An Italian nun who has been living in Southern Nigeria for the past 18 years has declared that Boko Haram can only be defeated if corruption ends in the country.
According to Enza Guccione, Nigerian terror group Boko Haram’s deadly attacks will only end if corruption is eliminated in the country.
Sister Enza moved to Nigeria in 1996 and is currently looking after the community of Igbedor, a river island between Kogi State and Anambra State.
In 2009, Sister Enza contributed to the creation of the Emmanuel Childrenland Nursery/Primary School in Igbedor, where about 400 children attend lessons. In the same year she and the Bishop of Onitsha, Southern Nigeria, founded the NGO Emmanuel Family, aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Igbedor.
Drawing on her years of experience in the country, Sister Enza thinks Boko Haram is the result of Nigeria’s internal instability and politicians’ lack of effort to promote the country’s development.
“I believe Nigerian politics, famous for its great corruption, does not aim at promoting the country’s development,” Sister Enza told IBTimes UK.
“Politicians’ only interest is to get rich by exploiting the country’s oil. There is a continuous fight over oil production.”
Nigeria’s corruption problem has attracted international scrutiny and even been acknowledged by President Goodluck Jonathan, who has promised a crackdown on “massive corrupt practices” in the country’s banking and oil sectors.
Last year the head of the Nigerian Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was suspended after he alleged that $20bn (£12bn) of oil revenue “went missing” from state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)). Just a few months later an ex-Goldman Sachs banker was jailed for laundering money on behalf of one of Nigeria’s most infamous politicians, James Ibori.
Alluding to this spate of scandals, Sister Enza said: “Boko Haram will stop only when politicians’ corruption will end.
“To defeat terrorism, leaders must build a solid future for the nation, by providing education for everybody, creating jobs for the youths, using the country’s natural resources to help Nigerians and guaranteeing the recognition of basic human rights to all the citizens.”
Boko Haram, which opposes the westernisation of Nigeria and wishes to impose Sharia law in the country, has been branded a terror group.
The group’s campaign of terror, characterised by attacks in public spaces, such as schools and hospitals, is focused on Northern Nigeria where three states, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, have been under a state of emergency since May last year because of the group’s activities.
Sister Enza, however, does not think that Boko Haram is engaging in a religious war.
“If there was a religious war, Boko Haram would have focused their attacks on the Southwest of Nigeria, instead of the North, mainly inhabitated by Muslims, and which is close to Muslim-majority countries Chad, Niger and Cameroon.”
Perhaps most significantly, Sister Enza said that Muslims do not approve of Boko Haram’s attacks. In Igbedor, for example, Muslims “define the insurgents as ‘paid assassins’ without any political or religious agen