By Bolaji O. Akinyemi.
Political distraction not withstanding, it is important that we keep the record of how bad insecurity became under APC ticket of Muslim/Christian pair of Buhari/Osinbajo.
Our eyes as Christians must in hope look for a more secured future. Making a hasty congratulatory message given the dispute surrounding our presidential electoral decision isn’t a smart way to go. What will happen, in case the table turns? For now I think the declared winner should be proving himself to be presidential. A condolence message to Benue State and Nigerians in general should be followed by a visit to Benue and engagement with President Muhammadu Buhari to enable him hit the ground running peradventure the judiciary confirms his election.
In the first 100 days of this year (2023) 1,041 people have been slaughtered like goats, 5,068 citizens in all massacred for being Christians in Nigeria in 2022. This is the record the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Tinubu/Shettima is expected to better, so help them Allah!
Benue was worst hit in the first 100 days of 2023, contributing 380 Christian deaths out of the 1041 as military air-bombed over 100 in Niger State
…since the 2009 Islamic terrorists uprising 52,250 Christians and 34,000 moderate Muslims have been butchered or hacked to death. The docility of Mr President towards security decisions has given tactical encouragement to radical Islamism since 2015 leading to 30,250 Christians killed; 18,000 churches and 2,200 christian mission schools attacked.
International Report Of Nigeria’s Intersociety, issued on Easter Monday, 10th April 2023 is worth our perusal and must inform new generation of christian leaders engagement with their political counterparts; nothing should be as important as keeping our faith in existence in the Nigeria of today. Part of the report read thus; “since 2009, 14m Christians have been uprooted and forced to flee their homes and 800 Christian communities attacked
…Christians of Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Niger, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, and Kebbi were worst affected by the attacks
…Christian’s in Eastern Nigeria worst hit in Nigerian military killings and property destructions on ethno-religious grounds
…hypocrisies of Nigerian Christian leaders may turn church buildings into Turkish church monuments in 50 years’ time
…progenitors of Christian converts were more protected during the Oracular Period under Pre-Christian Papacy than present.
International Report Of Nigeria’s Intersociety
Easter Monday, 10th April 2023, Onitsha-Nigeria
Dedicated To Chinwe Patrick, Abande Njoor, And 1,039 Others Killed By Jihadists In 100 Days
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is emotionally dedicating this special investigative Report to 1,041 slain and disappeared victims of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other Jihadists’ genocidal attacks carried out across Nigeria in the first 100 days of 2023. The underlisted slain and wounded victims also represent 5,068 others slain or caused to disappear without traces to date by Nigerian Jihadists in 2022. The 36 names listed below were among over 50 defenseless Christians slaughtered by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen on 13th March 2023 in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State while 16 underlisted others including three Igbo female Christian sisters (Favor Patrick, Peace Patrick, and Chinwe Patrick), represent 17 defenseless Christians hacked to death in Ungwan Wakili, Zagon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State on 10th March 2023. The six wounded others included in the list are mentioned to remember thousands of others heartlessly wounded or maimed in attacks carried out in Jan to Dec 2022 and 1st Jan to 10th April 2023. It is therefore in their names, spirits, and blood that this special investigative Report on “Martyred Christians in Nigeria” is dedicated. Their names are: “Abande Njoor, Iornum Sonter, Abraham Terna, Aker Shagba Achuna, Kendon Tyover, Ornguga Tyodoo, Ajoh Iorhemba, Orshio Msughter, Abe Nyam, Aker Ushahembas, Ayagwa Lunen, Apav Terhile, Jirbee Amaku, Aza Bem, Ahil Wende, Iormumbes Ashi Shimave, Terhemba Madom, Andyar Aemberga, Kundu Igba, Tarkper Adomko, Jirbee Amaku, Terlumun Swen, Terna Udam, Atighir Aondokula, Terfa Mbagbar, Terver Mbagbar, Terzungwe Chagh, Tyoazua Aondona, Kogh Aondowase, Akura Utoo, Iortsor Shaapera, Awuhe Terhemen, Lase Mbanengen, Kuku Terngu, Kuku Mzehemen and Hangeuir Iorwuese Kuta”- 36 of over 50 Christian victims of Kwande-Benue Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen massacre of 13th March 2023. “Daniel Soji, Emmanuel Ibrahim, Jummai Gajere, Aaron Thomas, Rahila Sunday Ishaya, Blessing Zakaria, Felicia Zakaria, Gloria Zakaria, Gaji Tonak, Elizabeth Tokan, Peace Token, Favor Patrick, Peace Patrick and Chinwe Patrick (three Igbo female Christians); Ruth John and Emmanuel John”.-16 of 17 slaughtered victims of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen attack in Ungwan Wakili in Zagon Kataf Local Council Area of Kaduna on 10th March 2023. “Precious Timothy, Sunday Ishaya, Jessica Zakaria, Chison Ikechukwu (Igbo), Patience Matthew and Jessica Tokan”.-Six Christians surviving Christians wounded in the attack.
