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Killings Of Thousands of Nigerian Christians: UK Report Indicts Buhari

The global independent report on the persecution of Christians authored by the Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen Bishop of Truro in the United Kingdom was recently concluded and submitted to the Government of the United Kingdom. The report studied seven countries – Iraq, Indonesia, China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Syria & Nigeria – as the world capitals for the persecution of Christians.

The report was concluded on July 4, 2019.In its examination of the killings in Nigeria, focused on the killings from Fulani herdsmen along the middle belt regions of the country. It cited the unwarranted killings of unarmed Christians by Fulani herdsmen who are often armed with sophisticated weapons. It observed that the security structure in Nigeria appears reluctant to go after the attackers. The military are more tuned to go after the victims – the report claims.

The report cites that Christians are clearly suffering persecution. The report claims the Buhari administration has done little to stop the tide of killings – instead, the Buhari administration have denied the occurrence of religious killings.

The Buhari administration have since become unsettled by the report and its submittal to the UK parliament. [Buhari’s administration’s response is reproduced below].

Click here to view the 176 page report: final-report-and-recommendations

Below is exerpt of the findings on Nigeria:

4.b.ii. Nigeria
The “intensification of conflict” in Nigeria in recent years comes at a time when 423

Christians in the country have suffered some of the worst atrocities inflicted on

Churchgoers anywhere in the world. Since 2009, Boko Haram, the Islamist militant

group in “allegiance” with Daesh (ISIS) extremists in Iraq and Syria, has 424

“inflicted mass terror on civilians, killing 20,000 Nigerians, kidnapping thousands

and displacing nearly two million”.425 The kidnapping of “mostly Christian girls”426

from a school in Chibok north-east Nigeria in April 2014 and the forced

“conversions” to Islam of many of the students, demonstrated the anti-Christian 427

agenda of the militants. Boko Haram’s continued detention of teenager Leah

Sharibu , kidnapped in April 2018, showed that the militants were continuing to 428

target Christians. The Catholic Church in north-east Nigeria reported in spring 2017

that Boko Haram violence had resulted in damage to 200 churches and chapels, 35

presbyteries (priests’ houses) and parish centres. At least 1.8 million people in 429

north-east Nigeria’s Borno state had been displaced by March 2017, according to

Church sources. To this extent, Boko Haram delivered on its March 2012 promise 430

of a “war” on Christians in Nigeria, in which a spokesman for the militants

reportedly declared: “We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence

in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won’t be able to

stay.” Hence, by 2017 it was being concluded that “Boko Haram has carried out 431

a genocide against Christians in northern Nigeria”.432

By that time, a new and growing threat to mainly Christian farming communities

had emerged from nomadic Fulani herdsmen. The Fulani carried out attacks

against Christian communities especially in Nigeria’s ‘Middle Belt’, the border

territory between the Hausa-speaking Muslim areas in northern Nigeria and land

further south mainly populated by Christians. Reports also showed mostly

retaliatory attacks against Fulani by “predominantly” Christian farmers, such as

the November 2016 killing of about 50 mainly Fulani pastoralists by ethnic

Bachama local residents in Numan district, Adamawa state. The causes of this 433

inter-communal conflict are complex and “attributed to many factors” . That 434

said whilst the conflict cannot simply be seen in terms of religion, it is equally

simplistic not to see the religious dimension as a significantly exacerbating factor,

and the Fulani attacks have repeatedly demonstrated a clear intent to target

Christians, and potent symbols of Christian identity. This was evidenced, for

example, by the April 2018 murder of two priests and 17 faithful during early

morning Mass at St Ignatius Catholic Church, Mblaom, Benue State, in Nigeria’s

Middle Belt. 435
The threat from Boko Haram and militant Fulani Islamist herdsmen – with evidence

of some counter-attacks from Christians – suggests that the situation for 436

Christians in parts of the country has “deteriorated” , with Nigeria rising through 437

the ranks of countries with the worst record of persecution against Christians.438

Faced with repeated accusations of inaction and even “connivance” in relation 439

to Fulani violence, it remains to be seen if Muhammadu Buhari, re-elected in the

February 2019 Presidential elections , will make good his promise, stated in 440

Easter 2019, to “do all it takes to… confront these security challenges [and] not

allow merchants of death and evil to overwhelm the nation.”441

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Posted by on Jul 13 2019. Filed under Africa, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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