Friday, June 01, 2012

Presentation by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria at the House of Lords April 24th

May 30th, 2012
Anglican Mainstream

Bishop Justin Welby of Durham welcomed the Primate of Nigeria, the Most Rev Nicholas Okoh. Noting that the Church in Northern Nigeria is in a position of exceptional suffering, he said that we honour those in the suffering church by focusing on the suffering of the church this evening. He asked the Archbishop to outline the situation in Northern Nigeria.

AB Okoh: In Nigeria today the main issue is the state of insecurity in the land because after the General Election which brought the president into power, some people took to the streets to demonstrate. Both international and local observers judged the election to be free and fair. We as bishops were observers. We observed no irregularity.

There was a widespread demonstration in the north. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that it was pre-planned. It took off almost immediately. It was sponsored by political opponents.

The government set up a panel to make a report and recommended that the government make compensation. People were killed and businesses set on fire. But no compensation has been made yet.

There is also the new aspect of Boko Haram. The bombing has been intensified. It spread from Maidugiri to Potiskum to Bauchi to Gombe to Jos and later to Kano. It became a very worrisome situation.

The police HQ in Abuja was bombed to stop the police from responding and so also the United Nations building. The government was trying to manage the situation. But then the bombers went to attack a church on Christmas Day. This was deliberately designed to generate provocation, since Christians were attacked when they were celebrating Christ’s birthday. Gunmen went into the church and sprayed worshippers with bullets in Adamawa state. The government has taken some steps. We met the government as members of the Christian Association of Nigeria several times and have asked for the government to do its job and solve the problem. the rest


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