CHRISTIANS IN DANGER IN NIGERIA!!!
(Onitsha Nigeria, 8th May 2016)-The Nigerian Christians and other secular populations are steadily going the Lebanon way by facing steady and unprovoked attacks, hostilities and targeted decimation in the hands of northern politico-religious fundamentalists. Fifty years ago, the population of Christians in Lebanon was estimated at about 78%, which has been violently suppressed to about 34% following forceful conquest and conversion by its radical Muslim neighbors including Iranian backed Hezbollah using targeted and widespread violence. Similar situation is the case in Egypt where Christians of Asyut origins with sizable population decades ago has brutally been suppressed, leading to its present population being reduced to less than 10% of the Egyptian population.
The risen Nigeria’s secular and Christians’ enemies under reference (politico-religious fundamentalists of the north) are drawn from arch-conservative members of the northern oligarchy who have penetrated, permeated and gripped the country’s political, military, legislative, judicial and open and secret policing establishments; reaching their peak following the emergence of Gen Muhammadu Buhari as the country’s sixth civilian President in late May 2015. They are religiously ritualized in Sokoto and politically radicalized in Kaduna. In other words, they are rebranded “Sokoto Caliphate” (Fulani theocrats or Emirs) and “Kaduna Mafia” (Hausa-Fulani top Muslim politicians, business moguls; serving and retired security chiefs).
Put together, they can best be described as “Hausa-Fulani Politico-Religious Fundamentalists”. They function as “planners and sponsors of sedentary terrorism” and extensively make use of teeming poor population of the north (almajarai or talakawas), dominated by young and middle-age uneducated male population, who are used as “pastoral terrorism combatants or executors”. Their widespread violence targeted at and unleashed on the Christians of the North and South; is orchestrated using “grazing and bomb terrorisms”. Grazing terrorism is perpetrated through Fulani Cattle herding concentrated in the rain forest regions of Nigeria (Southeast, South-south, Southwest and old Middle Belt); while bomb terrorism is perpetrated through pro Islamist terror groups operating under several Arab-Islamic names (i.e. Boko Haram, etc).
Decimation Of Northern Christian Population & Actualization Of Northern Presidency:Bomb-Terrorism through Boko Haram insurgency was extensively used by the referenced fundamentalists of the north for purposes of uprooting and decimating Christian communities in the core north and actualization of the northern Presidency. These are the core objectives of the Boko Haram insurgency as part of its “Islamization of Nigeria project”. Most, if not all Christian communities in Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba States, etc have been uprooted and decimated, leading to “fleeing of over 1.3million Christians, burning, destruction or closure of 13,000 churches and Christian schools and killing of at least 11,500 Christians” (source: Open Doors; an anti Christians persecution group: 2016).
The third core objective of these northern fundamentalists using grazing terrorism (Fulani Janjaweed) and bomb terrorism (Boko Haram, etc) is total Islamization of Nigeria particularly the country’s southern and other rain forest regions. The Christian communities in those northern States were carefully marked and decimated using Boko Haram and Fulani Janjaweed insurgencies. The rebranded bomb terrorism targeted at Southern and old Middle Belt Christians is to be executed using former Boko Haram bomb makers and detonators.
New Dimensions Of Islamization Project Through Grazing & Bomb Terrorisms: Following the emergence of Gen Muhammadu Buhari; an arch proponent of theocratic and oligarchic Islamism, as the northern born President of Nigeria and successful decimation of Christian populations in the core north, the architects of north politico-religious fundamentalism have introduced new dimensions into “Nigerian Islamization Project”; by moving it from sedentary terrorism to pastoral terrorism. In other words, from concentrated to escalated terrorism; with movement from north to south. These dimensions are the third stage of the three core objectives of the architects of the “Nigerian Islamization Project”; having achieved the other two (northern presidency and uprooting and decimation of core northern Christian populations).
Two New Theories Of Pastoral (Grazing & Bomb) Terrorism: The sponsors and planners of the Nigerian Islamization Project have further come up with two new theories. The theories are built on the ground of a general argument put across to the field leadership and combatants of the Boko Haram insurgency to the effect that “there is need to retreat from the core north and move towards the south, under the same Boko Haram name or another, or even under anonymous terror-code, since two out of their three core objectives have been achieved; making further concentration of the insurgency in the core north counter-product and inimical to the development of the north and safety of the area, its people and properties”. In addition to this, more currency and resources were channeled into the grazing or Fulani Janjaweed insurgency; leading to its increased menace since third quarter of 2015.
They see continuation of insurgencies in the area after getting the Presidency and decimating core northern Christian populations as unnecessary killing of members of their own religion and destruction of their properties and retardation of northern development plans. This explains the government oiled media propaganda to the effect that “Boko Haram insurgency has been crushed militarily”; whereas the truth remains that those behind the insurgency have only changed strategies.
We had expected cessation of Boko Haram violence in the Buhari’s core north months after the emergence of his Presidency. Strictly and expertly speaking, insurgency or guerrilla warfare borne out of pure socio-religious values is very difficult to crush militarily. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, for instance, the Mujahedeen Islamic insurgency of 1970s is still on and has given birth to al-Qaeda and ISIS. The Iranian backed Hezbollah has been in existence for over 40 years.
Further, in order to make the south ungovernable, unsafe, tourist and development unfriendly, widespread pastoral terrorisms(grazing and bomb terrorisms) have been designed for the core south of old Eastern Region and to a large extent the Southwest and the old Middle Belt. The two new theories associated with south-bound rebranded grazing and bomb terrorisms are centered on combined or separate use of grazing terrorism through unchecked violence of the Fulani Janjaweed and bomb terrorism through the use of incendiary explosive weapons and group-terrorists operating amorphously and anonymously or through Arab-Islamic terror code-names such as Boko Haram, Ansaru, etc. The two terrorisms are designed to be used side by side or separately depending on circumstances. For instance, while grazing terrorism is designed to decimate rural areas of the south and old Middle Belt, bomb terrorism is designed to devastate and ruin urban cities and strategic government and civilian objects in the south.
