Boko Haram tells Christians to leave

2012-01-02 23:05

Abuja - Radical Islamist group Boko Haram issued an ultimatum on Monday, telling southern Christians living in the north to leave within three days or face further violence.

Aminu Magada, a source close to the sect, told dpa that Boko Haram spokesperson Abu Qaga issued an e-mail statement to some media institutions.

The statement said southern Christians living in the north, particularly those in the states of Borno and Yobe, should leave immediately.

It comes after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in four northern states, where violence between ethnic groups has also flared in recent days.

Southerners account for more than 30% of the 18 million Nigerians living in the north of the country.

Many of them work in the commercial and retail sectors.

Although most Nigerian Christians come from southern states, many of those who moved to the north have since had families who converted to Islam.

In the last two weeks more than 90 000 people are believed to have fled the north after increased attacks by Boko Haram on the region.

The group claimed responsibility for co-ordinated bomb blasts at churches on Christmas Day that killed at least 30 people, and for the August bombing of the UN headquarters in Abuja, killing 25 people.

Jonathan is in the process of setting up an anti-terrorism unit, but his efforts to quash the sect have come under fire from commentators, many of whom fear that an attempt to divide the country along geographical and religious lines could spark civil unrest like that seen during the 1967-70 civil war.

The government has yet to react to Monday's ultimatum.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.