While violence across the country is, sadly, nothing new, few have been as open and notorious about their deeds as Boko Haram. Now that they have claimed responsibility for the Plateau killings, we decided to look back on the crimes the group has committed since the beginning of the year.
2012 started with a bang for Boko Haram, literally. On the 5th and 6th of January militants armed with automatic weapons stormed a town hall in the city of Mubi in Adamawa State where people had gathered to mourn 3 Christians shot on the previous evening. At least 18 people were confirmed killed by a Nigerian Red Cross official and a separate ambush of Christians leaving a church service in the state capital of Yola left at least eight people dead. Most of the victims were ethnic Igbo. Deaths: 37.
The killings continued on the 20th of January. After Friday prayers, a group of gunmen in police uniforms entered five police buildings and freed all of the inmates. They proceeded to bomb the buildings, as well as two immigration offices and the local office of the State Security Service in Kano. They later drove around the city in cars and motorcycles, shooting pedestrians and battling with police. Deaths: 185.
On February 16th, 119 inmates escaped from a prison in Koton Karfi, Kogi State, when about 20 members of Boko Haram raided the facility early Wednesday night, bombing the entrance to the prison and fatally shooting one warden.
On February 20th Boko Haram entered Maiduguri town market and threw explosives into the crowd after opening fire. Over 30 people were pronounced dead.
During a March 8th British hostage rescue attempt to free Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and Briton Christopher McManus, abducted in 2011 by a splinter group Boko Haram, both hostages were killed.
A German Engineer, Edgar Fritz Raupach, who was held hostage by gunmen since January 26 was killed by his captors on May 31st when Nigerian security forces stormed their hideout, a bungalow apartment located at Danbare surburb, along Gwarzo highway, in Kano.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Bauchi state on June 3rd where a Church was bombed with about 15 Christian worshippers killed and several others injured, even as the group also re-emphasized its earlier warning to the media houses to desist from under-reporting its activities or face devastating attacks.
On June 17th suicide bombers strike three churches in Kaduna State. At least 50 people were killed. In an email sent to local media the group said that the blasts were in revenge for previous Christian "atrocities" against Muslims.
Boko Haram has openly claimed responsibility for bombings and killings in Nigeria but President Goodluck Jonathan said that the militant Islamist group must state its grievances before his administration can start talks to end its violent campaign in Africa’s top oil producer.
And although they their leaders have been tagged by the United States of America as foreign terrorists, and blocked their assets, the group seems relentless in its effort to make Nigeria an Islamic state.
In a deathbed confession, a young suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber told an officer in Bauchi that the group was “doing God’s work” and would not stop.
Too many people have died, many others injured, families left homeless, fatherless, motherless, and childless as a result of these bombings and killings.
Who will save us from these oppressors? Where will Nigeria’s salvation come from?