As Nigeria’s conflict with terror group Boko Haram looks set to continue throughout 2016, the executive director of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans has said that only repentance and the fear of God can win the war.
The Islamic extremists have been attacking government buildings, civilians, Christians and people of all walks of life in various raids, shootings and bombings throughout almost six years of insurgency, where they have killed over 20,000 people.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to drive out the militants, even as his previously set deadline for doing so in December passed with the attacks still continuing. The extremists killed close to 100 people over the holiday period in a series of suicide bombings and village raids.
Pastor Ade Oyesile, who previously served as the founding National Financial Secretary of CANAN, before being named as executive director, told The Christian Post in an interview on Friday that at the end of the day, a strong spiritual response is needed to combat such terror.
“Boko Haram, ISIS, Al-Shabab is evil. Until we all stand together to condemn it, it will continue to spread. We Christians can help the government, with our fervent prayers without ceasing,” Oyesile said.
“The right strategy to drive this evil people out of Nigeria, God will give to people in government. World leaders may come together and all that, but repentance and fear of God is the sure way forward.”
Buhari has received support from U.S. President Barack Obama, with the government donating $11 million in mine-resistant and armour-protected vehicles to Nigeria’s army, as The Associated Press reported on Thursday.
“The equipment donation represents part of the continuing U.S. commitment to Nigeria and its neighbours to counter Boko Haram’s senseless acts of terror and promote regional security,” Temitayo Famutimi of the U.S. Department of State said.
There has been some frustration with Buhari’s suggestion in December that his army had “technically won the war” against Boko Haram, however, with members of the #BringBackOurGirls movement planning to march to the State House in Abuja on Jan. 14 to speak with the president.
The movement is compromised of families of the over 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from the town of Chibok in April 2014, which made international news headlines. The girls, most of them Christians, make up only a small portion of the thousands of women and children Boko Haram has kidnapped over the years, often selling them off as brides.
Premium Times reported that the group has taken issue with Buhari failing to specifically mention the kidnapped girls in his New Year address to the nation.
The group said in a statement that it was “shocked” that Buhari claimed that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated,” given that the girls have still not been rescued.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post