Sect kills 9 at Bor
Abdullahi M. Gulloma, Abuja, Sadiq Abubakar, Maiduguri
The Organisation of Islamic Conference has declared that members of Boko Haram are criminals and their activities are un-Islamic.
A delegation from the OIC, which stated this, met with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja yesterday.
Leader of the delegation, Secretary-General of the organisation, Iyad Ameen Madani, told State House reporters after the meeting that they had told the president that the activities of the sect were against the teachings of Islam.
He said: “We are here primarily to listen to His Excellency, his vision about the OIC, on the priorities of the OIC in the years to come.
“We are also here to express our solidarity with Nigeria in facing up to this terrorist organisation and to condemn the terrorist acts they have been committing and to show our condolences to Nigerian people, especially the families of those who have been affected.
“The OIC has already issued statements, and we are very clear that these people are outlaws. What they do is criminal acts that have nothing to do with Islam, Islamic teachings, the religion and history
of Islam, the culture and civilisation of Islam; and we should identify them for what they are – a terrorist group. So, we listened to His Excellency, the president.”
Madani said the OIC was determined to help Nigeria in the fight against insurgencies, adding that the organisation would organise an interfaith dialogue in Nigeria to explain why people of all faiths must live together.
He said the organisation would also help Nigeria alleviate all the social and economic conditions of the areas where terrorists operating.
He said: “We offer anything that the OIC could do in terms of expressing its support and willingness to be actively involved in facing up to this terrorist group. Such crises are always multi-dimensional and there are many possibilities where the OIC could be involved; first, in declaring its position morally. To declare its
position from a religious point of view; the OIC is not a religious organisation. It is a political organisation made up of 57 member-states, with each state represented as a government. Nigeria is a member of the OIC. It
(OIC) has to express its concern about the misuse of Islam. That’s morally and ethically.
“We can also be and we are willing to do that if our brothers here would like us to do that – to organise interfaith dialogue. We feel that there is a lot to be said about the veracity of these claims and to show the many aspects in similarity in living together between not only Christians and Muslims, but between all faiths and convictions.
“There are of course the economic and social aspects to this conflict and similar conflicts. The OIC, through its different organs, could be available on the request of Nigerian government and, in any way it can, to help alleviate the social and economic conditions in any areas where these elements may be breeding.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, said Nigeria had sought the support of the organisation in many areas and was looking forward to the support of the OIC in the area of internal
He said: “This should be a message to every Nigerian that the OIC is a body that is able and willing to come to the aid of its member states.
And I think it is a good start and we will be moving forward. We have already made our request for support in all aspects and the OIC has been doing that in South Africa, Mali, Somalia and other places. As a member of the OIC, Nigeria will certainly look forward to support from the OIC for those that have been internally displaced.”
Meanwhile, at least 13 people were killed in a village church by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state on Sunday, a police source and witnesses said yesterday.
Some gunmen stormed the church at Attagara village in Gwoza local government area and opened fire on worshippers inside the church during Sunday service, killing nine people.
The police source said the attack occurred at about 9.30 a.m.
The village is in the Gwoza hills, near the Cameroon border.
The source added that the community also mobilised themselves and succeeded in killing four of the attackers.
A witness who fled the village, Mr. Adams Samson, told Blueprint in Maiduguri that the suspected Boko Haram insurgents came when Sunday service was going on.
“The attack occurred in the morning at about 9.30 at EYN Church when the service was going on,” he said. “Our church has some men as security group. They usually keep vigilance at the church, especially when service is going on.
“As we were holding service, we started hearing gunshots and everybody fled, some through the windows and ran into the bush. Some whose houses are near the church also ran to their houses. Men in the community immediately mobilised and pursued the Boko Haram men.
“They were more than ten. They came with motorcycles and a car. Our vigilante killed four of the Boko Haram and arrested three.
“I later discovered nine of our men in the church security group were shot dead. I left Attangara village yesterday, Sunday afternoon, slept at Gwoza and got to Maiduguri today Monday.”
An indigene of the area who resides in Maiduguri told reporters in confidence that his relation in Gwoza town who visited the village on Sunday afternoon told him about the incident.
“Nine of our people were killed but the community also killed four Boko Haram while they were attempting to flee. They arrested three,” he said.