Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Attacks : Dec 2011 – July 2012

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Attacks : Dec 2011 – July 2012  

Between the periods of December 2011 to July 2012, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has 
noted a number of attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram, in over seven states in northern and 
central Nigeria, including the Capital Abuja. In the spate of attacks, hundreds have been injured and 
killed, and dozens of homes and churches have been attacked. These attacks have not gone 
unanswered, with both state and national governments putting extra policing, and imposing curfews 
in an attempt to restore order to the streets. While this record is a comprehensive note of 
information that CSW and Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSW N) have been able to 
witness or receive, there have certainly been more attacks in more areas that CSW has not 
documented. What this record does illustrate is, that Boko Haram are organised, and have access to 
resources enabling the purchasing of sophisticated weaponry and bomb making materials. 
Additionally, the group is intent on using violence against ordinary citizens of Nigeria, and more 
specifically, with the obvious targeting of churches and Christians, the religious motivation behind 
their violence.   
1. December 2011 
Eight dead after blast in Kaduna 
A powerful bomb blast rocked Kaduna metropolis on December 7, leaving at least eight dead, many 
badly injured and causing millions of naira worth of destruction to properties and businesses. 
Eyewitnesses told Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSWN) that the bombers were on 
motorcycles, and were heading towards a spare part shop in a busy trading area, before residents 
heard the sound of an explosion, which killed one motorcyclist.  
According to news reports, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Red Cross, 
Federal Road Safety Corps, police and army worked for hours to evacuate the injured and the 
decapitated bodies of victims.   
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police is reported to have attributed the explosion to gas 
cylinders and batteries in the shops. 
However, Mr. Sunday Mba, the Chairman of the Spare Part Seller’s Union, said that shops in the area 
do not sell gas and that a battery explosion would not cause such extensive damage. According to 
the Associated Press, the Red Cross confirmed the explosion in Kaduna was a bomb, corroborating 
eyewitness reports made to CSWN. Kaduna was one of the sites of deadly post-election violence in 
April. More recently, several people were killed when two villages in southern Kaduna were attacked 
by armed Fulanis. 
Series of blasts rock Jos 
The Plateau State capital Jos was targeted by a series of bombings on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11, 
Sources informed Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) that the bombings followed threats to 
disrupt Christmas celebrations in the area that have been circulating for around two weeks. 
On Saturday night three bombs exploded at television viewing centres on the Bauchi Ring Road, 
claiming the life of one man and injuring eleven people, as crowds were watching a football match 

between Real Madrid and Barcelona. A fourth device failed to explode and was later defused by the 
bomb squad. So far no group has claimed responsibility. 
Elsewhere, a woman was killed and two others wounded in Kaduna State when gunmen attacked 
Kukum Dutse village in Kagoro, Kaura Local Government Area (LGA) during the early hours of 11 
December. The two surviving victims suffered gunshot wounds, and were transferred to Bingham 
University Teaching Hospital in Jos. 
Commenting on the weekend’s events, the Chief Executive Officer of CSW Nigeria, the Reverend 
Yunusa Nmadu, said, "I believe that northern elders could contribute more towards ending these 
frequent attacks on innocent citizens. It is rather worrying that the recently concluded northern 
Nigeria peace summit produced no statement regarding the Boko Haram militia, which has unleashed 
violence in several states of northern Nigeria." 
Two Bomb factories destroyed; but Christmas celebrations threatened 
On Monday 19, two bomb making factories belonging to the Boko Haram Islamist militia were 
destroyed by explosions that killed or injured several bomb-makers in Kaduna State and Yobe State.  
In the early afternoon of 19 December, an improvised bomb detonated prematurely in a house in the 
Mando area of Kaduna metropolis, destroying seven surrounding houses and killing one of the bomb 
makers.  Three other suspected bombers were seriously injured, and were apprehended by locals 
while attempting to flee the scene.   Police found a weapons cache in the ruins of the house.  On the 
same day, one suspected member of Boko Haram died in hospital from injuries sustained when a 
bomb he was constructing exploded at around midday in the Pompomari area of Damaturu in Yobe 
State.  Two of his fellow bomb-makers are being sought by Yobe State police, who also recovered 
various weapons and bomb-making materials from the scene. 
The explosions followed two similar incidents in the Borno State capital earlier in December.  On 13 
December, four people were reported to have died when a bomb exploded in the London Ciki 
Ward of Maiduguri.  At least one of them was a suspected Boko Haram member.  Four days later, 
the premature explosion of an improvised device in the Bolori area claimed the lives of the three 
Boko Haram members who had been constructing it.  The house they were in was allegedly 
discovered to be a major Boko Haram factory for the production of Improvised Explosive Devices 
(IEDs), and AK-47 rifles, explosive substances, wires, wired clocks, remote controls and sensors 
were reportedly found at the scene.  
In a comment on recent events, the Chief Executive Officer of CSW Nigeria, the Reverend Yunusa 
Nmadu, said, “The bomb blasts and subsequent discoveries of dangerous weapons especially in 
Kaduna reveal the extent to which our society have become increasingly insecure and prone to 
violence. We call on the federal and state government to conduct house to house searches that are 
sensitive enough to respect the rights of the innocent, but rigorous enough to uncover potential 
perpetrators of atrocities.” 
During the previous weekend, police in the Kano State capital apprehended 14 suspected members 
of Boko Haram after a fire fight in which three policemen and four members of the sect were killed.  
According to the Kano State police force, large amounts of ammunition were recovered from the 
homes of two of the Boko Haram suspects, including AK-47 rifles, pump-action shotguns, detonators, 
home-made bomb casings gunpowder and ammonium nitrate. Boko Haram threatened massive 
On 16 December pamphlets appeared in Jos signed by an unidentified group threatened to bomb 
various locations in Plateau State on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, including churches and other 
civilian targets. 

40 Killed in Christmas Day attacks 
Over 40 people died in a series of Christmas Day bomb and gun attacks that targeted churches and 
members of the security services in five states in northern and central Nigeria. The Islamist militia 
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which occurred in Niger, Plateau, Yobe, 
Adamawa and Borno States. 
The majority of fatalities occurred at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State, where 
bombers in a vehicle hurled explosives at the congregation at the end of mass. Sources told Christian 
Solidarity Worldwide-Nigeria (CSW-N) that the priest had asked parishioners to stay a little longer 
for Christmas souvenirs.  Those who did not remain for the ceremony were caught up in the blast. 
At least 35 people died in the Madalla bombing, with scores more suffering various degrees of injury, 
some potentially fatal. CSW-N was informed that in several cases the blast claimed entire families, 
some of whom were burnt beyond recognition in their cars. In the case of one family, the sole 
survivor was a thirteen year-old girl called Chidinma, who had not attended church that day.  
The next explosions targeted a Mountain of Fire Ministries church in Murtala Mohammad Way in the 
Plateau state capital, Jos. The bombers were on foot because the state government had temporarily 
banned the use of unregistered motorcycles for this very reason. The first device destroyed a large 
building outside the church. However, a police patrol was passing by just as the bombers threw the 
second, which hit a wall and destroyed a few cars. Four culprits, reportedly Muslims from the 
Gangare area, were apprehended following a fire fight in which a policeman was injured and later 
died. There were no other casualties, and two more locally made explosives were allegedly 
recovered nearby and disarmed.  
Multiple explosions were reported next from Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, where fighting 
between security forces and Boko Haram had claimed over 60 lives earlier in the week. Most 
significantly, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the offices of the State Security Service 
(SSS), killing three SSS men. In a subsequent attack on a church in Gadaka, a town approximately 155 
km west of Damaturu, gunmen set ablaze five cars as worshippers fled, but no lives were reported 
A bomb exploded at a hotel in Mubi in Adamawa State injuring one person, but other bombs planted 
around three churches were reportedly disarmed. In the Wasin Umurari area of Maiduguri, capital of 
Borno State, six people died in an attack launched by suspected Boko Haram gunmen. 
Following the attacks, many Christians lamented the fact that their security is no longer guaranteed in 
northern and central Nigeria. Some are even beginning to avoid church gatherings for fear of being 
2. January 2012 

