INTER-FAITH ACTIVITY & PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE (IFAPP)
ON THE APRIL 14TH 2014 BOMBING OF NYANYA BUS PARK, IN ABUJA, FCT ABDUCTION OF SCHOOL GIRLS IN BORNO, AND ATTACK ON A GIRLS SCHOOL IN BAUCHI
Dated: 21st April 2014
- The conveners and members of IFAPP, a national platform for interfaith dialogue among Muslim and Christian clerics and leaders for the fostering of peaceful coexistence and development in Nigeria, are extremely distressed and alarmed by the dastardly acts of persons suspected to be Boko Haram sect members who at about 6:45 am on Monday, 14th April, 2014 detonated within Nyanya Bus Park (roughly 5 kilometers south of Abuja city) improvised explosive devises in commuter buses packed with mostly daily wage workers as they prepared to leave for the city center in pursuit of their livelihood. We wholeheartedly condemn this senseless act of brigandage which according to provisional figures released by the Minister of Health left in its wake 236 victims and 72 deaths without including those whose bodies were completely dismembered.
- This latest act of mass murder clearly shows that the Nigerian government is not doing enough to protect public places where large numbers of ordinary Nigerians routinely gather. In addition to the tragedy of the frequent loss of innocent lives, the persistence of this high level of insecurity is likely to lead ordinary Nigerians to take matters into their own hands through acts of vigilante and jungle justice which would further worsen the state of intergroup relations and tension in the land.
- We call on the federal government and its security agencies not only to investigate this deplorable incident and make those responsible (especially their sponsors) to fully face the weight of the law but to take more effective measures to prevent them.
- The current situation in which a hugely disproportionate percentage of the security forces are deployed to protect the few members of the political and business elite while the security needs of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians are left unattended to is patently callous, unjust, and ultimately a threat to the peace and safety of everyone including the governing elite.
- We strongly urge Boko Haram (and its supporters, financiers and sympathizers) to put an immediate stop to all attacks on defenseless and innocent Nigerians as such actions cannot produce any positive outcomes or lead to the resolution of any of their grievances.
- We commiserate with the victims and their families especially those who lost their loved ones as a result of this tragedy. Our prayers are with the victims and their loved ones. May God heal, console and comfort them all.
- We also condemn in the strongest possible manner the attacks on Government Girls Secondary Schools in Borno and Bauchi States in the past week. These brazen attacks on the girl child and enslavement of our daughters must be put to a stop. We find it inexplicable that citizens of this country can be under such frequent attacks by gangs of terrorists freely moving about and sustaining their evil operations for hours unintercepted by our security forces. The federal government must more effectively protect the lives of all Nigerians as is her fundamental responsibility.
- IFAPP will continue to work hard at both national and sub-national levels for the peaceful coexistence of religious groups in Nigeria through an integrated set of educational and advocacy programmes, projects and initiatives that will enlighten adherents of both faiths, diffuse tension, and promote peace.
Signed: Mallam Nuruddeen Lemu & Rev. Fr. George Ehusani (Conveners)