Agenzia Fides REPORT - "We are very happy that the Pope has Nigeria in mind and prays for the peaceful coexistence of the people in Nigeria. We are very reassured by his words, for which we thank him", says to Fides Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos, in Nigeria, where in past days in several attacks carried out by the Boko Haram sect in the states of Yobe and Borno (northeast) about 150 people died. Yesterday, Sunday, November 6, after the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI had launched an appeal inviting "to put an end to all violence, that does not solve the problems, but increases them, sowing hatred and division even among believers".
"We think that the intervention of Pope Benedict XVI is to urge the Nigerian authorities to urgently do something to stop this worrying situation", says Archbishop Kaigama. "It is not just to send more police to hot spots, there is need for more intelligence information and sharing of this information. There are people who kill other people and this happens all the time. But there is no intelligence service that will tell us who these people are, how they are organized and where they come from, Nigeria or from outside. There must be a system that controls this situation and only the government can accomplish it".
When asked if there is a plan to divide Nigeria, the Archbishop replied: "Yes, there are people who think that dividing Nigeria in Muslim in the north and Christian in the south there will be peace. But a similar project will only multiply the problems, because there are both Muslims and Christians in the north and south. The solution therefore is not to divide the country, but find ways to live together in peace and go to the root of problems: economic, social and youth unemployment, which is forcing many young in the arms of fanatic political leaders. If we can solve these problems, we could live in harmony alongside each other".
About the possibility that there may be foreign elements infiltrated among the violent, Archbishop Kaigama told Fides: "I have collected the testimony of a priest from Damataru, where several churches have been destroyed, which states that those who carried out the attacks using high explosives, were not locals, they were probably foreigners. So it is likely that there are foreign connections. Surely there are internal responsibilities, but foreign conspiracies also begin to appear. This is why I repeat that the authorities have to say who these groups are, how they get the bombs and explosives, how they can be so organized as to cause maximum damage to people without our security forces intervening".
Even the flow of arms and explosives from the Libyan arsenals, looted during the civil war, may pose a threat to Nigeria. "As religious leaders, we appeal to the Nigerian authorities for tighter controls along the borders, at ports and airports of the Country, so that no weapons come from outside", concludes the Archbishop of Jos. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/11/2011)