Discusses Boko Haram and the cultural imperialism of the West
ROME—In this far reaching, follow-up interview to a story Aleteia brought you in February, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, who serves as Director of Communications for the African Bishops, discusses with Aleteia the latest developments regarding Boko Haram, and his fellow Nigerian bishop’s claim that he had vision of Jesus Christ, who told him the terrorist organization would be defeated through the power of the rosary.
He also offers his perspective on Hillary Clinton’s statement last week that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth”; and calls the US administration’s recent appointment of its first “LGBT” envoy evidence of a growing “dictatorship of the minority”.
Your Excellency, let’s begin close to home. In our conversation in mid-February, you spoke at length about the nature and activities of Boko Haram. At the time, you stated that you wouldn’t be surprised if there would be an attempt made by the terrorists from different parts of the North of Africa and the Arab world — ISIS, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram — to link up, and that this needs to be prevented.
Since then, Boko Haram has in fact pledged allegiance to ISIS. What can you tell us about recent developments in the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria?
It all sounds like prophecy now, but it was quite easy for me to see at the time. Evil tends to find strength in other evil. I was sure that Boko Haram, ISIS, and Al Qaida were going to somehow try to link up resources and strength to do more harm than they’ve been doing, because they’re simply evil. I was wondering why that was so difficult for the powers that pretend to want to help us to see.
What I said in the February interview about the current US administration actually making aids and grants to Africa conditional on our accepting anti-life values seemed absurd to some ears at the time. But this is exactly what has been happening, and I think they are coming out even more in the open now.
I heard it in a radio discussion, and I agreed with it, although it sounded absurd. For some reason, a week after our interview, there were so many reports in the Nigerian newspapers and media that America was actually helping us technically. I don’t know who was behind it.
The hope we have now is that we have had our elections. Thank God, they were largely successful, and we are hoping that the approach will be different.
Six weeks before the elections, the government stepped up activities against Boko Haram. And the bombing and the killing has largely diminished. In many parts of the north of Nigeria where you couldn’t go before, now you can hear a pin drop. People are returning to their homes, and Boko Haram is largely consigned to the borders of Nigeria.
To what do you principally attribute the positive shift?
For one thing, the government that is outgoing needed to win elections, and needed to convince Nigerians that it could do what it had never been able to do for 6 years.
As the elections approached, the government communicated their desire to postpone them by 6 weeks. Of course, this met with great disapproval. One of the reasons the government gave for the postponement was to have time to rout Boko Haram and ensure safe elections.
There followed a massive build up of arms and alleged mercenaries fighting for the purpose. Surprisingly it has been effective. The government managed to do in 6 weeks what it could not do in 6 years.
Secondly, I think that Boko Haram had caught the Nigerian government in bed, so to speak. For many years, the Nigerian army had not been actively engaged in combat. Corruption was a large part of the problem, and so it was an army that had obsolete equipment and undertrained officers. The army itself has admitted this several times. Therefore, it took time to prepare and obtain the necessary equipment.