Indigenous Northern Christians forced to relocate to flee violence 
Nigerian Christians from tribes indigenous to Yobe State are increasingly being forced to consider 
relocating from their ancestral home as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram Islamist militia 
On the evening of Wednesday 4 January Boko Haram launched attacks in three northern states, 
hours after the expiry of its deadline for Christians to leave the north, and almost a week after 
President Jonathan had instituted a state of emergency in the most violence-prone areas of four 
states and temporarily closed the nation’s borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger. 

In the Yobe State capital Damaturu, gunmen attacked a Christian compound in Gashu’a Road, killing 
two people and wounding several others. The militia also murdered the head of Pompomari Ward 
and bombed a beer parlour in an area known locally as Kandahar.  In Borno State, suspected Boko 
Haram gunmen shot and killed the head of Shehuri Ward in Maiduguri. However, two bombs that 
exploded close to the Customs office claimed no casualties. In Jigawa State, a teenage girl died in 
crossfire when dozens of suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked a police station in Birniwa Local 
Council, wounding a policeman and allegedly planting a bomb that was later disarmed. 
Violence continued in the evening of January 5, as gunmen attacked a meeting at a Deeper Life 
church in the Gombe State capital, killing six people, including the pastor’s wife, and injuring several 
Christians in Damaturu informed Christian Solidarity Worldwide-Nigeria (CSW-N) of reports 
indicating that Boko Haram would be changing tactics in order to circumvent the state of emergency. 
Sources told CSW-N, “We have learned that they have taken note of areas where people gather, 
have marked Christian houses and churches, and will be attacking house by house at night.” 
While some Christians from southern tribes returned to their original areas, the majority of 
Christians in Yobe, as in other northern and central states, are from indigenous tribes and have no 
other home. CSW was told, “We have our farmlands, houses and everything here.  Our great, great, 
great grandparents were born here.  It is our forefather’s land, yet we are being left with the choice 
of relocating to a safer area until things improve, or staying here to die”. 
Commenting on an ultimatum issued the previous week by Niger Delta militants threatening 
retaliation against northern Muslims in the south if Boko Haram continued killing southerners in the 
north, one local source in Yobe said, “Now there is going to be reprisal in the east, which will trigger 
more violence and bloodshed.  If that happens, if not for God’s intervention, this country could be 
divided and indigenous Christians like us in Yobe will be in a terribly dangerous position.” 

Christians killed as they fled violence  
On January 11, Boko Haram gunmen shot dead four Igbo Christian men in Potiskum town in Yobe 
State and threatened to launch an attack on two nearby villages later that evening. 
The four men were reportedly shot in a vehicle as they were migrating southwards to rejoin their 
families, who had already moved to that area to escape the violence.  Previous attempts to join them 
had been hampered by the indefinite general strike against fuel subsidy removal, which has brought 
the nation to a halt. 
On the same day, Boko Haram also threatened to attack Kukargadu and Dagare villages, both of 
which have large populations of indigenous Christians.  However, extra security personnel were 
deployed to the villages, which were consequently kept safe through the night.  
On Tuesday 10, eight men and a woman were killed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in Potiskum.  
All nine were Christians.  The group, which included a lecturer at the Federal College of 
Education/Technical in Potiskum, four policemen and a young man employed by Jam’a Clinic, were in 
a bar in the Dorawa Ward when they were shot at by gunmen who escaped on motorcycles. On the 
previous day, two Christians were also shot at by gunmen on a motorcycle in the Barracks area of 
Potiskum, but escaped unhurt by falling to the ground and playing dead.  
A 24-hour curfew was imposed in Yobe, and motorcycles were banned due to Boko Haram’s regular 
usage of these vehicles. 

The deteriorating security situation has led to rising speculation that Yobe State could soon be 
entirely emptied of its Christian population as entire lorry-loads of people have been departing the 
state.  One source, who informed CSW-Nigeria he was assisting over two hundred families of 
indigenous Christians with relocation, said, "If this continues unabated, in the next few months or 
weeks there may be no Christians in Yobe State. Though our houses, jobs and churches are here, we 
have no choice but to leave". 
In several instances, fuel subsidy removal protests are being used for alternative agendas.   On 
Tuesday 10, a fuel protest in Gusau, Zamfara State, degenerated into an attack on Ebenezer Baptist 
Church as rioters removed equipment and other valuables from the premises and set them on fire. A 
24-hour curfew was imposed in Kaduna City and its environs on Wednesday 11, after Muslim youths 
went to the governor’s official residence on Tuesday 10, claiming they wanted to seize control.  
On Wednesday 11, a 6am to 6pm curfew was imposed in Niger State after rioting broke out in the 
capital, Minna, and the governor’s campaign headquarters was attacked. 
Meanwhile, retaliatory attacks on Hausa-Fulani neighbourhoods in Benin City in southern Nigeria on 
9 and 10 January during fuel protests resulted in five deaths, mass displacement and the destruction 
of an Islamic School attached to the central mosque. This worrying development follows a week of 
violent events in Adamawa State that left at least 37 people dead in which southerners were 
specifically targeted. 

Blasts rock Bauchi and Kano states 
A series of bomb blasts rocked Bauchi and Kano states in northern Nigeria on January 21 and 22, 
with the death toll in Kano estimated to be over 185 people. 
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for multiple bombings and a shooting spree targeting the 
immigration services, police headquarters and State Security Service (SSS) building in Kano, claiming 
at least 185 lives. The group promised to unleash multiple blasts there after one of their cells was 
uncovered in December 2011, stating at the time that they had left Kano untouched, but would take 
action if their people were not released. In an open letter to the people of Kano following the 
weekend’s bombings, Boko Haram’s spokesman Abul Qaqa said that only the intervention of un- 
named Muslim scholars was preventing the group from unleashing an “endless campaign of violence” 
on the state. 
The Anglican Bishop of Kano spoke to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) after identifying the 
corpse of a member of his congregation who had been missing: “The target was the government, but 
who is the government?  It is the people.” 
Both Muslims and Christians were caught up in the bombings and subsequent shootings; however, 
there was unease in the Christian community that they might be directly targeted in future, as has 
occurred in the past when reprisals for events occurring abroad have been visited upon the local 
Christian community.  As a result, many Christians from southern Nigeria were reported to be 
flocking to bus depots, either to return home or to flee to Abuja. Other Christians are also vowing 
to leave the city. 
On Sunday 22 January in Bauchi Metropolis, Bauchi State, bombs were planted at the Evangelical 
Church Winning All (ECWA) 2 in the Railway Area and Our Lady of St Lauretto Catholic Church, 
Fadama Mada, which sustained minor damage to their walls. There were no injuries or fatalities as 
the bombs exploded in the early hours of the morning. 