We Have Monitored And Exposed Persecution Of Christians And Minority Others Since 2010
Intersociety is globally known and respected for strongly advocating for end of religious radicalism through the propagation of radical Islamism and fanatical Christianity in Nigeria since 2010 and has issued not less than twenty special reports or publications associated with them. Intersociety has also earned a name and international respectability as Nigeria’s leading anti-Christian persecution and radical Islamism watchdog and was admitted as a member of the United States-base International Alliance against Genocide since 2020. We have been closely monitoring patterns and trends of anti-Christian persecution since 2010 and killing of minority Muslims and moderate others by nonstate actor armed Islamists and Muslim-dominated Nigerian security forces from 2015 to 2023. The patterns and trends of the state actors of religious butcheries under our close watch include the introduction of state radical Islamism policy by the outgoing Government of Nigeria in 2016, the introduction of Nigerian security forces dimension to anti-Christian butcheries across the country such as pro Islamic internal security operations in Eastern Nigeria since 2016 involving ethnic and religious profiling associated with atrocious military operations in the East and the military protected invasion of Eastern Christian forests, bushes and farmlands by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen since 2016. We have monitored and tracked massacre of Christians and burning down or destruction of their sacred places of worship, religious symbols, Christian schools and residential houses and farmlands across the country. These are done or carried out using research, investigation, documentation and publications. We also generate statistics from local and international media, religious, community, security, research, intergovernmental, nongovernmental, international? parliamentary organizations or diplomatic institutions.5,068 Christians Hacked To Death In 2022 And Hundreds Disappeared Without Traces
In January 2022, Intersociety updated its special report, disclosing that ‘5,191 defenseless Christians were hacked to death in 2021 and 3,800 others abducted by Nigeria’s Islamic Jihadists’. Intersociety had also in its Special Report of 14th July 2022 stated that from January to June 2022, ‘no fewer than 2,543 Christians were hacked to death and 1,401 others abducted; out of which, 10% or 140 captured Christians were not capable of returning alive’. We had further disclosed in the report that ‘out of the 2,543 total Christian deaths, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 1,913’. In our report of 7th Nov 2022, ‘4020 defenseless Christians were slaughtered in Nigeria in Jan to Oct 2022 by the country’s Islamic terror Jihadists’ and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and their regionally assembled allied Islamic terror groups accounted for 2,650 of the 4020 Christian deaths while ISWAP, Boko Haram and Ansaru Jihadists accounted for 450 and the Fulani (Zamfara) Bandits 370 deaths. The Nigerian security forces particularly the Nigerian Army accounted for no fewer than 550 deaths linked to killings on the ground of ethnic and religious profiling. In this report, it is found that the 2022 ended disastrously for Nigerian Christians with 5,068 deaths, from 4,020 in January to Oct 2022; an increase of 1,048 Christian deaths. Out of this, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Fulani Bandits (Zamfara Bandits) accounted for 528 Christian deaths, Boko Haram, ISWAP and others 200 deaths, Nigerian Military 100 deaths and “dark figures of crime” 200 Christian deaths. The ‘dark figures of crime’ of 200 Christian deaths’ include the abducted Christians that are most unlikely to return to their families alive. The 2022 special report of ours also identified Benue State as the worst hit with at least 560 Christian deaths, followed by Kaduna 520 deaths, Taraba 479 deaths, Niger 354 deaths; Plateau 348, Borno 340 and South-East 350 deaths (mostly occurred in Enugu). Bauchi State also recorded not less than 49 Christian deaths between Nov and Dec 2022.
