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by Raymond Ibrahim for Gatestone Institute —
- “On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote. In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes.” — Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, in his new book, My Transition Hours.
- “Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria.” — Bosun Emmanuel, the secretary of the National Christian Elders Forum,June 23, 2018.
- “Hundreds of indigenous Numan Christians in Adamawa state were attacked and killed by jihadist Fulani herdsmen. When they tried to defend themselves the Buhari govt. sent in the Airforce to bomb hundreds of them and protect the Fulani aggressors.” — Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigerian lawyer, author and former Minister of Aviation, Daily Post, December 6, 2017.
- In March 2014, after the United States Institute for Peace invited the governors of Nigeria’s northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang, an ordained minister.
In a bombshell revelation, Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president (2010-2015), has accused the Obama administration of meddling with his nation’s politics in order to replace him with its current president, Muhammadu Buhari — whom many blame for facilitating the persecution of Christians. In his new book, My Transition Hours, Jonathan writes:
“On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote… In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes. Those who understood subliminal language deciphered that he was prodding the electorate to vote for the [Muslim-led] opposition to form a new government.”
A 2011 ABC News report provides context:
The current wave of [Muslim] riots was triggered by the Independent National Election Commission’s (INEC) announcement on Monday [April 18, 2011] that the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, won in the initial round of ballot counts. That there were riots in the largely Muslim inhabited northern states where the defeat of the Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari was intolerable, was unsurprising. Northerners [Muslims] felt they were entitled to the presidency for the declared winner, President Jonathan, [who] assumed leadership after the Muslim president, Umaru Yar’Adua died in office last year and radical groups in the north [Boko Haram] had seen his [Jonathan’s] ascent as a temporary matter to be corrected at this year’s election. Now they are angry despite experts and observers concurring that this is the fairest and most independent election in recent Nigerian history.
That the Obama administration may have imposed its will on a foreign country’s politics and elections is hardly unprecedented. Recall the administration’s partiality for the Muslim Brotherhood during and after 2012 presidential elections in Egypt; or its unsuccessful efforts to oust Israeli prime minister Netanyahu with U.S. taxpayers’ money; or its efforts — with an admittedly unverified “dossier” (here, here and here) — to prevent then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump from being elected, or by discussing an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won. Moreover, texts by Peter Strzok revealed that Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.”
So in Nigeria, the Obama administration, it seems, sought to right the apparently intolerable wrong of having a duly elected Christian president in a more than 50% Christian nation.
Two questions arise: 1) Is there any outside evidence to corroborate Jonathan’s allegations against the Obama administration? 2) Is Buhari truly facilitating the jihad on his Christian countrymen?
The Obama Administration’s Pro-Islamic/Anti-Christian Policy
Former Nigerian President Jonathan’s newly published accusations appear to correspond with the former U.S. administration’s policy concerning Muslims and Christians in Nigeria.
To begin with, the Obama administration insisted that violence and bloodshed in Nigeria — almost all of which was committed by Muslims against Christians — had nothing to do with religion. This despite the fact that Boko Haram — which was engaging in ISIS type of atrocities: slaughter, kidnap, rape, plunder, slavery, torture before ISIS was even born — presented its terrorism as a jihad. In one instance it even called on President Jonathan to “repent and forsake Christianity” and convert to Islam as the price for peace. The Obama administration, however, refused to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization until November 2013 — years after increasing pressure from lawmakers, human rights activists, and lobbyists.
For instance, after a Nigerian church was destroyed in an Easter Day 2012 bombing that left 39 worshippers dead — one of many such deadly church bombings over the years in Nigeria — Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, said, “I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria.
Instead, “inequality” and “poverty” — to quote Bill Clinton — are “what’s fueling all this stuff” (a reference to the jihadi massacre of thousands of Christians).
Apparently to prove that it believed what it was saying, the Obama administration even agreed to allocate $600 million in a USAID initiative to ascertain the “true causes” of unrest and violence in Nigeria, which supposedly lay in the socio-economic, never the religious, realm.
