NIFROP lauds Army on spiritual warfare seminar to defeat Boko Haram, extreme religious ideologies


The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisation for Peace (NIFROP) has hailed the Nigerian Army for organising a spiritual warfare seminar to combat Boko Haram’s devilish ideologies.

Unknown to Nigerians, this practice isn’t new as some reputable nations’ military resorted to aggressive forms of prayers on the battlefield.

This concept was utilized by the North Americans in the form of evangelical warfare prayer since the 1980s.

In a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Secretary General of the group, Rev (Dr) Elijah Akuh said the Army deserves commendation for towing this honourable path, knowing that Boko Haram’s ideology is based on strict adherence to Wahhabism – an extreme form of Sunni Islam.

According to the clergyman, the essence of the conference was to properly educate troops and arm them against such ideologies that have been used in the past to infiltrate and break the ranks of any fighting force.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace, therefore, called on other security agencies to emulate the Army in conducting routine spiritual warfare.

The group added that this should serve as a challenge to spiritual and religious leaders on the need to support the Army in prayers and supplications in the fight against terrorism.

Read full statement below.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace in Nigeria (NIFROP) a conglomeration of faith-based organisations in Nigeria having extensively evaluated the operational strategies of the Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in Nigeria wishes to by this medium state in unequivocal terms that indeed the Nigerian Army has risen to the occasion in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

This is hinged on the fact that the Boko Haram terrorist group over the years had indeed practiced a radical stance that has seen to the propagation of their ideology in the pursuit of their nefarious activities.

The beliefs of Boko Haram which tend to be centred on strict adherence to Wahhabism, which is an extremely strict form of Sunni Islam that sees many other forms of Islam as idolatrous is indeed worrisome and must be condemned by all well-meaning religious groups in Nigeria.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace wishes to state that it aligns with the various approaches embraced by the leadership of the Nigerian Army in confronting the Boko Haram terrorist group since 2009 when the group took up a violent campaign against the constituted authorities in Nigeria.

The recently concluded Nigerian Army Spiritual Warfare Seminar with the theme, countering insurgency and violent extremism in Nigeria through spiritual warfare could not have come at a better time in the light of the fact that the Boko Haram terrorist group has indeed utilized a religious ideology that if not tamed would ultimately give them the impetus to continue to perpetuate evil in North-East Nigeria.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace understands that in the battle of spiritual warfare, we need to begin with acknowledging that we are in a war and that such battles make up smaller components of the bigger picture.

These invisible or unseen forces, are real. There are forces, both angelic and demonic, that are actively working around us. There is evil that we fight in our spiritual warfare, and the Boko Haram warfare is not an exemption.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace states that the essence of the conference was to properly educate troops and arm them against such ideologies that have been used in the past to infiltrate and break the ranks of any fighting force in the world.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace also states that everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected in the spiritual world and as such the recent strategy introduced by the Nigerian Army is not out of place and a display of foresight by the leadership of the Nigerian Army in its quest to ultimately win the war against Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria.

This is on the heels that militarization and aggressive forms of prayer is not a new concept as it has been utilized by the North Americans in the evangelical warfare prayer developed since the 1980s. They have elaborated a complex theology and prayer practice with a highly militarized discourse and set of rituals for doing spiritual battle and conducting prayer strikes on the battlefield.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace encourage other security agencies to deliberately carry out corporate social responsibilities initiatives in areas that will help Nigeria to defeat extreme religious ideologies like what Boko Haram and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have done the country all in the name of religion.

Our troops must be charged to know and understand that no terrorist group fights for any religious group in the country, but instead their evil agenda. So this much the recently concluded Nigerian Army Warfare Seminar aims to bring to the limelight.

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace commends the leadership of the Nigerian Army for this laudable initiative and consequently gives its approval for more of such conferences to be organized.

This conference as organized by the Nigerian Army should serve as a challenge to spiritual and religious leaders on the need to support the Nigerian Army in prayers and supplications in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Army has indeed done well with this noble initiative contrary to what some section of the media wants the unsuspecting members of the public to believe.

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