11 February 2018

Nigeria: Group Petitions Buhari Over Killing of 21,800 Northern Christians

A civil society group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the fate of Christians in northern Nigeria, pointing out that a total of 21,800 of them have been killed since June 2015.

In the petition dated February 6, 2018 with reference number Intersociety/001/02/018/FGN/NG, the body informed the president that the estimated 30 million Christians in the north, who form the largest minority group in the Muslim dominated environment, have for decades suffered marginalisation and discrimination.

The group said Christians in the north have become easy targets for mob actions and violent groups, especially Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. It stressed that out of the 21,800 killed in the past three years, 16,000 and 5,800 died in the hands of the two groups.

Jointly signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chairman, and Chinwe and Obianuju Joy Igboeli, heads of rule of law and governance, the petition also copied the President of the United States (U.S.), Donald Trump, Speaker of U.S. House of Reps, Paul Ryan, and Mr. Antonio Gutteres, Secretary General of United Nations.

The group said: "Mr. President must wake up from his slumber and discharge his sworn constitutional duties and functions courageously and impartially, so as to prevent a situation where millions of the threatened and endangered Christians in Nigeria would be forced to take recourse to self defence and other self-help mechanisms."

Intersociety disclosed that hundreds of churches in northern Nigeria, particularly in the northeast, north central and Southern Kaduna, have been burnt or destroyed, with an estimated 16,000 defenceless citizens killed since 2015, when the president mounted the saddle.

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