On the same day in Tafawa Balewa Town, St Paul’s Anglican Secondary School was partially 
destroyed by a bomb. An attempted attack on a police station was foiled and two of the would-be 
bombers were arrested and later confessed to the church attacks.  There was also an attempted 
robbery of First Bank, and an attack on a hotel and military checkpoint in the Bununu District. The 
violence claimed the lives of two army officers, a deputy superintendent of police and eight civilians, 
including a child. 
3. February 2012 

Church in Jos attacked 
A suicide bomber drove a car into the Jos headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nigeria 
denomination (COCIN) during the morning worship service on Sunday 26 February, killing three 
people and injuring 37. The Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack. 
According to eyewitnesses, the suicide bomber was driving a Volkswagen Golf, and was accompanied 
by a man in military uniform, who left the car at the gate of the church. The bomber forced the car 
onto the premises, causing an industrial gas cylinder which was in the car boot and probably designed 
to amplify the effect of the blast, to fall out before the explosive was detonated. 
The bomber and two church members died in the explosion, while 37 others were injured, and many 
vehicles were destroyed. The soldier who had accompanied the bomber was almost lynched by angry 
crowds and later arrested. 
As youths took to the streets in protest at the bombing, a Muslim-owned shop situated close to the 
church that sold car accessories was burned down, and fighting in an area close to the Township 
Stadium resulted in several injuries.  Violence continued late into the evening, with at least one 
person reported to have been killed. However, calm was restored following an increased security 
There was speculation that security arrangements for the English service at the COCIN church were 
not as thorough as for the Hausa service, and that the bomber may have taken advantage of this in 
order to carry out his attack. 
Prior to this attack, reports had emerged of the discovery of a list of potential Boko Haram targets in 
Jos, that included the COCIN headquarters Church, the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) 
headquarters Church, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, St Luke’s Anglican Cathedral, St Pirans 
Anglican Church, Living Faith Church and the home of the Anglican Archbishop. 
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the violence and appealed for calm. In a statement he said, 
"The indiscriminate bombing of Christians and Muslims is a threat to all peace-loving Nigerians." 
4. March 2012 

Suicide bomb blast at Catholic Church in Jos 
In Jos in Plateau State a second suicide bombing at a church within a two week period occurred, and 
claimed eight lives. 
The suicide bomber detonated the bomb, which was in his car, just outside the gate of St Finbarr’s 
Catholic Church in the Rayfield area on Sunday 11 March, after a policeman prevented him from 
driving onto the premises. The impact was heard up to two kilometers away, and shattered the glass 
in buildings within a 200m radius. Three of the victims were women who were leaving the church 
after the first service of the day, and one of them was pregnant. 

In an interview, the Rev Father Peter Omore of St Finbarr’s Church said that the second service had 
just started when they heard the explosion. “The Church shook and the glass shattered and the PVC 
ceiling all fell in... I do not know the number of casualties now.” 
The Plateau State Commissioner for Information expressed his grief at the incident. The Anglican 
Archbishop of Jos, Rt Rev Benjamin Kwashi, said, "It is worrying that two bombs have gone off within 
the space of two weeks, and many are fearing a third. Most importantly, a palpable terror is being 
unleashed on Christians so that Sunday is transformed from a day of worship into a day of fear. We 
are appealing to the church worldwide to pray without ceasing, and to members of the international 
community to speak up and take action on our behalf so that we are able to enjoy full religious 
freedom and worship God freely and without fear." 
The blast provoked an angry reaction from local youths and in the immediate aftermath three men 
on motorcycles were killed and their vehicles set on fire. When the youths went to the nearby Joint 
Task Force (JTF) security post demanding to know how the car had eluded checks, and insisting that 
the soldiers leave, four of them were shot and injured by the security forces. The youths later 
refused to be placated by the governor and reportedly demanded the removal of the security forces 
from the state so that they could be responsible for their own defence, adding that they would be 
taking all necessary measures. They then proceeded to drive the soldiers out of the area and 
mounted their own road block. 
Five other people were reportedly killed in ensuing violence in the Ungwan Rukuba area on March 
12 and the morning of March 13.Early rumours of ten deaths from “reprisal attacks”, which were 
widely circulated, could not be confirmed by sources on the ground, and stoked tensions in the 
volatile situation.  
5. April 2012 

Easter Attacks  
On Easter Sunday, 8 April, in Kaduna State, a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with an 
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Sardauna Crescent, by Junction Road, after a security guard 
prevented him from entering the area surrounding 1st Evangelical Church All Winning (ECWA) on 
Gwari Road. An estimated 12 people were killed immediately, but the number of dead and injured 
continued to rise in the aftermath of the blast. The death toll eventually rose to 39 people, according 
to reports by AFP News Agency. Mr. Francis Markus, a security guard attached to 1st ECWA 
Church, told CSW-Nigeria (CSW-N) how he was able prevents the bomber from entering the area 
near the church with the help of church member. 
“I insisted that he will not pass until the service is over, but he insisted that he must pass. We 
dragged this for some minutes. He entered the car and reversed and drove towards me. Yet I stood 
my ground and held the iron which we used for the road block. He hit the iron against me. Luckily 
enough, one of the church members came with his bike, parked and intervened. At this point we 
noticed that the man was having an army uniform on the back seat of his car, and an army cap by the 
rear wind screen. Then I told him that as an Army officer, for him to behave that way, he is a 
disgrace to the Army.” 
Ten minutes or so after the bomber drove away towards Junction Street, Mr. Markus heard the 
explosion. An estimated 60 buildings within a 500 meters radius of the blast were severely damaged 
by the blast and may need to be rebuilt. Eight cars and several commercial motorcycles were either 
burnt or severely damaged. CSW-N estimated that property worth millions of Naira was destroyed 
in the blast. 
The Reverend  Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of CSW-N, said, "I condemn in the strongest terms this 
barbaric act of terrorism which, though aimed at the Church, has claimed the lives of innocent 

Christians and Muslims of all tribes. CSW calls on the International community, and particularly the 
US administration, to designate the deadly Islamist militia Boko Haram a terrorist group, because this 
is what it is in reality. We particularly urge the Nigerian government to ensure adequate protection 
for Christians and their properties, as they are the main targets and regular victims of the Boko 
Haram insurgency." 

