23 May 2014

Release

We make a grave mistake if we ignore the religious dimension to Boko Haram’s political agenda, says Release International – after yesterday’s bomb attacks on the commercial centre of Jos, central Plateau state, Nigeria. 

Release International Chief Executive Paul Robinson said today: 

‘Our partner, Mark Lipdo of Stefanos Foundation, is at the bomb site today and he tells me that this attack bears all the hallmarks of Boko Haram. The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has clearly stated they are waging a “religious war”.

‘This assault on Jos is clearly an attempt to reignite religious tensions in an area which has witnessed violence in the past, particularly in 2001. This proves beyond doubt that there is a religious dimension to this insurgency that the mainstream media often seem to skate over.

‘It is also a chilling reminder of the fact that the bloodshed is not confined to the north of the country, and is in fact spreading ever-further south. Our partner, Mark, believes Boko Haram’s aim is to make Nigeria ungovernable.

‘Despite heightened security, Jos remains at risk. Mark said that a man with explosives strapped to his body who was arrested on Saturday told police he was one of “many dispatched to detonate bombs in churches and public places around Jos”. Jos – and Nigeria as a whole – really needs our prayers right now.’

Source: Release International