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Sultan of Sokoto under fire for denying persecution of Christians in Nigeria



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The Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) has condemned the statement by the Sultan of Sokoto wherein he was quoted to have said that “It is a lie to say Christians are being persecuted in Nigeria.”

Recall that the Christian Association of Nigeria had recently backed the inclusion of Nigeria in United States’ list of nations where religious intolerance was going on.

A statement on Friday by Prof. Charles Adisa, National President and Mr Onyenachi Nwaegeruo, General Secretary, described the Sultan’s reaction as well as the attack on CAN as unfortunate.

The statement also noted that the Christian leadership simply expressed its support to the international community as they have realised what many Nigerians have often lamented about, especially concerning Islamic fundamentalism, government tacit support of it and its effect on Christian faith.

NCGF said: “The Sultan should have addressed the subject matter of the international opprobrium which Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen have brought to the nation. Or is his Eminence contesting that there is no religious intolerance in Nigeria? If that is the position we can say that the Sultan is being economical with the truth or is an accomplice.

“An interrogation of the subject matter shows that it is either the Sultan and the institution which he leads are in willful ignorance of the issues at stake or he has chosen to play to the gallery as government spokesman.

“The Sultan cannot fault CAN on the issue of research on effects of Islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria. We are aware that there exist quantum documentary evidence of the murderous against Nigerian Christians.

“Further, we are aware that the information at the disposal of the US which informed the decision to blacklist Nigeria is a combined effort of independent investigators and domestic observers of the nefarious activities of extremists and terrorists especially Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.

“We are embarrassed on the double standard attitude of the sultanate, an institution that has kept mute to the serial decimation of christian communities in the North but suddenly found its voice because the government that has carried on as an appendage of the sultanate is under fire.

“May we remind his Eminence that it is ungodly that his office has never to the best of our knowledge condemned these murderous acts, even the most recent ones in Yobe state and Chibok in Borno state where Boko Haram attacked Christian communities on Christmas eve.

“Under the current government, several thousands of souls were wasted in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa. In 2019 alone over 1,000 people were killed in the Northcentral. Those who doubt this fact should go to Google, the records are there. There have been mass burials in those areas and no single culprit has been apprehended not to talk of prosecution.

“Instead, it is the Buhari administration that has been either justifying the killings or telling us that the criminals were coming from Libya. The President, through one of his spokesmen, Femi Adesina, once asked the people to give up their lands for their lives! This is reprehensible and unprecedented in the country.”

Are the hundreds of thousands of Christians butchered by Fulani herdsmen in the Middle-Belt not entitled to live? – Fani-Kayode asked Sultan

Former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, had also reacted to the Sultan of Sokoto’s statement denying persecution of Christians in Nigeria.

He described Sultan’s denial of the overwhelming evidence as a criminal offense to the Christian community.

He wrote: “It is a lie to say Christian’s are being persecuted in Nigeria”- Sultan of Sokoto.

You are wrong and your denial of this well established fact which is backed by empirical, abundant and overwhelming evidence is deeply offensive to the Christian community.

Were the 800 Christian’s that were slaughtered in their homes in Southern Kaduna on Christmas eve and Christmas day in 2016 by Fulani militants whilst the authorities turned a blind eye and refused to protect them or bring their murderers to justice not entitled to live their lives?

Are you trying to suggest that this was an isolated event and that it does not occur regularly in the north?

What about the hundreds of thousands of Christian’s that have been butchered all over the Middle Belt over the last four years talk less of those that have been targeted and killed in the south by the same Fulani militants?

All this yet the Federal Government fails to act and Royal fathers like you, who should know better, attempt to deny that it is real and try and downplay the whole issue. This is unacceptable.

In some countries it is actually a criminal offence to deny that genocide has taken place when the evidence is to the contrary.

To say that Christian’s are being persecuted in some parts of Nigeria is actually an understatement. They are not just being persecuted, they are being totally and completely eradicated and wiped out. They are being subjected to mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide!

This can no longer be denied or hidden because the world has become a global village. The barbarity and cruelty of those that hate Christian’s in Nigeria are being exposed to the international community every day and flippant and insensitive denials of the obvious cannot stop that.

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