Boko Haram target University campus  
On the morning of Sunday 29 April, members of Boko Haram attacked two lecture theatres in 
Bayero University Kano (BUK) where congregations were holding church services.  According to 
local reports, there were explosions, and then gunmen opened fire simultaneously and 
indiscriminately at the fleeing crowds in both venues in an attack that allegedly continued for over 40 
minutes. So far 22 people are confirmed to have died during the attack, including three professors 
and a doctor, while 23 are receiving treatment in hospital.  On the same day, suspected Boko Haram 
gunmen attacked the Sunday service of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in the 
Borno State capital Maiduguri, killing five people, including the pastor, just as the communion service 
was underway. 
The events at BUK marked the first attack by Boko Haram on a university premises. Commenting on 
this attack a local source told CSW: “Our lives are being hunted like animals in the bush. The Church 
in northern Nigeria is in even bigger trouble than we realise.  Please mobilise global prayer for us.” 
In the previous week, and  for the first time, Boko Haram attacked newspaper offices in the capital 
Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna leaving at least nine people dead. An eye witness to the 
Kaduna bombing informed CSW Nigeria that after being prevented from parking his car at the 
Kwantagora Junction by security personnel, the bomber informed them that he had an explosive 
device in his vehicle.  When asked to remove and disarm it, he threw it on the ground, where it 
exploded, killing five people instantly and injuring many others. The bomber was arrested after being 
rescued from an angry mob. 
In a subsequent statement Boko Haram warned of further attacks on the press in response to 
“misrepresentation”, adding that ThisDay newspapers had been particularly targeted to avenge a 
2002 article on the Miss World competition that was alleged to have insulted the Prophet 
Mohammed, and had sparked serious religious violence. 

6. June 2012 

Two Churches targeted in Bauchi State 
At least 18 people died and 32 were wounded on June 3, in a suicide bomb attack by Boko Haram 
that targeted two churches in Bauchi State, north east Nigeria. 
The bombing occurred just as the congregation of Living Faith Church in Yelwa Tudu, Bauchi city was 
leaving the service.  However, the casualties came primarily from the neighbouring church, Harvest 
Field Church for Christ, which bore the brunt of the explosion. Twelve cars and a number of 
buildings were also reported to have been destroyed by the blast. 
Local sources reported that rumours of imminent bombings by Boko Haram had circulated over the 
weekend, and that while security in the area was initially reinforced, it had been relaxed prior to the 

bombing. On Monday June 4, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack stating “Today God 
gave us victory by launching a suicide attack on a church in Yelwa neighborhood in Bauchi city”.1 

Three other bombers carrying explosives were reportedly intercepted on their way to the Church of 
Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) and Catholic churches in Yelwa Tudu, but were killed by angry crowds 
that gathered there. 
In a separate development, reports emerged on Saturday of a night attack by armed Fulani tribesmen 
on Sansun Village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA), Southern Kaduna State, in which a 
man named Matthew Aetung and his son, were hacked to death, his wife was critically injured, and 
his home was razed to the ground. 

Churches attacked in Plateau, Biu and Borno States  
Two churches were targeted in separate attacks that occurred in Jos, Plateau State, and Biu, Borno 
State on Sunday 10 June. 
The building of Christ Chosen Church, Rukuba Road, Jos collapsed after a saloon car loaded with 
explosives rammed into one of its walls during the Sunday worship service. The bomber reportedly 
disguised himself as a worshiper to evade local security. Once he gained entry to the area, he 
accelerated his vehicle into Christ Chosen Church. The pastor of the church, Monday Uzoka, was 
among an estimated 62 people who were critically injured. An estimated ten people are feared dead, 
though an official figure is yet to be confirmed. 
Meanwhile, in Biu, four gunmen invaded a Church of Brethren in Nigeria Church (EYN, Ekkilisiyar 
yanuwa a Nigeria), shooting indiscriminately at church members and killing at least one person. 
Several others were injured. The gunmen fled soon afterwards and were not apprehended. Biu is one 
of the local government areas (LGA’s) in Borno State currently under a state of emergency. Boko 
Haram claimed responsibility for these attacks. 

Third consecutive weekend of Church attacks  
On Sunday 17 June, a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into the Evangelical Church 
Winning All (ECWA) Good News Church in Wusasa, Zaria, destroying the children’s church building 
and killing a child and a young man. Several others were wounded, including many children and CSW 
Nigeria’s coordinator for Zaria. 
Also in Zaria, two suicide bombers in separate cars targeted Christ the King Catholic Church as the 
congregation was leaving Mass, killing an estimated 16 people and wounding several others. 
In the Trikaniya area of Kaduna City, another bomb exploded at the Shalom Pentecostal Church as 
ushers were interrogating the bomber, killing three. 
Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of CSW Nigeria, said, "Attacks on Christians while they legitimately worship 
on Sundays are now a common occurrence. Unless the culture of impunity is overcome, our country 
will slowly slip into another civil war that will be fought along religious lines." 
In a comment on the targeting of church services, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Most Rev 
Benjamin Kwashi, said, "Weekends are now a terror for Christians in northern and central Nigeria. 
My heart truly bleeds at the unnecessary killings and I am deeply saddened that in a nation like 

Nigeria there are people who sponsor, plan, train and support people to execute evil specifically 
targeted against worship of God on Sundays by Christians in churches." 
More lives were lost in the aftermath of the bombings as sectarian violence erupted, with angry 
youths taking to the streets of Sabon Tasha and Gonin Gora, in the southern part of Kaduna City, to 
protest the inability of the security services to prevent the bombings of churches, which have taken 
place every Sunday in northern Nigeria for the last three weeks. The situation in Kaduna City was 
eventually brought under control when a 24-hour curfew was issued.  

Boko Haram threaten to make June the ‘bloodiest month yet’ 
On 20 June, a spokesperson from Boko Haram told Sahara Reporters news agency that the group 
had around 300 suicide bombers ready to attack churches in predominantly Christian Southern 
Kaduna and Plateau State. The group claims to have recruited the sons and daughters of Muslims 
killed during past sectarian conflicts, who have received arms and bomb-making training in Mauritania 
and Somalia. 
Boko Haram also announced plans to attack or take over government buildings in Kano, Kaduna, 
Yobe and Gombe states, adding that a major attack on the Federal Capital territory (FCT), namely, 
the capital Abuja, was planned before the end of June as a show of strength to prove that the 
Nigerian security agencies could not contain them. 
Curfews had been used to restore order in Yobe and Kaduna States with varying success. In the 
Yobe State Capital, Damaturu, a curfew was imposed following a sustained attack by around 100 
heavily-armed members of Boko Haram on 18 June that lasted over 24 hours. Over 50 people were 
confirmed dead. The curfew was relaxed on Thursday, the same day that Nigerian news agencies 
reported the arrest in Damaturu of Habibu Bama, suspected master mind of the Christmas Day 
bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, following a shoot-out with the Joint Task Force. 
In Kaduna City, a 24-hour curfew was imposed after reprisal attacks broke out in response to the 
triple church bombings on 17 June.  Attempts to relax the curfew on Monday resulted in more 
violence, as Muslim youths attacked Christian homes and churches in retaliation for the reprisal 
attacks. Though the 24-hour curfew was reinstated, sporadic outbreaks of violence continued to 
occur throughout the city, including yesterday morning, and the atmosphere remains tense. The 
curfew will be relaxed for Muslim prayers today from 12 to 4pm, reinstated on Saturday, and relaxed 
again for Christian worship on Sunday from 9am to 1pm. 

