The Umbrella for Democratic Change wishes to express its shock and horror at the continued massacre of civilians in Nigeria. It is said that these horrific attacks are carried out by Boko Haram whose aim is to establish an Islamic state in North-eastern Nigeria. The latest attacks have resulted in the deaths of over 2000 people, including women and children. What is most shocking about these attacks is the extent to which the perpetrators are ruthless. They seem to have a particular liking of using children, especially girl-children in the execution of their evil deeds. The most recent being the use of a 10 year old girl as a suicide bomber. It is even more disturbing that African leaders are silent about the deteriorating situation in Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan, who should be leading the campaign to bring peace to his country, is strangely quiet about the massacres of civilians in his own country. Instead he is quick to comment about the shootings in France when his people are seeking his leadership.
The African Union has itself not shown much leadership in the cataclysmic situation that is evolving in Nigeria, which if not contained is likely to snowball into a crisis in West Africa. The question is where is the African leadership when their people need them such as in the case of Nigeria? Where is the African solidarity which should be expressed in institutions such as the AU? We wish to warn that the crisis that is evolving in Nigeria needs to be addressed immediately through a coordinated African response. If it is not contained soon it is likely to obliterate Nigeria as we know it today, and such colossal political occurrence is likely to reverberate throughout the continent. We wish to call on the government of Botswana to make representation at both the African Union and the Security Council for the two bodies to initiate urgent action that will bring political resolution to the crisis in Nigeria.
Rev Dr Prince Dibeela
UDC Secretary for International Relations