Of the two rebranded terrorisms, the bomb terrorism will extensively be used because of its amorphous and difficult detection nature. It is also escapist and easy for conspiratorial political and security establishments to wash their hands off same and claim that “Boko Haram, having been defeated in the northeast, have regrouped and moved towards the South; and that they are in pursuit of the insurgents”. With the South in terroristic tatters and ruins and the north in “piece and quietness”, the north will attract huge Sharia-friendly investments and tens of thousands of feeble minded and terrified Christians willing to be converted to Islam for “safety” are also expected to migrate to the area. The targeted, too, will militarize and arm themselves, leading to widespread reprisal and offensive attacks including counter non-State factored terrorist attacks in the context of “self-help retaliatory violence”, all as consequences of mounting regime failures, one-sidedness and State collapse. This is a clear recipe for genocide.
Other Pro-Islamization Policies & Conducts Of The Buhari Administration: It is on record that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is thoroughly pro Islam in most, if not in all its policies and conducts since its emergence in late May 2015. The worst victim of these pro Islamic policies and conducts is the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the secularity of the country. The Buhari administration hardly makes vivid reference or resort to the Constitution in its governance policies and conducts, particularly in matters of rule of law, secularity of Nigeria, federal character, federal establishments and political appointments, parliamentarianism, security and citizens’ protection, promotions and appointments of security chiefs and fundamental human rights. The Constitution is rarely resorted to where and when it suits the primordial and parochial interests of the present administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari.
As a matter of fact, the Buhari’s Presidency now governs the country not according to the Constitution, but according to personal and primordial initiatives. Failure to take recourse to parliamentarianism in sensitive governance issues is another clear case of pro Islamic policies and conducts particularly in matters of multilateral and bilateral alliances and agreements. A number of international military-religious alliances and monetary agreements, sensitive to the country’s secular status, national unity and cohesion have been negotiated without recourse to parliamentarianism.
The present composition of the country’s open and secret policing and other security top hierarchies; following recent appointments and promotions therein, particularly in the Nigeria Police Force, is also secularly lopsided and Islamization friendly. The “anti preaching Bills designed to be passed into law as laws of Kaduna State and the entire 19 northern States” are not only grossly unconstitutional but also further attestation of steady moves by the present APC led government in Nigeria to Islamize Nigeria; likewise recent executive and legislative ethnic war drumming utterances of northern Governors and Senators.
The proposed “anti preaching Bills” are utterly coupist and a clear breach of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution (the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as a State Religion) and Section 38 of the same Constitution (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion). To the extent that none of these executive and legislative anarchists has been arrested by the DSS for violently threatening and calling for the breakup of Nigeria; whereas the IPOB, its members and supporters that peacefully and nonviolently demanded for “a national question” are massacred by security forces; speaks volume of Nigeria as a country of “two classes in one” or where some animals are more equal than others.
Other clear indicators of State oiled Islamization project in Nigeria are gross sectional appointment of vice chancellors of federal universities, bills seeking to nationalize and institutionalize Fulani Animal Husbandry and compulsory country-wide grazing and pasturing in Nigeria, sectional promotions in the Nigeria Police Force, incessancy of massacre of thousands of unarmed and defenseless civilians particularly women and children by State security forces and malicious non-State actors backed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, and abetting and condoning of hostilities and atrocities of the Fulani Janjaweed and other criminal entities.
Call For Citizens Vigilance & National Question: The issuance of this statement of ours is in furtherance of our earlier resolve to bring to the attention of the general public at all times such advocacy measures and awareness creation capable of making them particularly the Nigerian Christian and secular populations to be aware of State and non-State factored security threats and other unsafe conditions steadily being directed at them. Also to the extent that the State is steadily losing its traditional capacities to protect all innocent and defenseless Nigerians should be a serious call for concern to all and sundry. Unchecked failure of the State to govern and protect its citizens could lead to regime collapse and anarchy. To make progress as a country in the midst of all these regime factored tribulations; Nigerians must pressurize the Buhari administration to allow room for “a national question” (i.e. how do we live and develop as a country).
It has also gotten to a stage where the present administration must realize that use of “warlordism” and State terrorism as democratic governance approaches to tackle the myriad of the country’s social problems are the worst governance styles and anarchy drumming. President Muhammadu Buhari must be compelled to return Nigeria to constitutionalism and pluralistic democracy. His administration must be stopped from gravely violating Section 10 of the Constitution which clearly and unambiguously states that “the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as a State Religion”. He must be taught that another name for credible and popular democracy is secularism; and primordialism and fundamentalism are its greatest enemies.
Lastly, to the extent that “he whose house is on fire does not pursue a rat”, Nigerians must tell the Buhari administration that until it faces realities and stop flying all over the world and unleashing the State terror on innocent and defenseless Nigerians; likewise selective and preferential protection of members of Hausa-Fulani citizens at the expense of other citizens, using security forces maintained with commonwealth of all Nigerians, the country will remain in doldrums and at daggers drawn.
We appeal to the Southern part of Nigeria and the old Middle Belt region to be highly security conscious from their right, left and center and in their homes, schools, places of worship, workplaces, leisure spots, parks, garages, movements etc, because those behind grazing and bomb terrorisms in Nigeria are set out to run riot on their lives, liberties, properties, urban cities and rural communities. Our findings from the police twisted bomb blast of 3rd May 2016 in Onitsha are a clear case in point.
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348180771506
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Mobile Line: +2347013238673