Curfew relaxed in Kaduna State 
The Kaduna State Security Council decided to relax the 24-hour curfew after threats by Boko Haram 
of coordinated attacks on Sunday church services did not take place. 
Although no churches were targeted over the weekend, a bomb exploded at Bayan Gari in Bauchi 
State at around 9pm on 24 June. There were no casualties; however nine people were injured in the 
blast. Another explosion at a popular night spot in Abuja during the early hours of 23 June damaged 
cars but caused no injuries. 
Meanwhile, in Yobe State, members of Boko Haram stormed a prison, freeing 40 inmates. Patrick 
Egbuniwe, Yobe State Police Commissioner, told Al-Jazeera that two of the attackers were shot dead 
and some policemen were injured: "They attacked with rifles, the police and the joint task force 
confronted them and the Boko Haram members that were shot were carried away by the sect." 

7. July 2012 

Explosion in Nigerian Capital 

On July 5, a suspected bomb rocked a shopping centre in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Police were 
alerted to the blast at a shopping mall in Wuse Abuja II on Tuesday evening. There were no 
immediate reports of casualties, and emergency services warned people against "going to the scene 
of the bomb explosion for fear of secondary explosion and to allow emergency workers to have 

More attacks in Plateau State 

After three weeks of relative quiet and peaceful services in Nigeria, the government of Plateau State 
placed four local government areas under curfew on Monday 9 July following a gun attack that left 
two prominent politicians dead. Senator for Plateau State North Gyang Dalyop Datong and the 
Honourable Gyang James Fulani, Majority Leader in the Plateau State House of Assembly, died during 
an attack on the mass burial of victims of armed raids on a number of villages over the weekend by 
Fulani tribesmen. 

An estimated 12 villages in Riyom and Barkin Ladi, situated on the outskirts of the state capital Jos, 
were attacked simultaneously on Saturday 7 July by hundreds of heavily armed gunmen wearing 
military camouflage and bullet proof vests, in raids reminiscent of the 2010 attacks on Dogo 
Nahauwa, Zot and Ratsat villages in Jos South, which claimed an estimated 400 lives. Early news 
reports suggest that at least 25 people are confirmed dead, five have been hospitalised and 
approximately 150 displaced people have sought refuge in churches. The majority of victims were 
women, children and the elderly. Reports also indicate that around 19 gunmen were later killed and 
one was taken alive during an exchange of fire with the Joint Task Force (JTF). 
A mass burial was hastily organised the next day, and as mourners proceeded to the site they are 
reported to have discovered the burnt remains of around 50 more victims who had fled from the 
villages to shelter in a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) church in Matse Village, Riyom Local 
Government Area (LGA).  Later, the mourners themselves were ambushed in the armed attack 
which claimed the lives of Senator Gyang Dalyop Datong, and Honourable Gyang James Fulani 
amongst others, and from which a member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Simon 
Madwakom, narrowly escaped.  
There are conflicting reports indicating the two politicians either died of gunshot wounds or from 
shock. Following their deaths, angry youths took to the streets, mounting roadblocks in the area. 
Local people had allegedly reported the existence of a camp belonging to Fulani militants responsible 
for village raids, but say no action was taken by the security services. 
In a comment to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, the Most 
Reverend Benjamin Kwashi condemned the “detestable” attack on funeral goers and expressed 
anxiety for the future if the targeting of villages continues unchecked. 
“This kind of unprovoked, deliberate attempt to overrun a population cannot succeed in the long 
run, whether or not the government takes action to stem it. Unfortunately, there is now an army of 
jobless young people aged 20 and under, who no longer attend church and for whom countering the 
violence is now a matter of survival. They do not listen to what you say, but watch what you do. 
They are seeing Boko Haram succeed using violent methods and if we are not careful, they 

themselves will soon be adopting Boko Haram’s methods. We urgently need to engage them and 
provide direction. The only legacy we should leave for them is the legacy of working for peace.” 
The latest estimates of the weekend’s death toll currently stand at 104, including the dead militants. 
On July 10, Boko Haram issued a statement accepting responsibility for the attacks and said 
“Christians ‘will not know peace again’ if they do not accept Islam”.2 

8. International response to Boko Haram attacks  

On 22 June, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 
condemned the repeated attacks on churches by Boko Haram and warned that acts against civilians, 
including on such grounds as religion or ethnicity, could amount to crimes against humanity. 
Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the OHCHR, said: “We condemn the repeated attacks by Boko 
Haram on places of worship and on religious freedom, as well as its blatant attempts to stir sectarian 
tensions and violence between two communities that have lived together peacefully for so long.” 
“Deliberate acts leading to population ‘cleansing’ on grounds of religion or ethnicity would also 
amount to a crime against humanity.” 
In a statement released on 19 June, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European 
Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, condemned 
both the attacks on churches and the reprisal attacks against members of the Muslim community. 
“The EU will renew its efforts in cooperation with the government and people of Nigeria to address 
the underlying social and economic problems in the north of the country, and work with the 
authorities to make the fight against terrorism more effective.” 
Pope Benedict XVI calls for freedom of religion, not vengeance 

On 22 June Pope Benedict XVI spoke out about his “deep concern” about events in Nigeria. He not 
only assured the victims of his prayers and support, but also expressed his hope “that there might be 
full cooperation among all members of Nigerian society, that they might forgo the path of vengeance, 
and that all citizens might rather work together to build a peaceful and reconciled society, in which 
the right freely to profess one’s faith is fully protected”. 


NIGERIA: Recent Violence

This is a briefing from Christian Solidarity to the House of Lords.

NIGERIA: Recent Violence   

1. Background to Boko Haram  

Boko Haram is not a recent phenomenon. The group initially came to prominence in 2003. At the 
time it alternatively called itself Sunna Wal Jamma or “the Taliban” or “Yussufiyya” after its founder- 
leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who styled himself on Mullah Omar. Mohammed Yusuf believed Islam had 
been corrupted by Westernisation and all that it brought, especially education and Christianity, and 
rejected the legitimacy of the state and of Muslim traditional rulers. Consequently, from the outset 
the group sought the destruction of federal Nigeria and its replacement with a Shari’a state governed 
by an orthodoxy defined by Mohammed Yusuf. 

