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We are therefore not surprised by its recent removal of Nigeria from the watch list for religious violations despite the massacre against Christians in the north of the country by Boko Haram insurgents and Fulani shepherds. We are living witnesses to the forced conversions of Christians in the north as part of their attempt to create an Islam-backed theocracy similar to that which exists in most countries of the Middle East.
Leah Sharibu is an example of a Christian who is persecuted for her faith because she has been held captive for years simply because she stubbornly refused to convert to Islam. The same United States showed empathy for his cause when former presidential aide Reno Omokri, who resides there, took it upon himself to aggressively show the world his plight by traveling to many countries across the world as a traveling ambassador of the faith. Nigeria’s recent removal from the religious watch list is a betrayal of what Leah Sharibu and millions of persecuted Christians stand for. What a tragedy !
This is simply Uncle Sam’s age-old way, as they always throw morality in the wastebasket by putting their interests first in all circumstances no matter how selfish that may be. It just doesn’t matter to them because decency isn’t in their dictionary.
Christians in northern Nigeria have always been an endangered species, as radical Islamic elements have always sought to Islamize the nation. We remember the terrible riots in Maitatsine during the Second Republic when thousands of Christians were mercilessly slaughtered. General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s military regime attempted to bring Nigeria into the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in 1986, which led to Ebitu Ukiwe’s resignation the following year in protest, claiming that Nigeria was a secular state. The backlash for the failed OIC attempt was the brutal murder of Christians in the north in solidarity with IBB. Can the United States with all its intelligence apparatus deny this fact even visible to a visually impaired individual?
Boko Haram turned violent in 2009 after the death of its founder, Mohammed Yusuf in custody and Christians became the target. Churches have been bombed and Christians herded together like chickens and sent to their creator in the most cruel way. Going to church in the north is like going to war because you never know when the bomb will go off!
We remember how Christians were targeted when Isioma Daniel of Thisday Newspapers wrote an offensive article against the Prophet Muhammad. We will never forget how innocent Christians in the north were turned into scapegoats when offensive Danish cartoons against Islam were made. Can the United States deny this with all of its media houses entirely on the ground in Nigeria?
Consider the reaction of Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s special media assistant and impeachment publicity. He said in part: ââ¦ Since Nigeria was included in December 2020, in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s electoral defeat, it took only 11 months for this decision to be overturned under the Biden administration. This sad and unjustified ban follows 12 months of lies by certain extremist groups and the banned terrorist group Independent People of Biafra, IPOB’s well-funded international media campaign.
Nigeria should never have been on the list. It was included after paid right-wing American lobbyists were funded to the tune of millions of dollars by IPOB to spread lies and disinformation about Nigeria. Those who willfully took money from terrorists have spread lies against a democratically elected government. They took advantage of well-meaning, God-fearing Americans to whom they spread their lies.
Their aim was to drive a wedge, for political purposes, between the two great religions and in doing so, to materialize their false claims that Muslims and Christians cannot live side by side in love and peace. They didn’t care that their wickedness was the cause of religious tensions. In fact, it is possible that they sought to encourage him to prove their point. Yet despite all the funds at their disposal, they only for a short time convinced those who had been dismissed from their posts by American citizens to add Nigeria to the list.
It is a mistake to suggest that Nigeria lacks religious freedom. A visit to any city will see a plethora of posters for religious groups, both Muslims and Christians. Nigerians wear our faith on our sleeves â¦â¦â¦ .. â
Shehu, as the spokesperson for this murderous regime, simply exposed his bias against the Igbos by mentioning IPOB without any evidence that they made former US President Donald Trump put the country on the watch list. We all know that the South East is predominantly Christian; it is a surreptitious attack on Christians by this hateful administration.
The IPOB is fighting for a referendum so that they can exit the Nigerian union peacefully. Why is Shehu trying to pull the wool over Nigerians’ eyes by evoking religious sentiments where they do not exist? Why use religion which is one of man’s most controversial devices to distract Nigerians from the central problem?
A nation where Christians in the north cannot be guaranteed the sanctity of the most basic human right – the right to life calls for critical questioning. Is this union really worth it?
It is high time that all Nigerians came together to renegotiate the continued existence of the British creation of 1914 hastily put in place to selfishly advance foreign interests. Freedom of religion is enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, but unfortunately its implementation remains a mirage in the nation. The call to this Sovereign National Conference to ask a fundamental question: should the Federation stay? should be done without any outside interference because these developed nations, especially Uncle Sam, have a lot to gain from profiting from our collective misery.
The blood money of history has never stung their dead consciences!
Ademiluyi, co-founder of The Vent Republic, wrote from Lagos. He can be reached on [email protected] and 08167677075.