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Bishop Oliver Doeme, Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese


“The West should bring in security – land forces to contain and beat back Boko Haram. A concerted military campaign is needed. Most of the territories in the Diocese of Maiduguri are now controlled by Boko Haram.

The group has destroyed 50 Churches, and many more churches have been deserted. Of the diocese’s 46 priests, 20 have been displaced, many to the neighboring Yola diocese. The January 7 razing of Baga revealed the Nigerian military’s ineptitude. Senior officers who failed to do their job properly should be sacked as a lesson to the others.

Among the soldiers, there were sympathizers with Boko Haram – some of them were even Boko Haram members and many of them just ran away.

The threat we face presents a very bleak future for the Church. Many of our members are scattered and others have been killed. In some areas there are no Christians any more. But the Church belongs to Christ. The Church will remain strong and many of our people have returned after their land has been taken back by the Nigerian soldiers.

The most important thing is to pray for our people. I know people are praying for us and I am very grateful. I want people to pray the Hail Mary. Our mother Mary has been championing our cause. We have a lot of devotion to the Blessed Virgin”.


Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference


“The situation is very dangerous and very disturbing, because once they capture Maiduguri…then you can be sure that all of the areas around will easily fall to them. …military intervention, not diplomatic, is needed, because we are dealing with a group that has lost all rationality and kills people at will… whether they are Christians or Muslims, they kill them indiscriminately, …dialogue cannot happen in such circumstances.

When we lack political unity, religious unity, ethnic unity, then it is easier for Boko Haram to penetrate and achieve the kind of negative results they are achieving …the solidarity seen in France after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, which killed 17, is what is needed in Nigeria.

To go beyond politics, beyond our narrow religious confines, beyond our narrow ethnic groups and really uphold the common good and speak out against evil, against terrorism, against inhumanity and be together as one people. This is what we desire now”.

Image Credit: Washingtonpost

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