“If Maiduguri falls into the hands of Boko Haram, it would be a disaster for all of Africa.” This is the warning of Fr. Gideon Obasogie, head of social communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, reported Fides.
Because Maiduguri is the state capital and the seat of government, has a high concentration of state population, and is the commercial nerve of the northeast–Fr. Obasogie explained–it presents greater risks.
“If the city falls,” he said, “citizens will be more facile to radicalization and the terrorists will have more conscripts. Maiduguri for Boko Haram would become a strong base and then rumble into Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa.”
“Finally, if Maiduguri falls,” he continued, “the militants would control an airport and a military base with the 7 Div. This is really and truly dangerous for Nigeria, as it is a potential disaster for Africa as a continent.”
So far, the priest explained, the militants have conquered and occupied towns and villages near Maiduguri.
Describing the situation in Maiduguri, he said, “With the recent waves of attacks, there is so much fear and tension in the air.”
“With the February Polls drawing ever close we see all sorts of personalities with well fashioned and designed promises too good to be taken as true; trooping into Maiduguri and the northeast, not to identify with us in our plight but to beg for our votes”.
Fr. Obasogie concluded, saying, “Citizens of Maiduguri as much as possible avoid crowded areas and the polling units would not be an exception, unless people’s security is assured and ensured.”
“If anyone needs our votes, our safety must first be assured.”
Nigerian Bishop Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri has expressed his fears that the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, which is intent on establishing a Caliphate in Northern Nigeria, will conquer the northeast of the country before the end of the nation’s elections, which are to be held in mid-February. In an interview with Fides in late January, the bishop said that while military and civilian militias have held the terrorist group back, it continues attempting to make its way into the city.