LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) — Bishop George Dodo of Zaria, Nigeria, condemned the improvised explosive device detonated by a suspected Boko Haram insurgent who killed at least 24 government workers.

Bishop Dodo spoke to Catholic News Service by phone July 8, the day after a woman with a baby strapped to her back detonated an IED inside a local government building in Zaria. Civil servants were undergoing staff verification, and Bishop Dodo said the bomber capitalized on lax security.

The bishop said he was at a loss as to why people would want to serve as suicide bombers, destroying their own lives and those of other innocent people.


“This is because of the wrong religious indoctrination such people have been exposed to by some disgruntled leaders hiding under religion,” the bishop told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview. Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, is a Muslim militant group.

“It is not about unemployment or poverty that we attributed the insurgency to when it initially reared its ugly head in 2009 but, rather, it is due to wrong religious indoctrination,” Bishop Dodo said.

“Our youths must, therefore, be careful and guard against being used by such leaders to achieve their diabolical intentions,” he said. He added that young people must realize that no religion preaches destruction of lives; rather, religions preach peace, tolerance and value for lives.

He also advised the government to provide employment opportunities for young people so that they would not fall prey into the hands of those he described as predators.

“Unemployed youths will always fall prey to little money dangled at them by those who wish to use them to perpetrate evil,” he said.