Amid continuing attacks in Nigeria attributed to the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, one of the country's leading bishops has grieved the inability of government authorities to stop the violence.
“Unfortunately, the authorities have so far failed to fulfill their task of ensuring peace and security to Nigerians in every area of the Country,” said Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, president of the Nigerian Episcopal Conference.
He said policymakers and the Nigerian military “have not yet managed to get to the bottom of the problem,” Fides news agency reported Feb. 17.
“Despite the efforts and significant resources invested to combat these fanatical groups, policy makers and the Nigerian military “have not yet managed to get to the bottom of the problem."
His comments followed a Saturday attack on the village of Izghe in the northern state of Borno allegedly committed by a Boko Haram group. Over 100 civilians were killed by several men dressed in military uniform. After the attackers killed the people and raided shops, they fled towards the forest, Fides reports.
On Feb. 19, suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers took part in a major attack in the town of Bama on Nigeria’s northern border, the Nigerian army said. Details about the five-hour attack are scarce because the insurgency has severely affected the phone network, BBC News reports.
Wednesday's attack followed Tuesday remarks from army spokesman Doyin Okupe, who said the army was “on top of the situation.” He said Nigeria is “already winning the war against terror” and the insurgents’ activities will be “terminated within the shortest possible time.”
Archbishop Kaigama, who spoke to Fides before the Wednesday attack, said he was no longer surprised by the massacre because of Boko Haram’s “regular pattern” that is “aimed at terrorizing the population.”
He said Nigeria needs to address “ the root of the problem,” saying he thinks that groups outside Nigeria are offering “sophisticated assistance” to the radical groups.
The governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, has said the insurgents were “better armed and better motivated” than security forces, the BBC reports. He said that without reinforcements the defeat of Boko Haram will be “absolutely impossible.”
Suspected Boko Haram attacks have killed over 245 people in 2014. The group is blamed for several thousand deaths since its insurgency began in 2009