News / Africa

Murdered Nigerian Cleric Preached 'Peace'

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima visits injured victims receiving treatment at a hospital following an attack in Kawuri on January 28, 2014.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima visits injured victims receiving treatment at a hospital following an attack in Kawuri on January 28, 2014.
Heather Murdock
It has been a bloody seven days in northern Nigeria, where a pastor and a prominent sheik were murdered over the weekend, just days after scores of people were killed in separate attacks in Borno and Adamawa states.  Militants are targeting clerics for speaking out against extremism, according to accounts by local residents.

Last week, after the Nigerian military announced it would quickly end Nigeria’s more than four-year-old insurgency, the bloodshed got worse.  Militants stormed a town, bombed a church and bombed a bus.  
 
Then, on Friday, a pastor was killed in Adamawa, one of three Nigerian states under emergency rule.  Saturday night, Sheik Adam Albani’s car was fired on in Zaria, a city in Kaduna state where hideouts of Islamist militant group Boko Haram have been discovered.  The attack killed the sheik, his wife and their child who was in her lap.
 
Godwin Adie, an Abuja real estate broker his neighbors call “The Pastor,” says the murdered sheik was known for preaching against extremism in an area where extremists are likely to recruit. (H. Murdock/VOA)Godwin Adie, an Abuja real estate broker his neighbors call “The Pastor,” says the murdered sheik was known for preaching against extremism in an area where extremists are likely to recruit. (H. Murdock/VOA)
x
Godwin Adie, an Abuja real estate broker his neighbors call “The Pastor,” says the murdered sheik was known for preaching against extremism in an area where extremists are likely to recruit. (H. Murdock/VOA)
Godwin Adie, an Abuja real estate broker his neighbors call “The Pastor,” says the murdered sheik was known for preaching against extremism in an area where extremists are likely to recruit. (H. Murdock/VOA)
On a quiet street in the Nigerian capital, Godwin Adie, a real estate broker neighbors call “The Pastor,” says Albani was known for preaching against extremism in an area where extremists are likely to recruit.

“I think what you’ll discover is that among all these religious leaders, he’s one of them that preached peace," Adie said. "I think because he was an advocate of his preaching peace, that’s why they slaughtered him, and killed him and his family.”

Boko Haram militants are blamed for thousands of deaths in the past four and a half years in attacks on churches, mosques, schools, media houses, security forces and government institutions.  
 
Khalid Aliyu Abubakar is the secretary-general of Jama'atu Nasril Islam, an Islamic umbrella organization in northern Nigeria.  Speaking to VOA on his way to Zaria to attend the Sheik Albani's funeral and meet with other religious leaders, he notes that the murders have been blamed on Boko Haram, but no one has taken responsibility for the attacks.

“The greatest challenge now falls to the security agencies of this country to investigate, to dig out, to find out, and tell us," said Abubakar.
 
But, he adds, Albani was well known for being a strong advocate of education, a tense subject in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram means ‘Western education in sinful’ in the local Hausa language and militants have burned schools, killed students and threatened to kill all teachers.
 
In the past eight and half months, the Nigerian military has pushed insurgents out of many urban centers in the three states under emergency rule.  But attacks continue in the countryside. Areas like Zaria, which is not under emergency rule, need more protection, Abubakar said.

“Security findings show some volatility, the erupting of violence or conflict, or murder.”
 
Others argue that peace talks are the only way to stop the killings.  
 
On the Abuja street, Adie, the real estate broker, argues another commonly-held theory on how to end the violence.  He says rich politicians and elites pay for the insurgency.  If those funds are cut off, the impoverished young men and boys that do most of the fighting will all go home.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 03, 2014 12:49 PM
Does anyone need boko haram to claim what they have done before we know that they have done it? What I understand the man waiting for a claim to be made before apportioning blame to boko haram means is that though boko haram has become name of a group, almost all of the Muslim leaders in the country have leaning and sympathy to their course, and can, with or without their operatives, carry out same terror anywhere. Again we go into a usual terrain - the politicians and bigwigs of the religion are behind it.

The authorities that be - federal, state and local governments in the country, legislators, ministers, governors/deputies, commissioners, senior retired and serving military and civilian officers etc. - know the truth, as well are/know the individuals either doing it personally or sponsoring it, yet they beat about the bush. Who polices the police? That is an intractable question in Nigeria and Africa.

The Nigerian politician is more police than the police. They fix their own salaries and decide everything in the country, who dares say reduce their take home pay! They would rather share the national treasury than reduce their take. And with the excessive income, why not? They can pay their tithe to their religion by contributing to the jihad and its spread through boko haram. God help Nigeria. Nigeria we hail thee. The labor of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid