04 March 2020, The Tablet

Nigeria divided: when poverty and ignorance kill

Nigeria divided: when poverty and ignorance kill

Bishops and clergy in Abuja lead a peaceful protest march against extremism on Sunday
Aid to the Church in need


Nigeria’s bishops have launched peaceful protests against the ‘brutal killing of innocent Nigerians’. Two prominent Nigerian Catholics argue that the root of the current spate of killings is not religious difference but the cynical manipulation of Islam by a corrupt elite

Two isolated events recently took place in two different locations in Nigeria. They appear unconnected, but each speaks to the distorted political and social landscape that has turned Nigeria into a place of fear and terror.

On 1 February, a Catholic seminarian, Michael Nnadi, was brutally murdered in the inner recesses of the dark forests along the now infamous Abuja-Kaduna road. Two days earlier a milder drama had played out in the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja. There, Alhassan Ado Garba, popularly known as Alhassan Doguwa, turned the hallowed chamber into a theatre of the absurd. He introduced his four wives to his fellow representatives, declaring that he had transported the women all the way from Maiduguri, the epicentre of Boko Haram attacks, to Abuja to meet them. “You call me a powerful man in this House,” he told them, “but I want to prove to you that I am also powerful at home. These my four wives have produced 27 children for me and I am still counting.”

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