Confronting Boko Haram

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, but the West African nation still struggles with poverty, widespread corruption and recurring ethnic and sectarian violence. Asked about the threat posed by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto in northern Nigeria, said that both the Western and local Nigerian media put “too much emphasis” on the sectarian aspect of the violence. At the same time, he said, the Nigerian government is using the wrong approach in efforts to resolve the confrontation with Boko Haram. “The Nigerian political class,” he said, “has hidden its incompetence by simply presenting the problem as a law and order issue. It’s not.” By calling out the military, “the government is diminishing democracy” in Nigeria and ignoring the need for dialogue to end the conflict. According to Bishop Kukah, ordinary Nigerians “are actually suffering more from the military than from Boko Haram.... It’s become like an army of occupation.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Death-row inmate Ledell Lee. A ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says was misleadingly obtained cleared the way for Arkansas to execute Ledell Lee on Thursday, April 20, 2017, although he still had pending requests for reprieve. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)
To take Holy Communion in the face of death is to say that it is fellowship, and not food, that matters most.
Terrance KleinApril 26, 2017
A man rides a bicycle past a billboard with an image of Pope Francis April 26 ahead of the pontiff's April 28-29 visit to Cairo. (CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)
“Peace be with you” was the message of the Risen Jesus to his disciples on the first Easter, and it is the message Francis will bring to the Muslim and Christian communities in this land.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 26, 2017
Pope Francis is presented with a football helmet by Michigan football team coach Jim Harbaugh during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
Coach Jim Harbaugh presented a custom Wolverines helmet and a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers to Pope Francis.
Michael J. O'LoughlinApril 26, 2017
The 'Hamlet'-inspired play made the playwright Tom Stoppard an overnight sensation.
David StewartApril 26, 2017