Following the threat by the Boko Haram terrorist Islamic sect to attack selected high profile targets in the federal capital on this weekend’s independence anniversary, there have been high security measures in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of the country.
Reacting to the threat, Catholic Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, said: “Life continues normally, at least here in Abuja. Let us not be frightened by these threats or warnings. We will continue our usual life, trusting God that follows our steps. At the same time we hope that the security force does its duty to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Meanwhile, a group in the Niger Delta region in southern Nigeria, the Ijaw Joint Revolutionary Council, issued a statement threatening “retaliation” against Boko Haram if within 14 days the sect does not cease their attacks.
Reacting to the statement, the Archbishop said, “In my opinion, these are statements not to be taken too seriously. Even because they do not know what they intend to do. What does to retaliate against Boko Haram mean? There are many rumors circulating here in Nigeria. It is therefore necessary to discern.”
He also reacted to a report which asks the government to enter into dialogue with the sect. The report was presented on September 26 by a presidential committee in charge of handling the problem concerning Boko Haram.
“There are those who talk of dialogue with members of the sect, but they are a minority. The majority of Nigerians do not think it is possible to talk about dialogue with people who kill innocent people indiscriminately. You cannot talk with killers. One cannot talk about dialogue with criminals and murderers.”
Consequently, a new security alert has gone out to all military, Police and other security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities and not switch off for any moment as the sect appears determined to carry out their threat.