Aleteia | Aid to the Church in Need | Jan. 2, 2020
Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, says the West readily exploits Africa’s mineral resources, but is turning a blind eye to religious persecution and atrocities.
A video released by ISIS West African Province (ISWAP) the day after Christmas showed the apparent beheading on Christmas Day of 10 Christians held hostage by the group. An eleventh man, identified as a Muslim, was shot. “Where is the moral revulsion at this tragedy?” asked Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria.
“This is part of a much wider drama we are living with on a daily basis,” said the bishop told Aid to the Church in Need. He added that it is “very difficult to know why the government has not made progress in dealing with the crisis; 30 people are killed, 59 people are killed—and such incidents only produce a formal condemnation” on the part of the country’s leadership, “but no sense of urgency.” “We move on as if all this is normal,” he added. According to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, Islamist insurgencies have killed more than 36,000 people in Nigeria in the past 10 years, including Boko Haram militants, civilians, and Nigerian military.
ISWAP proclaimed that the killings came in retaliation for the deaths in late October of ISIS leader Abu bakr al-Baghdadi and the group’s spokesperson Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir at the hands of US special forces.
On Christmas Eve, Boko Haram, the Islamist organization from which ISWAP had split off, attacked a village near the town of Chibok in the northeastern state of Borno, killing seven people. It was in Chibok where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in 2014; 112 girls remain in captivity.