A Nigerian bishop fears that the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram will conquer the northeast of the country before the end of elections.
In an interview with Fides, Bishop Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri said that while military and civilian militias have held them back, the terrorist group continues to make their way into the city.
“Boko Haram tried to enter Maiduguri twice last weekend: the first time on Friday 23 and the second yesterday, Sunday 25 January”, he said.
“The fights were very intense. Boko Haram has lost several men. At the moment the situation in Maiduguri appears calm.”
Although Bishop Doeme is on a pastoral visit in Damaturu, a territory within his diocese, he is receiving updates on the situation in Maiduguri, which is the capital of Borno state. The Nigerian prelate says that the situation, while calm at the moment is “very dangerous and difficult.”
“We risk seeing Boko Haram conquer the entire north-east before the end of the election, unless foreign troops intervene”, Bishop Doeme said. Elections are set to be held in mid-February in the country.
“The situation is very complex and the first victims are innocent civilians”, Bishop Doeme concluded. According to Fides, the Bishop also implied the existence of accomplices within the Nigerian army who “favor the advance of Boko Haram for political reasons.”