News / Africa

Nigeria’s Boko Haram Threatens Oil Refineries, Muslim Clerics

Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are pictured at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, Nigeria, Feb.18, 2014.
Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are pictured at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, Nigeria, Feb.18, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
Heather Murdock
— Nigerian police report 60 people were killed early Wednesday when insurgents attacked a town in northern Nigeria. Witnesses blamed militant group Boko Haram, which has issued a new threat to bomb oil refineries and kill prominent Muslim clerics.
 
Major attacks blamed on Nigeria's Boko Haram
 
2009
  • July - Attacks prompt government crackdown in Bauchi and Maiduguri; 800 people killed
 
2010
  • December - Bombings in central Nigeria and church attacks in the northeast kill 86
 
2011
  • June - Attack on a bar in Maiduguri kills 25
  • August - Suicide bomber kills 23 at U.N. building in Abuja
  • November - Bombings in Damaturu and Potiskum kill 65
  • December - Christmas Day bombings across Nigeria kill 39
 
2012
  • January -- Gun and bomb attacks in Kano kill up to 200
  • February - Maiduguri market attack kills 30
  • June - Suicide car bombings at three churches kill 21
  • July - Attacks in Plateau state kill dozens, including two politicians at a funeral for the victims
 
2013
  • February - French family kidnapped in Cameroon, held hostage for two months
  • April - Fighting with troops in Baga kills up to 200; residents say troops set deadly fires
  • May - Attacks in Bama kill more than 50
  • July - Gunmen kill 30 at a school in Yobe
  • August - Gunmen kill 44 at a mosque outside Maiduguri
  • September - Gunmen kill 40 students a dorm in Yobe
  • October - Attack Yobe state capital Damaturu, clash with military in Borno state
The fishing town of Bama has been attacked four times in the past two years.  Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of houses have been burned to the ground.  
 
As reports filtered in Wednesday that gunmen in Bama were once again shooting people and setting homes on fire, Boko Haram released a video statement saying it plans to widen its reach, to attack oil refineries in the south and continue its assault on Muslim clerics that don’t agree with its harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
 
Analysts say Boko Haram’s continued threats and attacks are a sign that the Nigerian government has failed to stop the more than four-year-old insurgency, despite nine months of emergency rule in three northeastern states.  
 
Femi Odekunle, a professor of criminology at the University of Abuja, says,
“The government must double its efforts with more men and more resources to contain them and to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the country.”
 
In the video statement, the self-proclaimed leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, also claimed responsibility for killing Sheik Adam Albani, a prominent Muslim cleric and known critic of the insurgent group.
 
The Nigerian military says it is beating Boko Haram and that the recent increase in attacks signifies increased desperation among insurgents. Chief of Army Staff Kenneth Minimah told troops in the north this week that security challenges in Nigeria are “not insurmountable.”
 
But Odekunle says the Boko Haram threat needs more than a military response.
 
Most Nigerians live in abject poverty.  High unemployment and lack of education leave a lot of young men willing to fight because they have no other way to survive.

“The government needs to address the social order issues, which constitute of economic and educational issues that are underlying the emergence and sustenance of Boko Haram,” said Odekunle. 
 
Odekunle says Nigeria has the physical might to beat Boko Haram, but not necessarily the political will. In the meantime, he doesn’t think Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of people in northern Nigeria, has the capacity to attack southern oil refineries.
 
But A.B. Umar, a former Navy captain, says recent attacks in the north show the group has far more support than is generally believed. 

“How are they able to go to airport and attack the airport with all the checkpoints of the military and the police?" he asked. " How are they able to go in to the barracks and attack the barracks with all the checkpoints?”

It is not clear who is financing Boko Haram, but they are obviously well-funded, Umar says.  And as improbable as it might seem to southerners who have been free from Boko Haram attacks, he believes they may have the equipment and resources to expand.

Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maduguri, Ardo hazzad contributed to this report from  Bauchi

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 21, 2014 4:51 AM
When people leave the main issue and start to allude to other trivial issues in order to score a political point or so that it be seen that they make elaborate statements, it is both time wasting and costly in terms of the diversion it causes. Who says hungry people start doing things that are not in the blood? Where has it happened before? It is important to call a spade a spade. Boko haram insurgency is not a result of just hunger, lack of education and unemployment in the country even though its curators would use those to divert attention. It is a brain child of global islamization/islamification of the OIC anchored in Nigeria for Iran and Saudi Arabia by prominent, disgruntled elements of the religion in politics who feel cheated because Jonathan is unduly foisted on them. Otherwise there is no other way to explain the education of the likes of Shekau and his evil riders, the university lecturers, the governors/ex-governors, and politicians who are giving the mad dogs everything they need in prosecution of the evil campaign against mostly Christians, liberals and moderate muslim clerics in the country. No one can say these don't have the best of education, so ruling out the issue of lack of education. Of course non-educated people are mostly docile and innocuous - sorry for that information. One expected the changes the president made in the service chiefs team to reflect in an improvement in the fight against this evil, instead what we have now is an increase. And why not when the changes were purely politically motivated rather than for a desire to salvage the country. Otherwise there are other service chiefs still in service who are neck-deep in sabotaging rather than serving the country. The least of that problem now is the Central Bank governor sacked. Talk about pursuing rat when the house is on fire!


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
February 21, 2014 3:59 AM
With all the military might Nigeria has, She cannot defeat Boko Haram? The Nigerian Government has allowed Boko Haram to terrorized the Nigerian people, Nigeria going around trying to bring peace in other people country, But in her own backyard, she cannot clean it up?It is time that the Nigerian Government take drastic action against Boko Haram. The Nigeria people are dying too much, and enough is enough. when Mr. Goodluck came to power, he took an oath to protect and defend the country and its citizen. and it is time that the Nigerian Government act quickly. The Government need to crash Boko Haram. How long will the poor people of Nigeria be dying? We are calling on the Nigerian Government to take a measure and send a message to Boko Haram.We are tired with this nonsense that is going on in Africa. The Governments of Africa need to do more, this is a shame on our part as Africans. It is time that we all come together for the sake of peace and the love of Africa. God Bless Nigeria, God Bless Africa


by: samklef from: ikorodu
February 21, 2014 3:42 AM
Our govt is in touch of everything,they no the bokoharam,they are killing our people,M.k.o,as said nigeria is going to fight for them sell,if they kill one of the govt son,they are goin to know what to do then


by: Anonymous
February 20, 2014 4:32 PM
THE DAY OUR GOVMET WILL ALAW US TO DEFEND OUR SELFS THAT WILL BE END OF B' HARAM.


by: USSYAMH from: BANANA REPUBLIC
February 20, 2014 11:58 AM
That will be the end of bokoram on earth,should touch General Muhammadu Buhari rtd,whoever is their sponsor,they will follow him into their early grave ,if they think is ajoke let them try it and

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 21, 2014 4:25 AM
All this "should they touch general Buhari" is a farce. It is a deceptive strategy meant to divert attention from the kingpin of boko haram. If Gen. Buhari is not boko haram, who else is? Only Alh. Atiku Abubakar? It's time Jonathan stood up to make the necessary arrests to stem boko haram. We should not be deceived by the same people who are boko haram and at the same time pretend that boko haram is threatening them.


by: USSY from: BANANA REPUBLIC
February 20, 2014 11:48 AM
That will be the end of bokoram on earth,should the touch Gen Buhari

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid