Terrorism Africa News
Tension between Christians and Muslims has been rising in Nigeria throughout 2011 due to the increasing number of attacks on civilian targets and security instillations by Boko Haram, the most active terrorist group on the planet. Yet the tension is at a new peak after the Christmas day bombings that included churches and worshipers that left scores dead on one of the holiest days for Christians.
In claiming credit for the bombings, Boko Haram spokesman Abul-Qaqa said, “By the grace of God, we are responsible for all the attacks.” That God endorsed and empowered the attackers was an extremely offense claim to Christians in Nigeria.
The Christmas day bombings are worrying to Nigerians because it seems that the terrorists are bent on igniting a sectarian civil war in Africa’s most populous country (160 million) which is almost evenly divided in their loyalty to Christianity and Islam.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who is the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has accused Boko Haram of having “a grand design to Islamise the nation.” He said that Christian leaders would gather soon to discuss the issue. “I don’t care what name you call it but definitely we cannot continue like this. Every day, I receive calls from pastors who are daily being denied their inalienable rights to worship their God and somebody will pacify me that the Nigerian problem is political and not religious.”
Saidu Dogo, Secretary General for the CAN in Nigeria’s 19 northern provinces challenged on Muslim leaders in the north to reign in their flocks, stating that “Christians will be forced to defend themselves against further attacks.”
Dogo elaborated further that, “We fear that the situation may degenerate to a religious war and Nigeria may not be able to survive one. Once again, ‘enough is enough! We shall henceforth in the midst of these provocations and wanton destruction of innocent lives and property be compelled to make our own efforts and arrangements to protect the lives of innocent Christians and peace-loving citizens of this country.”
There is no doubt that tension is reaching new levels. The solution to the crisis caused by the violence is not clear. Each time the security forces take aggressive military measures against Boko Haram, the terrorist seem to gain more strength and determination and strike more savagely.