Also telling is that, although the Obama administration offered only generic regrets whenever Christians were slaughtered by the dozens — without acknowledging the religious identity of persecutor or victim — it loudly protested whenever Islamic terrorists were targeted. When, for instance, Nigerian forces under Jonathan’s presidency killed 30 Boko Haram terrorists in an offensive in May 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (who is also mentioned in unflattering terms in Jonathan’s memoirs) “issued a strongly worded statement” to Jonathan, reported Reuters: “We are … deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations,” Kerry warned the Nigerian president.
In March 2014, after the United States Institute for Peace invited the governors of Nigeria’s northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang, an ordained minister. According to human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe:
“After the [Christian governor] told them that they were ignoring the 12 Shariah states who institutionalized persecution … he suddenly developed visa problems… The question remains – why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?”
More recently, Ogebe, of the U.S. Nigeria Law Group based in Washington, told Gatestone in an interview that the Obama administration “State Department actually said they preferred a ‘Muslim majority’ country to explain why Obama chose to visit Senegal instead of Nigeria. Ironically, Jonathan sided with the US on Israel in the UN while Buhari voted against the US/Israel in the UN.”
Muhammadu Buhari’s Role in the Jihad on Christians
Indicators that Muhammadu Buhari — whom the Obama administration helped make president of Nigeria, according to Jonathan — is empowering the genocide of Christians follow.
After Goodluck Jonathan became president, thousands of Christians living near Muslim centers in Nigeria were killed. Since getting what they want — a Muslim president, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015 — Muslims have attacked Christians in ways that are being characterized as a “pure genocide.”
As the Christian Association of Nigeria, an umbrella group of various Christian denominations, said in a recent statement:
“There is no doubt that the sole purpose of these attacks is aimed at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.”
To begin with, significantly more Christians have been massacred under Muhammadu Buhari than his Christian predecessor — mostly by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who regularly launch raids on Christian villages. In just the first six months of this year, 6,000 Christians were slaughtered in the name of jihad. It took three times as long for the Fulani to kill only 1,484 Christians under Jonathan’s presidency.
Any number of prominent Nigerians have accused Buhari of turning a blind eye to Fulani atrocities. He “is himself from the jihadists’ Fulani tribe,” Ogebe told Gatestone.
According to Rev. Musa Asake, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria:
“Under President Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favoritism… Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people.”
Similarly, according to prominent Nigerian lawyer, author and former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode:
“… the Muslim president [Buhari] has only awarded the murderers with impunity rather than justice and has staffed his government with Islamic officials, while doing essentially nothing to give the nation’s Christians, who make up half the population, due representation.”
Like the Obama administration, Buhari also attributes Fulani persecution of Christians to “poverty, injustice and the lack of job opportunities.” As the Christian Association of Nigeria retorts, however:
“How can it be a [secular or economic] clash when one group [Muslims] is persistently attacking, killing, maiming, destroying, and the other group [Christians] is persistently being killed, maimed and their places of worship destroyed?”
The National Christian Elders Forum is more direct concerning the source of violence:
“JIHAD has been launched in Nigeria by the Islamists of northern Nigeria led by the Fulani ethnic group. This Jihad is based on the Doctrine of Hate taught in Mosques and Islamic Madrasas in northern Nigeria as well as the supremacist ideology of the Fulani. Using both conventional (violent) Jihad, and stealth (civilization) Jihad, the Islamists of northern Nigeria seem determined to turn Nigeria into an Islamic Sultanate and replace Liberal Democracy with Sharia as the National Ideology. … We want a Nigeria, where citizens are treated equally before the law at all levels….”
The Buhari government has even been accused of participating in the jihad. For example, one especially savage Fulani “attack razed several [Christian] villages in the southern part of the state [leaving 100 dead], and a military jet bombed a Lutheran church and other targets,” says one report, before adding: “Some people suspect the jets were deployed in collaboration with the terrorists because their bombs hit villagers.”
