Terror in Nigeria: “A sad reminder of our collective vulnerability and evidence of a severely weak state”

By Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Sokoto, Nigeria

Matthew Hasan Kukah ist Bischof der Diözese Sokoto in Nigeria. Für ihn ist die Korruption eine der Ursachen für den Terror von Boko Haram. Foto: missio / Bettina Tiburzy

Matthew Hasan Kukah. Foto: missio / Bettina Tiburzy

There is a sense of numbness, helplessness and even some degree of shame at what is happening to our country. On a larger scale what is more disturbing is the sheer scale of the waste of human lives in our country. In one week, we have lost across the country, and outside the immediate area of Boko Haram, over 500 lives. This is troubling because terror is circling around the entire country, people dying from so called Fulani killers who are hunting down entire communities as happened in the last two weeks in Katsina, Kaduna and Zamfara states where in each instance over 150 people lost their lives.

So, the bombing has just come as a sad reminder of our collective vulnerability and evidence of a severely weak state that seems not to have the capacity to get on top of the problem. There is a feeling of total helplessness that the government cannot control the violence, that their welfare is neglected. This is because, the sheer scope of the violence and destruction has gone beyond what the government and its agencies can contain. So, people bury their dead alone, try to rebuild their lives and grief alone. My fear is the long term impact of this bitterness which has no outlets now and what the children now will do when they look back and have feelings of injustice that have been unresolved.

What we face now is beyond what you can call a Boko Haram agenda. Boko Haram was supposed to be trying to set up an Islamic state in Nigeria, but clearly, you cannot do this by killing Muslims and destroying everything in place. Abducting young girls, raping and looting do not fit the agenda of a movement concerned with the purity of an agenda to make Nigeria an Islamic state. It is clear that someone, some people, are determined to destroy Nigeria by all means possible for different reasons. This is where the larger issues of the agendas of the various networks of Islamic militant groups fit into the purview of our any reflection.

As for how these fit into the elections, again, I have spoken publicly and told the politicians that no matter their ambitions, there has to be a country first before they can realise their political ambitions.

Therefore I think we should think more of how to secure the goodwill of the international community to help us end this scourge. There are of course too many good people who are holding offices well beyond their capacity and the President may have appointed them with political considerations, but too many of them are proving incapable of handling the situation we find ourselves in. Again, there is need to insulate the interest of the nation and the well being of citizens from the web of dirty politics and corruption which has become prevalent with too many powerful people seeing security as a cash cow.

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