Initially Boko Haram consisted of former university students and disaffected scions of wealthy 
northern families, and was thought at that time to be around 200 strong. In late 2003, it began a brief 
armed uprising in Yobe State in north-east Nigeria by issuing pamphlets declaring its determination 
to make Nigeria a Muslim State. Then the young militants proceeded to invade Kanamma and 
Geidam Local Government Areas (LGAs), and destroyed Kanamma police station, killing a policeman 
and carting off weapons while chanting Allah u Akbar – God is great. Afterwards, they marched to the 
town centre, took over a primary school, renamed it “Afghanistan”, hoisted their own flag and 
declared a jihad against Christians and the Nigerian Federal Government. These aims remain 
unchanged. The group went on to cause havoc in several towns and villages, including the state 
capital Damaturu, occasioning the displacement of around 10,000 people. Federal forces eventually 
crushed the uprising and arrested several members of the group, four of whom were killed while 
allegedly attempting to escape from Damaturu prison. 
In September 2004, the group murdered over a dozen Christians during raids on the towns of Bama 
and Gwoza in Borno State, situated in the north-east close to the border with Cameroon. Around 
60 sect members were also reported to have attacked police stations in the area, killing four 
policemen. As a joint police and army force launched an operation against them, the group took 
seven people hostage, forcing them to act as porters as they retreated over the Mandara hills and 
into neighbouring Cameroon. One of the hostages escaped and was interviewed by Christian 
Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) at that time, while two are known to have been murdered.i 
Despite such notorious activities, by the time the group once again made headlines, it had not only 
set up a headquarters in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, but had also established a presence in 
several northern states. The group was by then known locally as Boko Haram (regularly translated 
‘Western education is forbidden’’). It would appear that Boko Haram had come to some form of 
accommodation with northern authorities. There is speculation, that state governors made use of 
the group for nefarious political purposes, and that the group may even have played a major role in 
the 2006 Cartoon Riots, when around 65 Christians were killed, 57 churches were destroyed and 
hundreds of Christian businesses razed to the ground in Maiduguri on 18 February in what was billed 
a protest at the 2005 publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in Denmark. 
However, in July 2009, complaining of harassment and mistreatment, Boko Haram launched 
coordinated attacks in Bauchi, Yobe, Kano and Borno States, resulting in the deaths of at least 1,000 
people. Once again a joint security force was mustered, and the group was driven back to its 
stronghold in Maiduguri’s Railway suburb. Although at the time Boko Haram claimed their quarrel 
was with state officials who were mistreating its adherents and assured Christians in the area they 
would be safe, Boko Haram proceeded to murder three pastors, torch over twenty churches, 
destroy numerous Christian-owned businesses and hold over 100 Christians hostage at its 
headquarters for use as human shields against the encircling federal forces. Surviving hostages 

interviewed by CSW vividly described how male hostages were either forcibly converted or 
beheaded, while females were subjected to hard labour upon refusing to convert. ii 

Following the destruction of the Maiduguri headquarters and extra-judicial killing of its leader the 
group went underground. In February 2010, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) offered 
training and equipment to Nigerian Muslims, who it claimed were being oppressed.iii When Boko 
Haram remerged in September 2010, it mounted a spectacular attack destroying Bauchi’s federal 
prison and freeing 700 inmates, including around 100 suspected Boko Haram members. The 
uncharacteristic methodology indicated specialist training and purported spokesmen for the group 
have since claimed on several occasions that the group is variously affiliated with Somalia’s al Shabaab, 
AQIM or both.iv  

Today’s Boko Haram adopts an array of sophisticated tactics including; improved bomb and IED 
manufacturing capacity, massive attacks on Christian suburbs, destructions of schools and churches, 
hit and run drive-by murders of officials, imams, traditional rulers and other individuals deemed to 
have betrayed or oppose it. Of greatest significance are suicide bombings, previously unknown in 
Nigeria, that largely target churches and high profile locations such as the United Nations 
headquarters the in Abuja and media houses. The group now calls itself Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna 
Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad - People Committed to the Propogation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.  
It also expresses, regularly and openly, that one of its major goals is to cleanse the north of 
Christianity.  On the surface this would appear to be a nearly impossible goal; however, the group is 
making headway in such states as Yobe, Borno, Kano and parts of Kastina, where in many cases, even 
indigenous Christians are fleeing.v The group also expresses particular hostility towards Plateau, the 
only recognised majority Christian state, and Kaduna State, which elected a Christian governor.  

2. The recent violence in Plateau State  

In remote areas of Plateau and Bauchi States, hit and run night attacks on non-Muslim villages by well- 
armed Fulani men, some dressed in uniform, have been occurring sporadically since 2010. More 
recently, there have also been sporadic attacks on villages in predominantly Christian southern 
Kaduna State.  In March, three villages in Chikun LGA were attacked by unidentified men armed with 
AK 47s, who killed ten villagers.vi Then in June, during an attack by armed Fulani tribesmen on Sansun 
Village in Zangon Kataf LGA in Southern Kaduna State, a man named Matthew Aetung and his son, 
were hacked to death, his wife was critically injured, and his home was razed to the ground.vii  In 
most of these cases the assailants are thought to have made use of traditional herding routes to 
evade detection, leading some outside observers to erroneously conclude that they are primarily 
caused by competition between herders and farmers for land. There are also regular reports, 
particularly in Plateau and Bauchi States, of the security forces allegedly failing to assist the victims in 
a timely manner. These attacks can last several hours. However, despite regularly being contacted 
while violence is underway, the security forces invariably arrive after the attack is over. 

The events that occurred in Plateau State over 7 and 8 July were a major escalation of this 
phenomenon. An estimated 12 villages in Riyom and Barkin Ladi, situated on the outskirts of the 
state capital Jos, were attacked simultaneously on Saturday 7 July by hundreds of heavily armed 
gunmen wearing military camouflage and bullet proof vests, in raids reminiscent of the 2010 attacks 
on Dogo Nahauwa, Zot and Ratsat villages in Jos South, which claimed an estimated 400 lives. Early 
news reports suggested that at least 25 people were killed, five hospitalised and approximately 150 
displaced.  As is usually the case during these attacks, the majority of whom were women, children 
and the elderly. Reports also indicate that around 19 of the gunmen were later killed and one was 
taken alive during an exchange of fire with the Special Task Force (STF). 

A mass burial was hastily organised for the next day, and as mourners proceeded to the burial site 
they reportedly discovered the burnt remains of around 50 additional victims who had fled from 

their homes to shelter in a the home of a local pastor in Matse Village, Riyom Local Government 
Area (LGA).  As they buried the dead, the mourners themselves were ambushed by armed men.  
The attack claimed the lives of around 20 people, including Federal Senator for Plateau State North 
Gyang Dalyop Datong and Majority Leader in the Plateau State House of Assembly Honourable 
(Hon.) Gyang James Fulani, while a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Honourable 
Simon Mwadkom, narrowly escaped death.  

