The threat posed by Boko Haram to the people of Nigeria was the focus of discussion at last week’s meeting of the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria.
The threat posed by Boko Haram to the people of Nigeria was the focus of discussion at last week’s meeting of the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria. Meeting at the Ibru Centre in Agbarha-Otor, Delta State under the theme of “The 21st God’s Ambassadors in the Anglican Church” the bishops reviewed the toll taken on the church in Northern Nigeria by the extremist Muslim group. On 3 Jan 2015 Boko Haram overran the towns of Baga and Doron Baga in north-eastern Nigeria on Lake Chad. Amnesty International reports that hundreds of people were killed in the attack while satellite photos show the town being destroyed. Amnesty International released aerial photographs of the town, one of Baga taken a day before the attack and the second four days later. “These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days,” Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher Daniel Eyre said. More than 3,700 structures were damaged or completely destroyed: 620 in Baga and more than 3,100 in Doron Baga, Amnesty said. In his address to the House of Bishops, the Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said the church’s first action should be to assist the survivors. The Archbishop of Bendel and Dean of the Church of Nigeria Friday Imaekhai disputed claims by the Obama administration that this was not a religious war. In a statement released by the Church of Nigeria, the archbishop said: “Although people tend to claim that what is going on in the North is not a religious war, everything happening points to that direction where Churches are burnt, people are forced to renounce their faith, Christians are recklessly killed with their families scattered and Islam is being forced on the people as the mode of worship.” He added “it is our prayer that God would lead us through this difficult time and give us credible leaders that will make for stability of the country and also make the rule of law to operate where people have freedom of worship and serve their God in their own way.”