Friday, April 27, 2012

Extremists to blame for violence in Nigeria, says Archbishop Okoh

by Ed Thornton
27 April, 2012

THE recent violence against Christians in Nigeria was carried out by a Muslim extremist minority, the Arch­bishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, said this week.

Archbishop Okoh was speaking at a meet­ing in the House of Lords on Tuesday evening. It was chaired by the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby, who visited Nigeria in January after bombings in the northern city of Kano (News, 27 January).

Archbishop Okoh described Boko Haram, the Islamist group that has carried out recent attacks including a wave of bombings on churches on Christmas Day (News, 30 December), as “a sect that has broken loose from control”. He said: “It is possible that among the Muslims there are those who sympathise with Boko Haram, some who even fund it, but those are not the mainstream of Islam. Mainstream Islam is as baffled and confused as any person in Nigeria.”

Muslim leaders have condemned the bombings, Archbishop Okoh said, “but we said that they had to do more, by bringing Boko Haram under control”. He said, however, that “the chairman of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria” had told him that “Boko Haram is not under his control, and, if they had their way, they would hurt him.” the rest


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