Although a report circulated to the effect that the two men had died of shock or during a stampede 
occasioned by the sound of gunfire, several mourners insist the men were shot dead.  The latter 
accounts appeared increasingly credible the following day, when Boko Haram issued a statement 
claiming responsibility for the weekend of violence, including the deaths of the two politicians. 
Amongst other things the statement said Christians will “never know peace again” until they convert 
to Islam and insisted it would “continue to look for government officials; they will not have rest of 
mind. We will attack their homes and security agencies in the same way they are attacking us and 
destroying our houses that we been renting.”viii However, official sources cast doubt on Boko 
Haram’s claims, and during his regular statement denying responsibility for the violence, the leader of 
Fulani herders in Plateau State also denied any connection to Boko Haram.ix  

On 9 July, the government of Plateau State placed four local government areas under curfew, but 
relaxed this curfew on the morning of 10 July.  However, by the evening of 10 July, it was confirmed 
that two more villages in Barkin Ladi had been razed to the ground on Saturday, 7 July.  Then on 
Wednesday 11 July came unconfirmed reports that Fulani militants were regrouping in a hill camp 
near Barkin Ladi, where they were awaiting a fresh stock of armaments before moving onto the next 
stage of their campaign, namely, an attack on the southern part of Kaduna State, which is a 
predominantly Christian area.  

3. Events over the weekend of 13-15 July  

At least five people died outside Maiduguri’s central mosque on Friday 13 July when a teenage suicide 
bomber set off an explosion as he approached local dignitaries, including the deputy governor of 
Borno and the Shehu of Borno, the state’s most prominent Muslim traditional leader.  Both men 
survived.  However, while the bombing has been described as the first suicide attack at a mosque, it 
differs from attacks on churches in that it appears to have been a targeted but failed assassination 
attempt. On the same day, three gunmen murdered the education secretary of Marte Local 
Government in the state, Alhaji Abacha Abbas, at his home. Then on Monday, Nigerian news 
agencies reported that Hajja Bayayi, the councillor who represented Bolari Ward 1 had been shot 
dead in her Maiduguri home during curfew hours by unidentified gunmen, who stole her jewellery.x 

On Sunday 15 July, came reports that a car bomb had exploded near a filling station in Okene, near 
the Kogi State capital, Lokoja. The filling station is around 200 metres from a church, which was 
thought to been the real target. Two days later security forces in Kogi uncovered a bomb-making 
factory in Okaito, Okehi LGA.  The two bedroom bungalow was reportedly disguised as a mosque in 
one room and a church in the other, and, among other devices, 46 IEDs were stored there.xi    

On the same day, it was reported that, two Boko Haram members had been overpowered by youths 
in the Mahuta suburb of Kaduna city. The two young men aged 17 and 22 are reported to have 
entered the area at 9am on motorbike together with a third man, armed with AK-47 rifles and to 
have begun shooting when they entered the house of the District Head of Mahuta. The official was 
able to escape unhurt but a young boy was reportedly shot. The assailants then emerged from the 
official's home shooting sporadically at the people, but youths managed to overpower two of the 
three gun men. Early reports indicate that no one was killed but seven youths were taken to Kaduna 
Hospital and treated for gunshot wounds.xii  Local police later reported that one of the suspects had 

led them to a hideout where a number of items were recovered, including two bags of chemicals, a 
jerry can of acid, and eight car alarm systems.xiii 

On Tuesday 17 July, trouble flared briefly in the Bukuru area in Jos when a rocket propelled grenade 
(RPG) fired from a moving vehicle on the Ungwar Daba Bukuru Express Way damaged nearby 
buildings and killed a seven year-old boy. While it has been reported internationally that the target of 
the attack was the Nurul Islam School, there is local speculation that it was aimed at either the 
National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp at Zang Commercial Secondary School or 
the Jos South Local Government Secretariat. Upon hearing the explosion Muslim youths in the area 
are reported to have taken to the streets shooting guns.  However, they were eventually brought 
under control by members of the mobile police force. No other casualties were reported from that 
incident. However, earlier that day, raiders had attacked the Sabon Gida Kanar area, also in Bukuru, 
killing three people.xiv Two more RPGs were fired on the same day during curfew hours; one landed 
close to Bukuru market and damaged a building, the other fell close to an STF post in Angwan Daba. 
There were no casualties.  

4. Questionable Youth Corps postings 

Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps (NYCS) was created around 40 years ago in an effort to 
foster national unity in this vast country by allowing graduates from different states to serve in states 
they would otherwise never visit prior to embarking on their chosen careers.  However, in northern 
and central Nigeria, Young Corps members (known locally as Corpers) from southern and eastern 
states have become increasingly vulnerable.  For example, during the November 2008 violence in Jos, 
Plateau State, three members from southern Nigeria were dragged from their lodgings by a mob, 
hacked to death, and their bodies were set on fire.  One of them was also a British citizen.  In 2009, 
Grace Ushang from Cross Rivers State, was raped and murdered in Maiduguri, Borno State, allegedly 
by men who took exception to her uniform, which includes trousers.  More recently, during the 
violence that erupted after the 2011 presidential elections Nigeria witnessed the murders of many 
members of the Youth Corps in several northern states. They had been assisting with the election as 
part of their civic duties, and were targeted both for this reason, and because their ethnicity 
identified them as non-Muslim in the eyes of their assailants. 

The Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, has caused widespread anger by his 
insistence that, barring constitutional changes, current members of the NYSC would still be posted 
to Borno, Yobe and other troubled states as a “national sacrifice”.xv Not only is this statement being 
condemned as insensitive and unbefitting of any politician, let alone one  charged with youth affairs, it 
also contradicts a directive issued by the Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General Nnamdi 
Okore-Affia, which stated that members assigned to Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna 
States were to report to the NYSC Directorate Headquarters in Abuja for redeployment, while 
those posted to Yobe and Borno States would have their orientation at NYSC camps in Nasarawa 
and Benue States respectively.  The minister’s statement also runs contrary to the provisions of a 
resolution passed by the Federal House of Representatives requesting the NYSC to end all the 
postings to troubled northern states. 

5. The ambivalent American response  

There is a school of thought that appears to have gained acceptance in influential American circles 
that espouses the view that the emergence of Boko Haram is largely attributable to poverty in 
northern Nigerian and a reaction to endemic corruption.  This line is most frequently articulated by 
the US Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Johnnie Carsons, who recently outlined the need 
for a ministry of northern affairs to deal with what he termed “longstanding northern grievances”xvi. 
In reality, “northerners have exercised the reins of power for the majority of Nigeria’s independence. 

