ONITSHA (Sundiata Post) – Human rights research group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has condemned the action of Nigeria’s information minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who reportedly described as fake news the killing of Christians and burning down of their places of worship in his recent trip to the United States where he met with American media.
The group also said the minister’s trip to America and likely visit to other Western countries in the coming weeks would encourage and embolden jihadists and Islamic fundamentalists to continue attacking and killing Christians and destroying their properties.
Intersociety’s full statement sent to Sundiata Post on Thursday reads:
The massacre of Christians and their abduction and forceful conversion to radical Islamism; and burning or destruction of their sacred places of worship and learning or churches and schools in Nigeria have long gone beyond international rebuttal, news blockage or censorship, media ‘tipping’ and diplomatic ‘lobbying’ using borrowed funds by the sitting central Government of Nigeria. It is also not enough to label grounded and irrefutable statistical reports on the massacres that are still going on at maddening rate across the country as ‘fake news’ or ‘handiwork of detractors’. The individual and corporate characters of the person (Minister Lai Mohammed) and his Ministry of Information internationally meeting the western media and attempting to refute the indefensible and undeniable massacre of Christians in the country are also long settled as lacking in integrity, credibility, reputation and outside the confines of the realities on the grounds.
As a matter of fact, Minister Lai Mohamed’s trip to the US and possibly other western world in coming weeks is not only internationally fruitless, but also misdirected or mis-channeled. The outcome of the trip would have been openly celebrated with AK-47s if made in the palace of the new Sultanate of Afghanistan or that of Saudi Arabia; or that of Iran if controlled by the radical Sunnis. In all this, our greatest worry concerning the trip is that such trips have in the past ended up emboldening the jihadists and encouraging them to massacre and burn more Christians and churches unchecked. In other words, Minister Lai Mohammed’s trip and celebration of same to the effect that: “my US trip was useful and able to debunk fake news on persecution of Christians in Nigeria” is tantamount to issuance of fresh license to the jihadists particularly the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen to further go on rampage and massacre more defenseless Christians and burn or destroy their churches at will and unchecked.
Mercantilism In The House Of Christ Aiding Massacre Of Christians In Nigeria:
The major reason why thousands of Christians and their churches have continued to be massacred or burned or destroyed on yearly basis in Nigeria is because the country’s Christendom has been taken over by mercantilists or merchants in the House of Christ. This is to the extent that today in Northern Nigeria, its estimated 30m Christians have been terrified, over ten million uprooted, six million forced to flee, and four million ended up as IDPs. Included also are over 30,000 direct deaths out of over 43,000 total Christian deaths, hundreds of thousands of indirect deaths and tens of thousands of permanently disappeared persons. The anti- Christian butcheries in Nigeria also accounted for 90% of over 17,500 destroyed or burnt churches and 2000 Christian schools in the North. The archdioceses or dioceses of the Catholic and the Anglican churches and the provinces of the likes of EYN and ECWA churches in the Christian held areas of Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Niger, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, East Kogi, Kebbi and Benue States are speedily becoming deserted, abandoned, emptied and Islamised-with their present church leaders as “Archbishops, Bishops and Provincial Heads of empty cathedrals and provincial headquarters”.
Americans And Europeans Have More And Superior Information Than Lai Mohammed Can Give
Minister Lai Mohammed’s international media trip and engagements in USA are nothing more than ‘Government organised and sponsored’; sanctioned by their international hosts for purpose of upholding the grand principle of fair hearing or ‘hear the other side’ and fulfillment of ‘all righteousness’. Therefore, the Americans and Europeans are historically known to be the providers of credible data or information to Nigeria and do not and can never rely on Nigerian government information – a country without a functional database and corporately serial liar in the present circumstances. That is to say that with respect to massacre of Christians and related others; the two surest sources of credible information available and grounded in statistical substance are local and international research or investigative findings by credible local and international media, rights and research bodies and victims’ groups; and reports or findings by western democratic governments and Intergovernmental organisations.
