Nigerian authorities in Adamawa, a city in northeastern Nigeria that has been the focus of violent Boko Haram attacks in recent weeks, have banned all viewings of the soccer World Cup after the country’s intelligence received information that the Islamist group is planning bomb attacks across the country.
The move by the Nigerian authorities to ban screenings of soccer games in the country follows intelligence reports that suggest the Nigerian militant group, which opposes western education in the country and has killed several people in multiple attacks and kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls, has reportedly planned to bomb various heavily populated regions across the country during the World Cup games.
"Our action is not to stop Nigerians... watching the World Cup. It is to protect their lives," Brigadier General Nicholas Rogers reportedly told Agence France-Presse in Yola, Adamawa’s capital, according to BBC.
Nigeria’s decision to safeguard its population from an attack by Boko Haram by banning the screening of games could reportedly be influenced by an attack on Kampala, the capital of Uganda, where 70 people were killed after Somali Islamists bombed two restaurants, which were showing the World Cup 2010 games.
Nigeria’s team plays Iran in its first game on June 16 at the Arena da Baixada in the southeastern city of Curitiba.
"I had told my husband and children they would have to kill me before I let them go out to watch football. I have dreams about the danger ... I thank the military for their action," Mary Toba, a vegetable seller, told Reuters.
Boko Haram's actions stirred international concern when the group kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from their dorms in April. Despite international groups joining hands to assist the Nigerian government in the search, the missing girls have not yet been found.
Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed in Adamawa, when a bomb exploded in a bar that was screening a soccer game. Though no military group took responsibility for the attack, the authorities have suspected Boko Haram's involvement.
On Wednesday, the group kidnapped 40 young mothers from a town near Chibok, the village from where the school girls were kidnapped. And, last week, the group slaughtered hundreds of people in three villages.