible sponsor of Boko Haram. However there were never serious investigations to ascertain whether or not the accusations against the senator were founded”.
“What emerges now from the press– the priest continued – is that it is not so much the opposition but certain politicians of the president’s own party who are financing Boko Haram to give the impression that the head of state is unable to guarantee the safety of the people. This is because Jonathan is a Christian from the south and his inside opposition Muslims from the north, do not want him to run again in presidential elections in 2015”.
In Nigeria there is in fact a sort of informal alternating between Christians and Muslims for the highest national positions. According to his opponents within his own party, Jonathan, having taken over from President Umaru Yar’Adua (of whom he was Vice President) until his death 2009 and then won in the elections of 2011, would have no right to occupy the same position in 2015, because it is the turn of a Muslim.
“The greatest concern is that even if the Muslims were to win the elections, not even they would have control over Boko Haram, because it has become an international organisation connected with other Jihadist movements, including the Somalian Al Shabaab and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” Fr Patrick remarks. “Boko Haram has proclaimed a caliphate in the area under its control in the north of Nigeria and I doubt they would abandon it because a Muslim has become the President of Nigeria. What was just a small fire in the north of Nigeria threatens to become an enormous blaze in the very heart of Africa” concludes the priest. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 10/9/2014)