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An open letter to Nigerian President laments worsening Christian persecution in the country

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In the face of ever worsening persecution of Christians in Nigeria; the Nigerian President is urged to take necessary action in this regard. Since the start of this year, about 6,000 Christians have been killed. In this regard, there has been out cry about this issue.

Christians killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram

An excerpt from an open letter to the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari read:

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“Dear Mr. President

Sir, the estimated 30 million Christians in Northern Nigeria who form the largest minority in a predominantly Muslim environment, have for decades, suffered marginalization and discrimination as well as targeted violence especially in the hands of organized mob violence and violent groups such as Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen.

Hundreds of churches in Northern Nigeria particularly Northeast and North-central Nigeria as well as Southern part of Kaduna State which is predominant Christian population have also been burnt or destroyed with estimated 16,000 defenseless citizens composed of mostly Christian population killed across the country since June 2015 when Mr. President became Nigeria’s sixth civilian President. The estimated 16, 000 defenseless civilian deaths outside the law include 5,800 mostly Christians killed by terror Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram since June 2015.”

“… The violent attacks including killing of Christians and burning or destruction of churches and other sacred places of Christian worship had recorded a viral increase in Northern Nigeria in recent years and further increased by 62% since June 2015 when you were sworn in as Nigeria’s sixth civilian President.

The worst of it all was that the central Government under your leadership had done little or nothing to end the killings and destruction and fish out and punish the perpetrators especially members of the Fulani Herdsmen under the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria. This is despite the firm promise of Mr. President on his swearing in,on 29th May 2015, to end terrorism and widespread violence in Nigeria. Mr. President also swore to uphold and abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended including its secular status,” the letter said.

“In Benue State, not less than 73 dead bodies of Christians killed by terror Fulanis on 1st and 2nd January 2018 were recently interred. Several churches were also burnt or razed to rubble. In Taraba State, according to the State leadership of CAN and Governor Darius Ishaku, not less than 63 Christian lives were lost and buried in January 2018,” the letter continued to state.

“We hereby strongly call on Mr. President to put an end to slaughtering of thousands of defenseless Christians on annual basis by terror Fulani Herdsmen in Northern Nigeria and proscribe the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as well as fish out their leaders and culpable elements and charge them for manslaughter and culpable homicide, respectively, among other felonies committed against the State of Nigeria and its population.

The Federal Government’s silence, inaction and conspiracy over these ethno-religious carnages are not only an invitation to widespread retaliatory violence and ruination of the country in part or in whole but also a gross breach of Section 10 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution which forbids the Federal Government or any State Government from adopting any religion including Islam as the State Religion.”

The letter ended saying, “Mr. President must wake up from Mr. President’s slumber and discharge Mr. President’s sworn constitutional duties and functions courageously and impartially so as to prevent a situation where millions of the threatened and endangered Christians in Nigeria will be forced to take recourse to self defense and other self help mechanisms to prevent their Christian religion and practices going the way of their counterparts in Lebanon, Asyut in Egypt and Turkey and other parts of Middle East.”