Fani-Kyode has been even more direct in his accusation against Buhari:
“Hundreds of indigenous Numan Christians in Adamawa state were attacked and killed by jihadist Fulani herdsmen. When they tried to defend themselves the Buhari govt. sent in the Airforce to bomb hundreds of them and protect the Fulani aggressors. Is this fair? WORLD TAKE NOTE!”
It is also worth noting that, although Christians were only recently the majority of Nigeria’s population, the ongoing genocide against them has caused their population to drop — to the point that Christianity in Nigeria “is on the brink of extinction,” warns Bosun Emmanuel, the secretary of the National Christian Elders Forum. Last summer he said that Muhammadu Buhari “is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians all over the nation and destruction of vulnerable Christian communities.” Accordingly, “the Church has been weakened and unable to stand before its enemies. Realistically speaking, Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria. The ascendancy of Sharia ideology in Nigeria rings the death toll for the Nigerian Church.”
Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Why should the West concern itself with the elections in Nigeria, you ask. You think the mudslinging during our campaigns are bad, what is happening in Nigeria is frightening, not only to the people there, but to the world. Or at least it should be. Take a look at what’s surfacing today.
“If Maiduguri falls into the hands of Boko Haram, it would be a disaster for Africa as a continent” And that’s only a portion of the implications for the West and the world.
Snapshots of Chaos in Nigeria and the elections and what it’s about. Who are the parties?
We have been reporting on the increase of attacks in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad ahead of the Feb. elections in Nigeria. We have verified that intense fighting is taking place in Maiduguri and surrounding areas by a force from Chad and the military of Nigeria. Some reports claim that there is a civilian force also combating this evil. Reports are surfacing that offer proof that indeed this an effort to thwart the election. And at the very least throw off the outcome. Nigeria is at a crossroads. A very dark crossroad. One that could shake the world if the back and forth between candidates is true. And it appears as if they are. I wondered why John Kerry would visit Nigeria ahead of the elections and it’s becoming frighteningly clear.
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – “If Maiduguri falls into the hands of Boko Haram, it would be a disaster for all of Africa”, says Fr. Gideon Obasogie, head of social communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria.
“Maiduguri is the state capital and the seat of Government, with all its structures, with a high concentration of state population and the commercial nerve of the northeast”, explains Fr. Obasogie. “If the city falls, citizens will be more facile to radicalization and the terrorists will have more conscripts. Maiduguri for Boko Haram would become a strong base and then rumble into Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa. Finally, if Maiduguri falls, the militants would control an airport and a military base with the 7 Div. This is really and truly dangerous for Nigeria, as it is a potential disaster for Africa as a continent”, emphasizes the priest. “So far – said Fr. Obasogie – the militants have conquered and occupied towns and villages near Maiduguri”.
The priest describes the situation in the capital of Borno State: “With the recent waves of attacks, there is so much fear and tension in the air. With the February Polls drawing ever close we see all sorts of personalities with well fashioned and designed promises too good to be taken as true; trooping into Maiduguri and the northeast, not to identify with us in our plight but to beg for our votes”.
“Citizens of Maiduguri as much as possible avoid crowded areas and the polling units would not be an exception, unless people’s security is assured and ensured. If anyone needs our votes, our safety must first be assured”, concludes Fr. Obasogie. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/02/2015)
Another report from Fides confirms the above dire situation that Nigeria and the Christian population faces: “We risk seeing Boko Haram conquer the entire north-east before the end of the election, unless foreign troops intervene”, said Mgr. Doeme, referring to the presidential elections to be held in mid-February and to the coordination of the military actions of neighboring Countries against Boko Haram, after the latest raids of Nigerian extremists in Cameroon and the conquest of the base of the international force of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad (see Fides 09/01/2015).