Why We Are Adopting WWL Report Of 4,756 Abducted Nigerian Christians In 2022 Intersociety had noted in its Nov 7, 2022 report that ‘not less than 2,315 defenseless Christians were abducted from Jan to Oct 2022 and that ‘in 2021, over 3,800 were abducted’. Also noted was the fact that ‘not less than 1401 Christians were abducted between January and June 2022 and 915 between July and Oct 2022; totaling 2,315’; out of which 10% or 231 were incapable of returning alive to their families as they are likely to have been killed in captivity for refusing to convert to Islam or pay huge ransoms demanded. Not less than 700 Christians were abducted between Nov and Dec 2022; bringing the total to over 3000 abducted from Jan to Dec 2022. The abduction of Christians in 2022 ascribed the worst-hit States to include Kaduna, Niger, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Imo, Enugu, etc. It must further be noted that the Nigerian military and the Nigeria Police crack squads also engaged in unchecked abduction and the permanent disappearance of dozens, if not hundreds of unarmed Eastern Nigerian citizens in furtherance of their ethnic and religious profiling “internal security operations” in Eastern Nigeria. Intersociety is adopting the statistical position of the Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) on abducted Christians in Nigeria which stated that “4,726 Christians were abducted in 2022, sexually assaulted or harassed and forcibly married or physically or mentally abused”. The respected international body also added that “Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014”. The reason for the adoption of the 2023 WWL figure is because it is possible that 3000 Christian abductions in 2022 recorded in our latest special report is under-reported with a shortfall of over 1,700.
1,041 Christians Slaughtered In The First 100 Days Of 2023, 707 Abducted
It has been investigated and found that no fewer than 1,041 defenseless Christians were hacked to death by Nigeria’s Jihadists in the first 100 days of 2023 or 1st Jan to 10th April 2023. The unveiled statistics showed that not less than 380 Christians were slaughtered by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in 100 days in Benue, 102 in Kaduna, 150 in Christian parts of Niger State (Paikoro, Munya, Shiroro, Rafi, etc), 100 deaths in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa by BH/ISWAP); 32 Christian deaths in Plateau, 20 in Ondo, 11 in Edo, 10 in Delta as well as Kebbi 10 deaths, Bauchi 9 deaths, Taraba 14 deaths, Katsina 10 deaths, Enugu 6 deaths; and 60 deaths arising from the military killings in the East since Jan 2023 and others 50 deaths. Also, no fewer than 707 Christians were abducted within the same period; out of which Niger State recorded more than 200 abductions including 14th March 2023 abduction of over 100 Christians in Adunu (Paikoro). No fewer than 101 anti Christian abductions were recorded in Kaduna while other affected States are Katsina, Taraba, Edo, Ogun, Nassarawa, Kwara, Kogi, Borno, Yobe and Adawama (about 60 abductions by BH/ISWAP), Bauchi, Enugu, Imo, Kebbi, Gombe, Bayelsa and Cross River.
380 Christians Hacked To Death In Benue In 100 Days, 940 Since Jan 2022 And 2m IDPs Generated
Slaying of Christians by Nigerian Central Government protected Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Benue State has risen to an apogee. This is to the extent that in 2022, not less than 560 were slaughtered and in the first 100 days of 2023 or 1st Jan to 10th April 2023, the State has lost additional 380 defenseless Christians. The Federal Government protected Jihadist attacks have also generated not less than 2m internally displaced persons (IDPs). Apart from brazen conspiracy and lackadaisical attitudes of the outgoing Federal Government of Nigeria and federal security agencies, the outgoing Government of Benue State has also failed woefully to protect Christian citizens of the State. The State Government other than occasionally crying out, has failed woefully to put proactive measures in place to checkmate and tame such attacks; to the extent that the Jihadists now invade any Christian Community of their target at will and slaughter its natives and takeover their lands and properties at will. Available statistics have shown that apart from losing 560 Christian lives in 2022, not less than 12 Christians were slaughtered on 28th Jan in Kwande LGA, 9 in Guma LGA on 30th Jan, six in Apa LGA on 4th Feb, six in Gwer West LGA on Feb 9, eight in Gboko LGA on Feb 12, thirteen in Guma LGA on Feb 26, seven in Gwer West on Feb 28, 36 in Kwande on March 3, eight in Gwer West on March 7, over ten in Kwande LGA on March 8, seven in Guma LGA on March 8, three in Obi on March 13, over fifty in Kwande on 13th March, five in Agatu LGA and Oturkpo LGA on March 23, five in Guma LGA on March 26, seven in Apa LGA (six) and Logo LGA (one killed) on 1st April, 52 in Umogidi-Oturkpo LGA on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th April, 47 in Ikobi-Apa LGA on 4th April and 36 in Mgbam, Nyiev ward of Guma LGA on 7th April 2023.