These northern leaders – particularly military generals – became fabulously rich, while maintaining a 
system of patronage in their own areas for their own political purposes. Even since 1999, the north 
east and north west [of Nigeria] still receive higher federal allocation than the south east. The 
problem in the north stems from what the leaders the north supports or elects to govern it are 
doing with the money. That is where the responsibility for underdevelopment of the region primarily 

Attributing the emergence of Boko Haram to underdevelopment, poverty, injustice or opposition to 
corruption effectively justifies the activities of a violent group that has clearly stated its raison d’ĂȘtre 
from the outset and continues to do so on every possible occasion.  While it does indeed seek to 
take advantage of unemployed northern Muslim masses, there should no longer be any doubt that 
Boko Haram is a terrorist organisation that is using violence and the threat of violence to bring about 
its long standing aim of transforming a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation into a country governed 
by its own interpretation of shari’a law. Nevertheless, the State Department in particular continues 
to resist calls to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization.  Moreover, the logic 
behind the recent decision to merely designate three Boko Haram members as terrorists, as 
opposed to the entire organisation, is difficult to comprehend.  This will not fully address the scale of 
the problem posed by Boko Haram and will therefore be of limited use in exposing and disrupting its 
financial or other networks.  The decision is indeed tantamount to “designating Bin Laden as a 
terrorist, but failing to designate Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization.”xviii  It is only a matter of time 
before the group itself receives this designation; however, by then it will have ensured maximum 
benefit from the time and space afforded to it by this period of vacillation 

6. Conclusion and Recommendations 

There is deep anger in the Barkin Ladi and Riyom areas, where for the last three years people have 
complained to the authorities of the presence of a militant training camp in the area, yet nothing 
appears to have been done to address this concern.  Similarly in 2011, sources in Bauchi reported 
the presence of a group of around 2,000 militants from Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto and other 
northern Nigerian states, who allegedly dressed in army and mobile police uniforms, and were 
encamped in the Bununu area of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA).  Again, no 
discernible official action appears to have been taken.    

The weekend of violence in Plateau State served as an indication that any alleged official 
procrastination had yielded extremely deadly results.  Days before his death Senator Dantung spoke 
at the funeral of a family that had been murdered by armed Fulanis, making an impassioned plea for 
decisive action to deal with the killers, who he presciently asserted were in the hills re-arming for 
further attacks.xix It would appear that his death and those of the other politicians may be the 
catalysts for such action. On Sunday 15 July, the STF announced it was launching a military operation 
to search for the militant’s hide outs.  As part of what has been termed “Operation Safe Haven”, the 
military has given the inhabitants of five villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs (namely, Mahanga, 
Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh, and Song 2) 48 hours to leave their homes before it embarks on intensive 
house to house searches, and has advised the inhabitants of the neighbouring areas to move 
cautiously while the operation is underway.xx The six villages are inhabited by members of the Fulani 
tribe. While the STF insists this is a temporary measure to ensure villagers are not caught in 
crossfire, the villagers are reportedly refusing to leave their homes. 

Regardless of the misgivings of the Fulani community, there is clearly an urgent need for adequate 
protection for Christian villages in Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi and Kano States, which are all situated 
within reach of the militants, and for the Nigerian authorities to take effective measures to deal with 
militant strongholds once they are located.  It is vital that the federal government is seen to be both 
willing and able to tackle this insurgency decisively.  A continuing failure to do so will engender a 
situation where, to ensure their own survival, an increasing number of citizens will take the defence 

of their respective communities into their own hands, fuelling a cycle of retributive violence and 
thereby adding to general lawlessness in the nation.  Retaliation already occurs.  Following the 
bombings of three churches in Kadunaxxi, which themselves followed three consecutive weekends of 
suicide attacks on churches, youths in the predominantly Christian southern part of Kaduna City 
began to exact revenge on members of the Muslim community, some of whom were guilty, but many 
of whom may have been innocent. Sporadic outbreaks of violence continued to occur throughout the 
city despite the imposition of a 24 hour curfew as Muslim youths retaliated in turn, and again, the 
innocent were the main victims. Retributive violence also broke out briefly in Plateau State on 
Sunday, 9 July, as news emerged of the deaths of the politicians, occasioning the imposition of the 
state of emergency in the four LGAs. At such times tensions are regularly exacerbated by rumours 
and false reports, usually circulated via text message, claiming that members of the opposite religious 
community are either indulging in or planning some kind of violent activity. By the time such rumours 
are denied by state officials, they have damaged community relations further by heightening suspicion 
and causing terror and apprehension.  

It is vital that indentified sponsors of Boko Haram and other religion-related violence are found and 
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of social standing, as this will assist in ending 
impunity and stemming terrorism. Moreover, given the recent statement by the head of the US 
Africa Command (Africom) that Boko Haram, the Somali Islamist militia al Shabaab and AQIM are 
increasingly seeking to coordinate efforts,xxii and the fact that Somalis and Nigerians have been 
sighted amongst Islamist militia in northern Mali, it is clear that the security implications engendered 
by Boko Haram extend far beyond Nigeria’s borders.  International co-operation and action are vital 
elements to disrupting the organisation’s funders, backers and training network. The group’s stated 
links to international terrorist networks urgently require a comprehensive international approach, 
especially since the de-facto creation of a state in northern Mali in part by a group sympathetic to 
AQIM raises the spectre of a Taliban/Afghanistan-style base for Al Qaeda in West Africa, with all its 
concomitant implications. “Nigeria isn't going to turn into Somalia or Yemen - let alone Iraq or 
Afghanistan - overnight. But if the religiously fuelled violence there is not contained, it might become 
yet another front in the war on terror.”xxiii  

 CSW Press Release http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=news&id=369  and briefing paper, September and October 
2004 respectively 
 Findings of Visit to Nigeria, CSW, April 2006, 
 See AQIM’s statement of 2/2010 http://www.globalterroralert.com/images/documents/pdf/0210/aqim-the-annihilation- 
 “Boko Haram claims al Qaeda links”, http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Boko-Haram-claims-al-Qaeda-links-20111124 ; 
Boko Haram seen linked to other terrorist groups, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/west/Boko-Haram-Seen- 
 “Nigeria: Overview of recent violence”, CSW Briefing , 1 January 2012 
 “Military arrest two after attempted Boko Haram bombings in Kano”, 23 March 2012 
 “Two churches targeted in Bauchi”, CSW press release, 4 June 2012, 
 “Nigeria’s Boko Haram claims attack that killed 65”, Buhari Bello,  Jos,  http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/07/10/uk- 
nigeria-bokoharam-idUKBRE8690XE20120710.  Translation of the full text from English to Hausa courtesy of CSW Nigeria 
 “Nigeria’s Boko Haram claims attacks that killed 65”, Reuters, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/07/10/uk-nigeria- 

 Posting NYSC members to troubled states in Nigeria is a sacrifice to th nation –Minister of Youth, 11 July 2012 
 Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Johnnie Carsons during “Promise and Peril in Nigeria”, a debate at the Centre 
for Strategic and International Studies on 11 April 2012  
 “No Your Excellency, you missed the point”, Reverend Y S Nmadu , CEO, CSW Nigeria, 24,04,2012 
 Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), “ US Policy Towards Nigeria West 
Africa’s Troubled Titan”, Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing, 10 July 2012, Washington DC 
 “Nigeria: Dantong- Dies, Defeats Death”, Vanguard, 1 July 2012, 
 “Nigeria: Dantong’s death. STF gives six villages 48 hours to evacuate” Leadership, 15 July 2012, 
 “Curfew in Kaduna following bombings of three churches”, CSWpress release, 18 June, 2012, 
 “Africa’s Islamists ‘coordinate efforts’”, Mark Doyle, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18592789  
 “Is Nigeria the next front in the War on Terror?” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Foreign Policy, 3 July 2012