Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 17:41 UK

Nigerian attacks: Your reaction

Arrested members of a local Islamic group sit outside a police station

Nigerians react to the ongoing violence in the north caused by the radical Islamist Boko Haram sect who want Islamic law imposed across Nigeria.


All this is the failure of the government security forces.

A month ago I returned home to Calabar from my university in the north when my teachers went on strike. It is only because of the strike that I have been saved from being caught up in the violence.

Since June, we were hearing how Mohammed Yusuf was planning all these attacks.

He said that he would fight against the government and shed blood in the town.

For more than a month all this was being planned and yet the government did not take any action.

The government should have taken the measures needed to apprehend this situation.

Rumours were going round about how Mohammed Yusuf was going to fight against the authorities and yet the police never did anything.

A lot of his followers come to the same university as me. Even though they are against Western education they still study but instead of doing courses like geography they do Islamic Studies. A lot also do engineering to learn how to make weapons and bombs.

I used to see them around campus. They dress in all white apart from their black head ties. They are rampant. They follow Mohammed Yusuf because he preaches to them. He tells them how books are unlawful and how they must be against the federal government because it will never be Islamic and practise Sharia law.

I am really worried because I have friends that are still there. I cannot reach them.

The government should send more security and go to Mohammed Yusuf's house and arrest him and his followers.

The government knows where they are.


I think it is time for Nigeria to be broken down into three so we have the south-east, south-west and the north as separates.

Children take refuge at a police station in Maiduguri, 28 July
Children have been hurt in the violence

It is sad to say but if people like me, from the south, who live in the north, do not trust the government, how can we be 'One Nigeria'?

I am not from the north - I am only working here.

I come from the Niger Delta where everything is a struggle.

I agree with my brothers who claim lack of education as a reason for this trouble but the government is also to blame. The government knew what was coming, the police knew about this.

These people in the north wanting to impose Sharia law on the whole country are wrong. They preach against education.

Education is above the whole world. Once you go to school you learn the truth. So now, what you are seeing is that these people cannot handle the fact that alleviation comes from education. These people do not want anyone below them to go to school so they do not learn more than them so they can control them.

If you are not educated then you can be easily controlled.

They want everyone to believe that they are in charge.


What a shame! I feel embarrassed.

It is said that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Innocent citizens are the ones bearing the brunt of this.

The effort of the security forces is good but we need something better.

A woman walks past a damaged police station in Potiskum, Yobe State, in 27 July 2009
Police stations across the north have been attacked in the clashes

I think our leaders need to do more. Our security forces have done well but they need to do more so more lives are not lost.

I understand that most of the supporters of these Islamist militants come from wealthy families and so I appeal to our leaders to forget that these individuals come from worthy backgrounds and punish them accordingly.

It is not good that the forces fire directly at them but they do need to regain the upper hand and gain control.

I think that this violence has been brewing for quite some time and the government has known it was coming. Sharia law has been operating underground for some time.

These radicals have to understand that Nigeria is religiously mixed and cannot be solely Muslim.

I was very impressed with what our president had to say if it was indeed coming from the bottom of his heart because he himself is Muslim.

But not all of the office leaders are setting a good example.

The firearms that these supporters have are very sophisticated and so obviously they are getting money from somewhere to pay for all of this. Wherever this money is coming from it must be stopped.


There is a crisis in the north.

I think what we are seeing now are the effects of the government in Nigeria marginalising people.

A police car stands near a pile of belongings taken from dead suspected militants in Maiduguri, 29 July

For so many years they have been doing this.

But I do not agree with the image that is being portrayed.

Why are these people not called terrorists?

They are not fighting for a just cause. They do not have anything to fight for - they are just killing innocent lives. They just come out speaking lies. They say they are fighting for Sharia law but no, they are forcing it onto other people - they want to Islamicise the north and then the whole of the country.

The ones in the north, they are terrorists and they should be called by that name.

The people in the south, here where I am in the Niger Delta, are fighting for their rights but they are called militants.

I don't agree that people who are fighting for their rights are called militants. They are not killing innocents. They are fighting for their rights.

I want the world to be aware of this issue of marginalisation and what is going on in Nigeria with the government.

I want the government to actually implement a new development where they try to bring all those who are behind all of this to justice and stop all the attacks on innocent victims.


This problem of radical Islamists in the northern part of the country is a result of low levels of education and development in these places.

I have friends who come from the north and we have been discussing these events in great detail.

From what they say, I am inclined to believe that the problem is due to a lack of education.

It is high time the political leaders there change their ways and let the people enjoy the dividends of democracy and be entitled to a better education system because what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

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