52, 250 Christians And 34,000 Moderate Muslims Or 85,250 Faith Believers Killed Since July 2009
Nigeria is most likely to have recorded ‘direct deaths’ of over 85,250 defenseless Nigerian citizens in the hands of Islamic Jihadists and their ‘esprit de jihad’ in the country’s security forces since 2009. As at July 2021, according to our special report of 4th August 2021, no fewer than 43,000 Christians were hacked to death involving: BH, ISWAP and Ansaru 18,500 Christian deaths, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen 18,500-19,000 Christian deaths and others 6000 Christian deaths. The number of moderate Muslims killed for nonviolently professing Islam in Nigeria as at July 2021 was estimated at 29,000. Apart from about 1,300 Shiite Muslims shot and killed and thousands of Muslim women and children unlawfully killed by Nigerian Military in the North-East, the rest of Muslim victims were killed by Muslim jihadists. This is with the exception of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen who specifically target and massacre Christians and wantonly destroy or burn down their sacred places of worship and learning; homes and farmlands. Going by our findings warranting this special investigative report, the number of Christians killed in the country for nonviolently professing Christianity between July 2009 and April 2023 has risen to 52,250 while that of nonviolent Muslims increased from 29,000 to 34,000; or a total of 85,250 religious deaths in all. The 52,250 Christian deaths in Nigeria in fourteen years recorded addition of 9, 250 Christian deaths from the July 2021 figure of 43,000; out of which, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 6000 Christian deaths and security forces, Jihadist Fulani Bandits, BH, ISWAP, Ansaru and others 3,250.
Radical Islamism Under Buhari Killed 30,250 Christians In Eight Years (2015-2023)
By our previous reports, BH, ISWAP and Ansaru killed not less than 11,500 Christians from July 2009 to May 2015 and Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for the death of 6,500 Christians within the same period. However, between June 2015 and April 2023, deadliest Christian deaths of 18,250 were recorded in the hands of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen protected by the outgoing Buhari Government of Nigeria; involving: 650 Christian deaths in June-Dec 2015; 1,700 in 2016; 2000 in 2017; 2,400 in 2018, 1200 in 2019, 2500, out of 3,530 recorded Christian deaths in 2020, 3,700 of 5,191 in 2021 and 3,500, out of 5,068 recorded Christian deaths in 2022 and 600 of the 1,041 Christian deaths recorded in first 100 days of 2023. It is 30,250 Christian deaths when 8000 killed by BH, ISWAP, Ansaru and Jihadist Bandits as well as 4000 killed by the Nigerian Military including 2,500 in the East since August 2015 and others in Christian communities in Northern Nigeria since 2015 are added.
14 Million Christians Uprooted And Five Million Forced Into IDPs And Refugee Camps
No fewer than 50 million Christians majority of them in Northern Nigeria are facing serious threats from Jihadists for being professed Christians; out of which not less than fourteen million have been uprooted and eight million forced to flee their homes to avoid being hacked to death.
About five million have been displaced and forced into IDP camps within Nigeria and refugee camps at regional and sub-regional borders. There are presently over two million IDPs in Benue State alone and close to 2m others are in the States of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Taraba; with the remainder scattered in Niger, Kebbi, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Nassarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia and so on. Thousands have also become ‘urban refugees’ in foreign lands.
18,000 Churches And 2200 Christian Schools Attacked In Fourteen Years Or Since July 2009.
By the findings of Intersociety, as much as 18,000 churches and 2200 Christian schools and other Christian learning centers are most likely to have been attacked by the Jihadists or destroyed in part or in whole including being razed or burned down.
As at 2021, the number of churches attacked and destroyed or burned down rose to over 300 and from July 2009 to July 2021, about 17,500 churches and 2000 Christian schools were brutally affected. The number of Mosques and Islamic learning centers attacked by the Jihadists is minutely disproportionate when compared to number of churches or Christian schools attacked. While attacks on symbols of worship by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Jihadist Fulani Bandits are 100 percent targeted at churches and Christian schools, those perpetrated by BH, ISWAP, Ansaru and others are mostly directed at churches and Christian schools with insignificant percent directed at Mosques and Islamic learning centers.
