Deaths and violence have been taking place in Nigeria amidst religious tension and a national fuel crisis that has so far lasted 2 days. While the Islamist group Boko Haram remains hostile towards Christians, the country’s situation has been worsened by the removal of fuel subsidies. With gas costs rising, a general strike and demonstrations have put the country on hold making peace an even more challenging prospect.
A doctor in the North, near the recent violence in a town called Potiskum, told Al-Jazeera that on Tuesday eight people were brought in to the mortuary. They were killed when a group of gunmen stormed a pub. Among the dead was a 10-year-old girl.
In Benin, to the south, Al-Jazeera reported that a mosque was set ablaze and an Islamic school nearby had been burnt down.
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer. On Monday during protests against rising fuel prices and religious conflict, a group separated from the demonstration and terrorized a Hausa neighborhood - the Hausa community being a predominantly Muslim ethnicity.
Al-Jazeera reports that President Goodluck Jonathan claimed Boko Haram sympathizers were in various branches of the Nigerian government. He said, “The situation we have in our hands is even worse than the civil war that we fought” in the late 1960’s.
The country is divided between the mainly Muslim north, and the mainly Christian south.
*link to Al-Jazeera article*