‘Nigeria in rapidly deteriorating security situation’ – Nigerian Americans urge US govt to take urgent action | NN NEWS
Nigerian Americans under the aegis of Africa United for Peace (AUP) have petitioned the US Government, urging it to take urgent action on ‘Nigeria’s rapidly deteriorating security situation’.about:blank
The group in a petition dated April 20, 2022 and addressed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, argued that it is “time to face Nigeria’s rapidly deteriorating security situation after failed US policy”.
Below is the full petition, one of whose signatories is Emmanuel Ogebe, Special Counsel, Justice for Jos Project, Washington DC:about:blank
Dear Secretary Blinken,
Time to Face Nigeria’s rapidly deteriorating security situation
This week of Easter, we write to alert you of the escalating insecurity in Nigeria, a key African US partner which you visited last year.
In the past four weeks of sustained attacks across multiple states, the following atrocities occurred just to name a few:
- Sunday March 20 massacre of Kagoro, Kaduna state over 34 people killed, 200 homes destroyed, a 5-yr old boy shot in the head amongst several hospitalized
- Thursday March 24 massacre in Ebo, Enugu state killed six, including pregnant women, with many missing
- Thursday March 24 mass abductions in Guma Kaduna state including Catholic Priest Felix Zakari of St Ann’s, Zaria
- Friday March 25 massacre in nine villages of Giwa LG Kaduna state killed over 50 people, 100 abducted and houses, church, cars devastated
- Saturday March 26 assault on Kaduna international airport disrupting flights and killing staffer
- Monday March 28 bombing of Kaduna-bound train with almost 1000 passengers aboard, driver and dentist Dr Chinelo amongst those confirmed dead, many abducted
- Monday March 28 attack on Zuma barracks at least six soldiers killed
- – March 28th in Bassa Plateau state
- – March 29th in Kaduna state
All these attacks by suspected Fulani Herdsmen militia were against civilian targets except the Zuma Barracks meaning most potentially qualify as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Atrocities by Boko Haram ISWA are not even listed in this month-long genocidal mayhem.
Over 120 people were slaughtered in Plateau state and 24 in Benue state in the Holy Week.
Meanwhile for the first time in Nigerian history – and possibly contemporary world history – a train was bombed and over 100 passengers abducted barely two weeks before Easter.
We are drawing this to your urgent attention not only because of your delisting of Nigeria as an Country of Particular Concern for egregious persecution since assuming office but because we note the speed and rapidity of your response to the nascent month-long Ukrainian invasion by contrast.
Mr Secretary, below are photos of two children both shot in the head in current global conflicts but only one is in world news. To each of their moms, these kids mean the world to them but in the media one kid is not as valuable as the other. You can guess which.
Besides the media, our graver concern is the way the Nigeria genocide has been systematically minimized by the State Department and others.
Recently, media reports said, “Nigeria is now in the sixth position in the current Global Terrorism Index…Nigeria dropped two places from fourth, a position it occupied since 2017.
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) published by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), established by an independent and non-profit think tank, showed that Nigeria, Syria, and Somalia are the only nations, among the 10 countries most affected by terrorism, to get an improved score from 2020 to 2021.
There was a decline in the number of terrorism-related deaths in Nigeria, according to the report.
It noted that the death of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, as well as the Federal Government’s efforts at defeating the group led to the decline.
According to the report, “Total deaths from terrorism in Nigeria fell to 448 in 2021, the lowest level since 2011. Terror-related casualties dropped by almost half compared with the previous year.
“However, the number of terrorists’ attacks increased by 49 percent between 2020 and 2021. 36 percent of attacks were claimed by ISWA, Boko Haram being responsible for eight percent and 44 percent not attributed to any group.”
It explained that in 2020, ISWA became the deadliest terrorist group in Nigeria, saying that the decline of Boko Haram continued into 2021, with Boko Haram responsible for only 69 deaths, a decrease of 77 percent from the previous year.
According to the report, it is the lowest number of deaths by the group for a decade, stressing that Boko Haram’s decline has resulted in a substantial improvement in terrorism in Borno State, which experienced a decrease of 71 percent in terrorism deaths when compared with the previous year.”
However researchers of the World Watch Monitor dispute the GTI reporting saying, “The number of deaths is very low. We have 4,650 jihadist related killings of Christians alone (1 October 2021 – 30 September 2021) . Then also more than 1,000 Muslims killed mostly by same groups. It seems the GTI does not consider death caused by armed Fulani herdsmen / Fulani militants / Fulani bandits as terrorism or as some form of jihadism which basically is the same…”
There have been concerns that the State Department influenced the historically US Government-funded GTI research to stop naming the Fulani militia atrocities in their reports after consecutively identifying the killer herdsmen militia as the world’s 4th deadliest terrorists.
In that light, it is disturbing that GTI now claims that it can’t identify the bad actors behind over 44% of the atrocities in Nigeria. That is an unacceptably high margin of uncertainty for an academic research work that in fact undermines the credibility and methodology of the research and its funders. Could it truly then be that he who pays the piper/researcher has called the tune/tune out?
