By Ramon Oladimeji
The new Boko Haram leader, Abu Masab Al-Barnawi, says Christians in Nigeria will be the new target of the sect’s attacks, vowing that the sect will kill all Christians and “blow up every church that we are able to reach.”
Al-Barnawi was the spokesman for the fundamentalist sect until August 3 when he was declared its new leader to replace Abubakar Shekau.
In an interview he granted Al-Naba Newspaper, which was translated by SITE Intelligence Group, Al-Barnawi was reported as describing Boko Haram’s activities in Nigeria as a war fought by Muslims against “apostates” and “crusaders.”
He said the group was aggrieved that the West had been trying to Christianise Africa, saying the West was spreading Christianity to the African region and charities were assisting them in doing that.
He also claimed that victims of insurgency were being kept in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camp, fed and sheltered for the purpose of turning their children to Christians.
He, however, said the group would retaliate.
He said, “They (West) strongly seek to Christianise the society…They exploit the condition of those who are displaced under the raging war, providing them with food and shelter and then Christianising their children.”
Al-Barnawi vowed that Boko Haram fighters would retaliate by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach and kill all those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross.”
The new Boko Haram leader said the sect “remained a force to be reckoned with,” boasting that it had enlisted new recruits.