Nigerian Roman Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama says his country needs a similar march to the one held in Paris on Jan. 11 to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks.
While 20 people were killed in the Paris rampage (including three terrorists), Boko Haram’s ongoing campaign of terror in Nigeria has left hundreds dead. Last week, as many as 2,000 were killed as Boko Haram militants took over the town of Baga in Borno state.
Kaigama said he wants the international community to show determination to stop the advance of militants, who are indiscriminately killing Christians and Muslims and bombing villages, towns, churches, and mosques.
“I hope even here a great demonstration of national unity will take place, to say no to the violence and find a solution to the problems plaguing Nigeria,” Kaigama told Fides, a Catholic news agency.
Christians began a three-day prayer and fasting period after Islamist Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and desperate parents joined the search in a remote forest.
The girls were abducted last week while at school in the Chibok area of Borno State. Initial reports said about 200 were kidnapped, but government officials lowered the figure to 130. On Monday, school officials said 234 were abducted and 40 girls had managed to escape.
“We know no religion [that] prescribes abduction or infliction of pain as a way of devotion,” said the Rev. Titus Pona, an official with the Christian Association of Nigeria. “We are calling on them to sheathe their arms and pursue their case in dialogue with the government.”