Nigeria and attack on Christian church leads to 19 dead: If Boko Haram then much to fear? By Omar Abdullah Ismail and Lee Jay Walker

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Reports are still coming out of Nigeria that at least 19 Christians have been killed in central Nigeria. It is known that the dead includes a Christian pastor who was brutally murdered along with his flock. At the moment speculation is being put on the Islamist organization called Boko Haram but it is still too early to say.
According to latest reports it is known that many individuals with Kalashnikov rifles attacked the Deeper Life Church which is located in Kogi state. By Tuesday morning Nigerian soldiers and local police officers had surrounded the church. However, it appears that the people responsible had fled long before the army and local police officers had arrived on the scene.
In recent years the rise of Boko Haram is extremely alarming because this radical Islamist group is intent on creating an Islamic Sharia state in Nigeria. What is worrying people in Nigeria is that if Boko Haram did commit this massacre, and it must be stated that this is still unconfirmed, then clearly Nigeria must brace itself for major convulsions. After all, this attack is far away from the stronghold of Boko Haram despite members of this group being linked to this area of Nigeria.
Therefore, the government of Nigeria is waiting anxiously because central forces are already being stretched by Boko Haram in parts of northern Nigeria. Also, while many Christian leaders have called for calm and to build bridges with mainstream Islamic leaders in Nigeria, it is clear that sooner or later a counter-organization will emerge if this bloodletting continues. After all, it is clear that Boko Haram can easily kill Christians and Muslims at random in parts of northern Nigeria – but if this also applies to other areas of Nigeria, then clearly the central government is being undermined.
It is still unknown if the death toll will rise dramatically and the same applies to how many people have been injured. Yet clearly this brutal attack was carried out by several assailants against innocent Christians who were just praying at church.
Earlier in April the security forces of Nigeria did raid a factory in the same state after suspicions were raised that this was a bomb-making factory. Therefore, Nigerian security forces raided the building and killed nine militants who allegedly belonged to Boko Haram. This attack and a Boko Haram raid against a jail in the same state in February to free fellow members of this terrorist organization, does seem to link the latest Christian church massacre to this Islamist organization.
The current Obama administration in America doesn’t want to label this organization as a whole therefore it isn’t classified under the label of being “a terrorist organization.” According to Washington the Boko Haram is focused solely on Nigeria and that their powerbase is because of poverty in northern Nigeria. This appears a little confusing because the PKK which is a Kurdish organization could rightly claim the same. Similarly, other terrorist organizations have political ambitions outside of terrorism therefore with Washington being on the side of terrorists in Syria, it is clear that the Obama administration is rather confusing.
Returning back to Nigeria, it is clear that if Boko Haram does claim responsibility then clearly the central government must do more to tackle this major menace to this country. At the moment it is still speculative about who committed the atrocity against innocent Christians
leejay@moderntokyotimes.com
http://moderntokyotimes.com

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