Christians At Risk In Northern Nigeria: How 258 Northern Christians Were Massacred In Seven Days(June 23-June 29, 2014)
(Security & Safety, Onitsha Nigeria, 30th June 2014)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety wishes to raise local and international alarm over coordinated efforts by Islamic jihadists operating under the platforms of 'Boko Haram' and 'Fulani Jihadists/herdsmen' to eliminate all Christian communities in northern Nigeria with a view at imposing the so called 'Islamic Republic of Nigeria' or 'Arewa Islamic Republic'. The ethno-religious cleansing campaigns launched in July 2009 are also targeted at forcing the federal governing authorities in the country to return the presidency to core northern Muslims. The likes of Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwamkwaso, Governor of Kano State, recently told the AFP that 'the injustices meted out to northern Muslims by a Christian President fueled Boko Haram insurgency'. Other leading northern Muslim politicians have also not hidden their support and sponsorship of 'Christian blood-for-northern presidency' campaigns.
It is still a part of recorded history that the 'Hausa Land' and a number of other neighboring principalities were conquered in early 19th century by a Fulani jihadist named 'Shaihu Usman dan Fodio' (Usuman bii Foduye 1754-1817). As the leader of 'Maliki School of Islam', he later led a jihad that conquered strategic Hausa States starting from 1804 and became the Sultan of Sokoto from 1803 to 1815. The conquest led to forceful conversion of strategic Hausa areas to Islam and imposition of 'Fulani Emirate Council' in all the Hausa States and their environs including Bornu, Ilorin and Adamawa. Till date, all heirs apparent to northern Muslim Emirates are drawn from the Fulani or Fulfulde populations. With the mixture of politics and Islam, the minority Fulani populations have ruled and continued to rule over the majority Hausa populations in the form of 'politico-religious slave-masters and slaves'. On the other hand, a good number of minority tribes sharing boundaries with their Hausa neighbours were converted to Christianity particularly those that were not conquered and converted to Islam during the 'Fulani Islamic Jihad'. These minority populations are today called 'northern Christians'. Sadly, these same innocent populations are in a verge of being wiped out per ethno-religious cleansing.
On 29th and 31st May as well as 6th and 7th of June, 2014, we wrote graphically grounded and expository four-part letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on Boko Haram terror and internal and external solution mechanisms available at his disposal. Part of the letter indicated that in 66 days (April to first week of June), Nigeria lost 1,296 innocent citizens to Boko Haram terror campaigns. Most of the causalities are northern Christians, followed by Igbo-Christians. Our recent checks have clearly indicated that between June 23 and June 29, 2014, a period of seven days, at least 258 citizens, mostly northern Christians, have been murdered by the Boko Haram and the Islamic Fulani terror sects. The number of Muslim victims in the attacks is too insignificant and accidental. The causality records showed that on June 23, at least eight citizens were killed in bomb explosion at the Kano State School of Health Technology. On June 19th and 20th June, 91 people including 60 married women and other young girls and children were reportedly abducted in Kumanza, Yaga and Dagu villages in Borno State. Though the Federal Government has denied the abduction saga but independent sources have stuck to their guns over the issue.
On June 23, 40 rural Christians in Kabamu and Ankpong villages in Sanga LGA of Southern Kaduna State were massacred by the Islamic Fulani jihadists popularly called 'Fulani Herdsmen'. On 24th June, over 123 innocent minority Christians of Kobrin, Dogon-Daji, Naidu, Kabamu, Hayin Kwanta, Kabani and Gani villages in the same Sanga LGA of Kaduna State, were butchered by the invading Islamic Fulani jihadists or 'Fulani Herdsmen'. According to a local vigilante group leader quoted by various media, 38 were killed in Kobrin, 21 in Dogon-Daji, 30 in Kabamu, 16 in Naidu, 9 in Gani, 5 in Hayin Kwanta and 4 in Kabani. The Chairman of the Sanga LGA, Mr. Emmanuel Adamu also confirmed the causality figures on June 26, 2014 during the mass burial of 100 out of the over 163 deaths in an area between Gwantu Kumi and Kobin communities in the State. He added that others killed in the butchery have been retrieved by their loved ones for the purpose of giving them befitting burials and that those who were mass-buried were in a state of decomposition. On June 25th June, bomb exploded in the Kasuwan Kuturu Market in Mubi area of Adamawa State. The causality figures were not ascertained.
On June 25, the Coordinator of the National Information Center, Mr. Mike Omeri confirmed the death of 21 innocent citizens in the bomb blasts detonated by the Boko Haram terror sect at the EMAB Plaza in Wuse, Abuja. On June 28, at least 10 innocent people were killed in bomb blast at a brothel in Bauchi State. And on June 29, between 51 and 56 innocent Christian worshippers were slain in coordinated bloody attacks carried out by the Boko Haram terror sect at a number of villages near Chibok in Borno State. In the attacks, a number of churches including Cocin, EYN and Deeper Life Bible Churches were burnt down. The attacks took place in Kwada and other villages between Biu and Chibok LGAs of the State. From the foregoing graphic account, a total of 258 innocent citizens mostly of northern Christianity origin, have been butchered in the past seven days; that is to say from June 23 to June 29, 2014.