The attacks on churches especially those belonging to the African Instituted Churches branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) by the Nigerian Military and the Police crack squads in Eastern Nigeria have also increased to over 300 since Jan 2021. The security forces have recklessly applied false labeling, stigmatization and false intelligence to target and unlawfully attack traditional religious sanctuaries leading to attack and destruction of not less than 500 of them in Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Kogi, Benue, etc. Such attacks are deceitfully coded or coated with “counter Biafra terror operations” but the original motives are driving towards castrating rural Igbo/Christians’ self defensive mechanisms and paving way for Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen invasion and massacre.
The Nigerian Military had also egregiously and grisly targeted and rained air-bombs and aerial attacks on Christian village-killing several hundreds of rural Christians. The affected Christian communities include Kala-Balge Christian IDP camp in Borno (Jan 2017), Numan Christian villages (Dec 2017), Southern Kaduna (2018, 2019 and 2020) and Christian parts of Munya, Shiroro, Wushishi, etc and etc in Niger State (2022/Jan and March 2023). According to Ms Anna Mulder of the US based Open Doors, “between July 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of five years, BH killed 11,000-11,500 Christians in Northern Nigeria, forced 1.6m to flee their homes to avoid being hacked to death by the Jihadists who also burnt or destroyed 13,500 churches and 1,500 Christian schools”.
800 Christian Communities Uprooted By Jihadists Since 2009
No fewer than 800 Christian communities have uprooted and seized or taken over; with many of them renamed and Islamized by the Jihadists since 2009. BH, ISWAP and Ansaru and Jihadist Fulani Bandits have forced Christians out of their ancestral homes and communities in droves in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba, Kastina, Sokoto and Niger States while Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen have sacked and are still sacking hundreds of Christian communities in Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Benue, Taraba and Adamawa States. Over 150 communities have been affected in Southern Kaduna alone and in Benue, Plateau and Taraba States, Christian homes, churches and settlements have been destroyed and replaced with Mosques and Muslim settlements. Christian communities of Borno, Taraba, Niger, Adamawa, Plateau, Southern Kaduna and Benue States are the worst hit. Indigenous Christians used to be dominant in Southern Borno, Southern Kebbi, Northern Adamawa, and parts of Gombe, 40% in the entire Kaduna and over 80% in Southern part of the State and have 80% population in Plateau, over 90% in Benue and 60% in Taraba. They are also found in their large numbers in at least five Local Government Areas of Niger State including Shiroro, Munya, Paikoro, Rafi, etc. In Enugu State, not less than 22 communities are facing severe threats in the hands of the Nigerian Army protected Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and in Anambra’s Orumba North, Orumba South, the story is not different.
Progenitors Of Nigerian Christian Converts More Protected In Oracular Era than Present.
It is the observation of Intersociety that the Nigerian Christian leaders have abandoned their spiritual calling as defenders of faith and protectors of their faith members and deeply engrossed in the pursuit of crude material wealth. They also pay more attention in building ‘palatial paradises on earth’ and little attention at protecting their churches and members of their laity; thereby exposing them to grave vulnerabilities to attacks by radical Islamists clandestinely funded by Muslim hardliners and hypocritical public office holders who pretend to be “Christians”. Most of them are so engrossed in the pursuit of material wealth that they have become ‘armed robbers’ using Holy Bible as their ‘AK-47s”.
It is therefore no longer contestable that forefathers and foremothers of the Nigerian Christian converts were more protected and divinely guarded during the Oracular Period under Pre-Christian Papacy than they are under the present Christian leaders. The dry material quest and lackadaisical attitudes of the Nigerian Christian leaders are also forcing Christian converts to leave the Church in droves to embrace other non-Christian denominations. It must be warned that if extreme care is not taken to rescue the Christendom and the Church, the churches or church buildings in Nigeria will become the present day Turkish church monuments in fifty years time or less than that”.
While leaders of our faith particularly in southern Nigeria are on the veranda of our faith’s sanctuary waving at politicians, their foot soldiers are cracking our walls and setting the building on fire. Owo in Ondo State witnessed the smoke of their kindled fire against our faith on Sunday the 5th of June 2022 during a mass at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church. If nothing is done, is only a matter of time before the fire get to you and me.