“The situation is very complex and the first victims are innocent civilians”, concluded the Bishop of Maiduguri who implies the existence of some “saboteurs” and accomplices within the Nigerian army, who favor the advance of Boko Haram for political reasons.”
Not only that, but we have reported on the checkered past of Buhari (has been referred to over the years as: “Janjanweed ticket”) who is running for President, and the smear campaigns on both sides, now this quote from today’s report by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh sends chills down the spine of those watching and know the groups behind the demonic slaughter taking place in the whole of Africa: “We know that 90 per cent of these non-indigenes are supporters of the PDP. This is part of the APC Janjaweed ideology to truncate democracy in this country.” “The APC have been saying they were on top of the election, but now that it is obvious that PDP is on top, that President Goodluck Jonathan will win the election, they have resorted to causing mayhem.”
We shared this report a year ago, about the evil in the CAR and now there are those who are tying this in with the current violence in the Northeast of Nigeria. Africa: A Sinister Plot Behind the Massacre In CAR.
The Janjaweed are a ruthless group with the same ideologies as ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabob, the Seleka, and many other groups. To form their own government, “Sharia” and rule the continent of Africa and the Middle East— with the end time goal of ruling the World. They hate the West, they hate democracy, they hate Christians and other minorities. They show no mercy in their murderous slaughter. And now they have their sights on Nigeria.
Still other reports tell of the untold suffering of civilians most specifically Christians. Doctors without Borders is desperately trying to send what aid they can. Most have retreated to the bush as the refugee camps are either overcrowded or are not safe. The very least implication is that certified voters will be null and void as at least 1/4 of the population is displaced with more displacement every day. Malnutrition is rampant, and disease is not far behind. When you ask questions and seek the answers they are not hard to find, and it’s not hard to see that the interests of Africa are not for the innocent. Pray for Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The Devil Came On Horseback: A documentary about the Janjaweed, a Sudanese government backed militia, who have stolen, raped and murdered Sudanese people in Darfur. (Watch) *Very Graphic*
Like so many others I am glad to see more people around the world take up the issue of the school girls who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago from Chibok in the north east region of Nigeria. I am relieved to see people of different backgrounds, in my social media feeds join the #WhereAreOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters conversations in solidarity with the grieving families of those missing girls. Celebrities including Chris Brown, Keri Hilson and Mary J. Bilge have contributed their support to the #bringbackourgirls campaigns.
But even as the rest of the world finally gets around to paying attention to this story, we should consider this an apt moment to pause and reflect on how we write about conflict in Africa, young girls and how the western media tends to render female children invisible not just by a lack of coverage, but in the language we use to talk about them.
For two weeks, the plight more than 200 girls [nearly 300] was barely covered in the western media, which led me to wonder if there are gendered notions of African children that deserve protection from African conflict. African boys seem to have received the lion’s share of western preoccupation when it comes to conflicts on the continent. A google image search for the words “child”, “conflict” and “Africa” are mostly images of male child soldiers holding semi-automatic weapons. Many people familiar with conflict know of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, or the boy soldiers of “Invisible Children” of Uganda. Perhaps boy child soldiers invoke a western fascination with the myth of African males, who naturally brutish and violent and are easily coerced into killing one another because, “primordial hatred”. But do many people know that in 1996 in Aboke, Uganda, more than 100 school girls between the ages of 13 and 16 were kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army? That many of them were rescued by their school mistress? That it took almost ten years to get most of them back? I have not heard much mention of the Aboke girls at all in coverage of the missing Chibok girls.
Beyond lack of coverage, I questioned on Twitter the language we use to talk about girls who are abducted in conflict situations. News media reports said that a number of the girls have been “sold as brides to Islamic militants for $12” Is it appropriate to call these girls “brides” or “wives” in our reporting just because the militants may refer to them as such? In scanning the Nigerian media, I did not see the words “brides” or “wives” feature as heavily as I did in Western reporting.
