Boko Haram Ramps Up Use of Female Suicide Bombers as Nigeria Prepares to Install New President

Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari addresses the media during former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit at the Defence House in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari addresses the media during former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit at the Defence House in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria’s newly elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, promised during his campaign that he would tackle the militant terrorist group Boko Haram.

On Friday (May 29), he will be sworn into office, just as the extremist group is ramping up its use of female suicide bombers.

Buhari, who is Muslim, replaces Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the country’s south. Both Christians and Muslims voted for Buhari in April, convinced he could stop the terrorist rampage.

Nigerians fear violence may escalate if female terrorists are deployed because they can hide explosives under their long Muslim abayas, or gowns.

More women and children have been used as suicide bombers in the first five months of this year than during the whole of last year, according to reports collated by UNICEF.

In 2014, women and girls carried out three-quarters of the attacks in Nigeria, according to UNICEF. Initially, the group used male suicide bombers, mainly, to attack churches, mosques, public places and government installations.

The phrase Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language.

“Children are not instigating these suicide attacks. They are used intentionally by adults in the most horrific way,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria.

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SOURCE: Religion News Service
Fredrick Nzwili

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