There are growing fears that Boko Haram’s persistent attacks targeting the Christian minority in the nation’s restive north could lead to a civil war, reports have said.
Following a recent attack on churches in Jos and Biu on Sunday, which left at least four dead and several injured, some Christian leaders, especially in the north, are threatening retaliation.
An Anglican bishop told reporters that the sect’s bombing of a Church in Jos, mid-service, could “cause another civil war and we are ready for it”.
Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma of Enugu, a recent report cited, said since polite demands for an end to the violence have been met by a brick wall, Christians would no longer tolerate the attacks.
Boko Haram, who claims to want the widespread acceptance of Shariah Law in Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on the church in Jos and the gun attack in Biu town in Borno state.
Spokesman for the deadly sect had said the attacks were to teach the security operatives a lesson. Five more people were killed in the retaliatory attacks that broke out when angry youths took to the streets, bringing the death toll from the Sunday’s multiple tragedies to eight.
Italy’s international cooperation minister Andrea Riccardi condemned the attack and urged international action to halt the terrorist group, the International Business Times wrote.
“Christian blood has again been spilt in Nigeria according to a now clear plan of ethnic and religious cleansing,” said Riccardi, the founder of a Catholic charity active in Africa.
“The international community can no longer look on at this massacre of innocent people without intervening.”
However, Nigerians have rejected a plan by the United States to list Boko Haram on its terror list. They claim that doing so will only make it more difficult for Nigerians to travel across international borders.