Like we earlier observed, the ongoing ethno-religious cleansing is carefully planned and executed against Christian populations in northern Nigeria. At the beginning of the bloody campaign in 2009, many of the causalities were Igbo-Christians owing to their large numbers in northern parts of the country. When many members of the Igbo tribe resident in the north, relocated to southern parts of the country for safety reasons, the Boko Haram butchery weapons were turned on innocent minority Christian populations. The Muslim victims of the terror campaign are very minute and usually killed in bomb blasts targeted at Christian populations and government facilities. From Plateau State to southern Kaduna; from Mubi to Jalingo; from Jalingo to Sabon Gari in Kano State; and from Chibok to other rural villages in the northeast and northwest Nigeria, it is ethno-religious cleansing, coordinated by the Boko Haram and the Islamic
Fulani terror sects, all targeted at wiping out the entire Christian populations in northern Nigeria.
Our alerting the local and international bodies and other people of good will on these barbarous killings is for them to come to the aid of the country, especially its innocent Christian populations. With the number of butchering going on without ceasing, the country's minority northern Christian populations are in a verge of being wiped out. The worse is that no form of State protection is on the ground for the endangered populations. A situation whereby security forces including police and soldiers, sent to protect the vulnerable populations, reportedly go into hiding on sighting members of the murderous brigades or work hand in hand with them to slaughter and maim the innocuous populations, is a clear confirmation of failed State or formal security in Nigeria.
It is also sad that what appears to have occupied the mind of the Nigeria's President is how to retain and hang onto office power come early 2015. If a president values his or her office seat more than lives of Nigerians, then this is considered a fundamental breach of his or her oaths of office and allegiance to the Constitution and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and if it is so, it is impeachable. The worst case appears to be that of the Inspector General of Police. As head of the country's most populated security agency with up to 400,000 officers and men or more that consumes 30% of the country's defense budgets annually it is a shameful thing to note the colossal failure of the force in making any impact in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic Fulfulde terror campaigns against Nigeria and Nigerians. From the media laundering account, it appears that what occupies the mind of the outgoing IGP is to wangle his way into post statutory retirement tenure extension so as to be allowed to 'conduct 2015 presidential polls for Mr. President'(see Sunday 22/6/2014 edition of the Daily Independent Newspaper).
Conduct of general polls is usually very popular among the country's security chiefs because of fat illicit cash inflows usually doled out to them especially by gubernatorial and presidential aspirants, candidates and incumbents. It is common these days hearing or reading in the media 'Mr. President, retain Mr. IGP and he will conduct your poll for you and return you as the winner'. Or 'Mr. President, give the core north IGP position and get our block votes in 2015'. Two years ago, it was 'Mr. President, give the core north IGP and Boko Haram will be a thing of the past'. We consider all these as promotion of personal or selfish interests or using public office or position to pursue personal interest for selfish aggrandizement all at the expense of the collective welfare and security of the Nigerian masses. They also grievously violate the Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution.
We call on the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, the Anglican Communion in Nigeria and all the Pentecostal churches in the country to take note of killings and maiming without ceasing of innocent Christian populations in the country. It is also an impeccable reality that the barbarous campaigns are carefully designed at wiping out the entire populations of northern Christianity residency or origin. Though the respected and hallowed religious bodies have spoken out, but their voices are not enough. We know as a fact that the Holy Catholic Church, by virtue of her Holy Vatican Blessed Land or The Holy See, is a noble member of the United Nations. Her voice at the UNO over the systematic killings of her sons and daughters in the country will count and prompt more soluble actions. The Holy Anglican Communion in Nigeria still has influence over the UK Government and the Pentecostal bodies in the country have strong affiliations with their brother and sister bodies in the United States of America.
The proactive collective voices of these hallowed bodies are direly needed in the ongoing butchery in Nigeria. More international proactive involvement is also needed. International pressures should be mounted on Nigeria's governing authorities, the United Nations, the EU, the USA, the AU and the International Criminal Court so as to facilitate their prompt intervention. It is a clear evident that a number of grievous violation of the UN Charter and the ICC Statute have taken place in the Boko Haram and the Fulfulde terror campaigns against innocent Nigerian Christian populations. If President Goodluck Jonathan is found unable and unwilling to invite the ICC to the country, the hallowed religious bodies under reference, particularly the Holy Roman Catholic Church, should step up international pressures on the UN Security Council to invoke its power of 'referral' under Article Seven of the UN Charter, directing the ICC, through its Chief Prosecutor to move in so as to 'investigate, arrest, arraign, prosecute, convict, sentence or acquit' the suspected atrocity criminals in the Boko Haram and Fulfulde terror camps as well as the government camps.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety
+2348100755939 (text 24/7, call 9.30am-4.pm, Mon.-Friday, office hours)