Following the attack on the Nyanya Bus Park by the Boko Haram sect on April 14 and the abduction of school girls from the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, an inter-faith group of Muslims and Christians, Inter-Faith Activity and Partnership for Peace (IFAPP), has called on the terrorist sect to desist from hurting innocent civilians.
"We wholeheartedly condemn this senseless act of brigandage which according to provisional figures released by the Minister of Health left in its wake 236 victims and 72 deaths without including those whose bodies were completely dismembered.
“We strongly urge Boko Haram and its supporters, financiers and sympathisers) to put an immediate stop to all attacks on defenceless and innocent Nigerians as such actions cannot produce any positive outcomes or lead to the resolution of any of their grievances."
In the press statement signed by the conveners, Mallam Nuruddeen Lemu and Reverend Father George Ehusani, the IFAPP, with focus as a national platform for interfaith dialogue among Muslim and Christian clerics and leaders for the fostering of peaceful co-existence and development in Nigeria, condemned "in the strongest possible manner" activities of the sect.
"We also condemn in the strongest possible manner the attacks on Government Girls’ Secondary Schools in Borno and Bauchi States in the past week. These brazen attacks on the girl child and enslavement of our daughters must be put to a stop. We find it inexplicable that citizens of this country can be under such frequent attacks by gangs of terrorists freely moving about and sustaining their evil operations for hours without being intercepted by our security forces. The federal government must more effectively protect the lives of all Nigerians as is her fundamental responsibility."
The group also chided the federal government as not doing much.
“This latest act of mass murder clearly shows that the Nigerian government is not doing enough to protect public places where large numbers of ordinary Nigerians routinely gather.”
According to the group, the persistence of this high level of insecurity is likely to lead ordinary Nigerians to take matters into their own hands, "through acts of vigilante and jungle justice which would further worsen the state of intergroup relations and tension in the land."
While pledging to continue to work hard at both national and sub-national levels for the peaceful coexistence of religious groups in Nigeria, IFAPP called on the federal government and security agencies to not only investigate the incident and make those responsible "especially their sponsors" made to face the law but to take more effective measures to prevent them.
"The current situation in which a hugely disproportionate percentage of the security forces are deployed to protect the few members of the political and business elite while the security needs of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians are left unattended to is patently callous, unjust, and ultimately a threat to the peace and safety of everyone including the governing elite," the statement read part.