Esprit De Jihad: Like Afghanistan, Like Nigeria:
The present Nigerian government lacks international moral bearing to extricate itself locally and internationally from strong accusation of being jihad aiding and scripting the operational code of ‘esprit de jihad’ in its security forces’ commands and controls. This was exactly the same reason why the Government of Afghanistan and its 400,000-security forces collapsed and fell to Taliban jihadists. Apart from the present Government of Nigeria being ‘Islamist in structure and composition’-in a country of roughly 50-50 Christians and Muslims; there also exists a scripted operational code of ‘esprit de jihad’ or brothers-at-jihad within its security forces – which has fueled the massacres and destruction of sacred, commercial and customary properties belonging to Christians. Under the same government, African jihadists are leaving Libya and Sudan in droves to Nigeria as their new ‘safe haven’ and ‘African Capital of Jihadism’. They also freely move within and outside the country’s corridors of power including the Fulani Jihadists who are now in control of state power and public resources in Nigeria.
The Fulani/Northern Nigeria Muslim dominated and controlled central Government of Nigeria is also tribally and religiously hateful and intolerant in policies, actions and conducts especially against Christians of Eastern Nigeria dominated by Igbo ethnic nationality. For instance, if it was in the Igbo’s East that NDA (Nigerian Defence Academy) is located and came under Jihadist Fulani bandits’ recent attack, hell would have been let loose on innocent Igbo population, their cities and properties. While both Jihadist Fulani herdsmen and Jihadist Fulani bandits were busy massacring Christians in Plateau State (over 190 Christian deaths since 30th July 2021), Southern Kaduna (hundreds of deaths) and Benue (hundreds of deaths) and attacking military formations and killing scores of officers, the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba, was busy issuing genocidal threats against innocent Igbo population disguising same as “IPOB/ESN” threats of ‘no election in Anambra’. Even when ‘IPOB’ had issued a statement ‘suspending the weekly Monday sit-at-home’, the IGP was still issuing threats and ordering his personnel to frame, arrest, kill, torture, disappear or hold the arrested innocent citizens indefinitely without trial. The IGP’s hate policing was also the case when despite the outcries that followed the arrest, inhuman and unlawful detention of a 22-year old Miss Okolie, the IGP still turned around and falsely labeled her as “using her phone line to fund ESN/IPOB terrorism”.
Thanking Prominent UK Lawmakers And Key Global Religious Leaders: The international letter addressed to UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, MP, by prominent UK Lawmakers and key global religious leaders and activists on “unending religious violence (killing of Christians and some moderate Muslims) in Nigeria-a key ally of UK” has not only rubbished Minister Lai Mohammed’s recent futile and wasteful international media trip to US and possibly others in coming weeks, but also strikingly gladdened our heart. That is to say that Intersociety is happy and thankful to the respected signatories to the letter. The strategic international letter of religious concerns was delivered to the UK Minister on 16th August 2021 and sought among others the UK Government’s acknowledgement of the scale of ethno-religious violence in Nigeria and strongly urge the Nigerian Government to: Hold those responsible to account; Ensure that security and stability are provided for all communities in the north and Middle Belt, as well as the Yoruba and Igbo people in the south west and south east, together with the help and protection they urgently need.
The special letter had the Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury, a long serving member of the UK House of Lords, an internationally respected personality and founder and president, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) as the chief convener.
It was co-signed by Jim Shannon MP, Chair, APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief; the Lord David Alton of Liverpool; Dr. Lisa Cameron MP; Lord Carey of Clifton, former Archbishop of Canterbury; His Grace the Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba, Primate of All Nigerian Anglican Communion and Bishop Metropolitan; the Most Rev. Dr. B.A. Kwashi, Bishop of The Anglican Diocese of Jos, Nigeria; Reverend Canon Hassan John, Provincial Office, Church of Nigeria; John Eibner, international president, Christian Solidarity International (CSI); Ayo Adedoyin, International Organization for Peace-building and Social Justice (PSJ-UK); Melvyn Thomas CMG, founder and president, CSW; Dr Khataza Gondwe, CSW; Ben Rogers, CSW; Rt. Reverend Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford and Emeka Umeagbalasi Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Nigeria.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, Obianuju Igboeli and Chidimma Udegbunam