Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thoughts and prayers for Nigeria

It is shocking to learn of the bus station bombing in Nigeria where dozens have been killed (at least 71 according to reports) and 124 wounded. It happened during the morning rush hour. The bus station, 8km southwest of central Abuja, serves Nyanya, a poor, ethnically and religiously mixed satellite town. Nyanya is filled with government and civil society workers who cannot afford Abuja's exorbitant rents.

The attack underscored the vulnerability of Abuja, built in the 1980s in the geographic centre of Nigeria to replace coastal Lagos as the seat of government for what is now Africa's biggest economy and top oil producer.
Boko Haram, which says it is fighting for an Islamic state, has largely been confined to Nigeria's remote northeast. The group has been particularly active in the area over the past few months and is increasingly targeting civilians it accuses of collaborating with the government or security forces. Boko Haram violence has cost more than 1,500 lives already this year, but most of the unrest has affected villages in the remote northeast.
Nigeria is Africa top oil producer and largest economy, but more than 80 percent of the its 170 million people live on less than $2 per day. Analysts say that the Boko Haram unrest has partly stalled economic growth and scared away potential investors.

We hold in our prayers the families of those who have died, and for the nation of Nigeria.
We remember the Christians in Nigeria, where extremists are fighting for an Islamic state.
We remember the Deaconess Order, Methodist Church, Nigeria, and their ministry amongst the poor, vulnerable and needy.

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