There is nothing remotely resembling marriage in what has happened to these girls. In my view, these girls are not brides, but rather they have been trafficked and sold into nothing short of slavery. Imagine if the world headlines read, “235 Children in Nigeria Kidnapped and Sold Into Slavery”, I would bet reactions would be swifter and stronger. If the reports are true, it is very likely that the girls will be forcibly used for sex, perhaps in addition to cooking, cleaning and other types of labor for the militants. Is this not slavery? When do we use the term “child slave” versus “child bride” for African girls?
I reiterate, I am glad that the world is finally taking notice of the Chibok girls. On the other hand, I do grow nervous when overly sensationalized coverage of children in African conflicts in the West go the way of #kony2012. While the language we use to talk about these girls must do the utmost the horror of their plight, but that in our eagerness to “say something” we do not marginalize them further.
Images by Zachary Rosen, taken at yesterday’s #BringBackOurGirls protest, Washington DC.
By Karen Attiah for AFRICA IS A COUNTRY
(shared with permission)
VOP note: As we have reported in the past, the Boko Haram has stepped up the kidnappings, forced conversions and illegal marriages to young girls and women in Nigeria. These girls are also used as decoys, or to aid militants in carrying out attacks. These terrorists put them under physical and psychological torture them. Pray for their rescue, that they may be reunited with their families and begin to heal, physically and mentally.
The testimony you are about to read comes from Yobe State in Northern Nigeria. It is one brothers’ story about the Christian persecution and stress they continue to be burdened with, even today.
Due to security risks and safety purposes, his identity has been withheld.
I am from Nangir LGA of Yobe State and reside in Potiskum. I would like to give you some background and tell what is happening in Yobe. In the year of 1997, Muslim jihadists killed my father. Just before his demise, my father travelled to a theological school in Kaduna. When he came back to Yobe, he went to church for Holy Communion.
After some time I went to find my father. As I approached, I saw smoke coming from our church. Muslims were burning our church! For about 3 hours they carried out attacks on the churches and Christians. While carrying out the attacks, they killed my father. His grave is in an ECWA church in Potiskum.
After losing my father, I picked up the challenge to care for myself and my family. I sponsored myself to school and grew up with my mum.
After Goodluck Jonathan won the 2011 elections, Buhari supporters launched attacks on Christians and churches. They killed many of us. It has been estimated that Christians in Yobe State numbers about 10,000. The whole population of Yobe state is about 2.5 million.
When the elections were over, they attacked on a Friday. Many lives and properties of Christians were lost as a result of the post-election violence.
Last year there was a time when we were on our way from Damaturu to Potiskum. Boko Haram militants wore soldier uniforms and went to a roundabout and started attacking people. They targeted and killed policemen. They killed a migration officer in front of people.
‘It was God who saved us.’
There was also a period in which we were always hearing gunshots. Hearing gunfire became normal to us. One night we heard rumors that Boko Haram members would attack us. Later that evening, the militants and moved from house to house with aim of ransacking and searching for Christians to kill. The Boko Haram members entered houses of Christians and asked them if they would convert to Islam, or remain being a Christian. They mercilessly killed Christians who refused to become Muslims.
This testimony is a true reflection of the persecution Christians face in Northern Nigeria. We need to stand for our brethren in Nigeria and ask God to remember them in our prayers!
Seven parallel translations from the Quran 8:39:
Sahih International: And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.
Pickthall: And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.
Yusuf Ali: And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
Shakir: And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.
Muhammad Sarwar: Fight them so that idolatry will not exist any more and God’s religion will stand supreme. If theygive up the idols), God will be Well Aware of what they do.
Mohsin Khan: And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.
Arberry: Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is God’s entirely; then if they give over, surely God sees the things they do;
Many Christians have fled the area due to fear and because they have been the target of the attacks. The situation is pathetic because of the large numbers of Igbos and Christians that have been killed. About 30 churches in Potiskum have been burnt down. Many of us have relocated to Taraba and Jos.”
Matthew 5:3-30 (NASB)
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.