Abuja/Aleteia (Aleteia.org/ar) – Monsignor Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State located in northern Nigeria, told Fides News, “Boko Haram attempted to infiltrate Maiduguri on two separate occasions at the end of the week. The first time was Friday the 23rd and again on Sunday the 25th of January.” It is worth noting that Boko Haram militants attempted to infiltrate the area after they had already taken control of other cities in the northeast portion of the country.
Bishop Doeme continued by stating, “Boko Haram militants were repelled by the army and civil militia, who are in charge of defending the city where extremely intense fighting occurred. Boko Haram lost a number of men. At the moment the situation appears to have calmed down in Maiduguri.” He went on to confirm that he is currently engaged in a pastoral visit in Damaturu, capital city of Yobe State, which is located within the territory of his diocese. His aides remained behind to fully take care of the situation in Maiduguri.
“We are finding ourselves in a very precarious and difficult time,” the Bishop continued. He added, “We are at risk of Boko Haram completely overwhelming the northeast before the end of the elections unless foreign forces intervene.” The election to which he is referring is the presidential elections which will take place in mid-February. Military operations in coordination with neighboring countries will be launched against Boko Haram, after the latest raids by Nigerian extremists in Cameroon and the capture of an international forces base in Baga on the shores of Lake Chad. “The situation is very complicated, and the first casualties are always innocent civilians,” the Bishop of Maiduguri concluded. In a final note, he indicated that there are some Boko Haram “saboteurs” and collaborators within the Nigerian army who prefer Boko Haram for political reasons.
Translated from the Arabic edition of Aleteia by Donald Puhlman.