Renowned American lawyer and religious freedom advocate, Nina Shea in US congressional testimony said, “The State Department’s report omits all evidence of radicalization among some Fulani, specifically those involved in militant activity, mass atrocities and supporting or working collaboratively with terror groups. It fails to report the important finding that “Fulani extremists were the most active and deadly perpetrators of terrorism in Nigeria in 2018, ” by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) of the University of Maryland, established as a “center of excellence” by the US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate.” (House Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission December 17, 2020 Statement of Nina Shea
Hudson Institute – Director of the Center for Religious Freedom & Senior Fellow)
This year already, over 1500 Nigerians have been slaughtered by terrorist activities – an average of 500 a month or 120 each week of 2022! https://newsexpressngr.com/news/149743
Yet Nigeria has not been invaded by a world power.
The very nature of the ongoing onslaught these past weeks reveal something more sinister than “a farmer/herder climate change-induced competition for resources.”
Aside nighttime massacres of helpless villagers including children, there was an attack on an international airport disrupting flights and multiple train attacks including an unprecedented train bombing.
Apart from this significant transportation infrastructure attacks, the terrorists simultaneously attacked a military barracks that could be potentially have responded to the train bombing and killed seven soldiers in a a display of strategic and sophisticated operational planning.
From the foregoing, we want to make clear that this is well-organized, premeditated terrorism and not random “clashes.” There may be no flash of missiles and crush of armored tanks but the machetes, small arms and bombs are unleashing a comparable not-so-silent slaughter as well.
Similarly we want to highlight that while the Kagoro massacre of March 20 resulted in the deaths of 34 Christians and the loss of 200 homes, the train bombing, though ostensibly a randomized victim attack was not purely so.
Both Muslim and Christians were killed in the attack that claimed dozens of lives but survivors say, the attackers had spotters on board who helped them identify high value targets for abduction. As yet it is not known what parameters were deployed for this selective targeting.
The point being made here is that while Christian communities in Southern Kaduna have been the primary targets of the years long genocide in the northwest, as in the northeast, Muslims too have been to a lesser degree collateral or intentional targets as well. This in no way diminishes the nature of these acts of persecution and again we restate that your delisting of Nigeria as a condoner of egregious religious persecution is flawed and demonstrably so.
Indeed the Governor of Kaduna who admitted paying foreign Fulanis to stop killings in his state has now conceded failure in the light of all these atrocities.
Furthermore, a court in Kano also recently convicted Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association and USCIRF-adopted Prisoner of Conscience, of blasphemy and sentenced him to 24 years in prison. https://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/releases-statements/uscirf-commissioner-frederick-davie-adopts-mubarak-bala-and-yahaya
Mubarak’s religious-motivated conviction comes weeks after Christian missionary orphanage owner, Prof Solomon Tarfa, was similarly convicted by a Kano court after a two-years and two-months ordeal that began with his Christmas 2019 arrest.
Sadly it was the second time in 20 years that Prof Tarfa and Du Merci orphanage were arrested, closed down and prosecuted in two-decades-long state persecution although he was found not guilty in the 2002 case and also on most charges in the 2021 case.
This latest incident confirms Kano state’s poor reputation as an egregious persecutor and state abuser of religious freedom. Indeed in 2020, American citizen Ms Janine Delsky was “invited by Kano State Sharia Police known as Hisbah to a meeting at their Panshekara Office ahead of their wedding.
The meeting, which was held in a closed door had Isah’s father Sulaiman and his brother in attendance.”
The Hisbah religious police is an illegal contraption in violation of Nigeria’s constitutional equivalent of the USA’s “Establishment Clause”. Section 10 of Nigeria’s Constitution mirrors the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The Hisbah is a purely Islamic sharia enforcement militia with state backing which instructed Ms Delsky to convert to Islam to marry a Nigerian.
Accordingly, we reiterate the call for sanctions against Gov Ganduje including the revocation of his U.S. visa following his visit to US in December.
We also want to draw your attention to the suspension and then dismissal of Islamic cleric Sheikh Nuru Khalid for a sermon he preached on recent massacres in Nigeria.
Per media reports, “Abuja Imam, Sheikh Khalid Sacked, Banned From Mosque For Criticising Buhari Over Killings
The management of the Apo Legislative Quarters Juma’at Mosque in Abuja has disengaged Sheikh Nuru Khalid from his position of the Chief Imam of the mosque.
The mosque’s steering committee had earlier suspended Khalid for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari over the last Monday night’s attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train.”
For the further reasons adduced in the critical analysis below, we urge you to reverse the CPC delisting and hold Nigeria responsible to end and for failing to end the unrelenting bloodletting.
US GOVERNMENT INADVERTENTLY CONDONES RELIGIOUS GENOCIDE IN NIGERIA AND DOES NOT COMPORT WITH DUE PROCESS
In December 2020, the United States (US) State Department had designated Nigeria a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) on the ground that the government was responsible for engaging in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom. However, on 15 November 2021, less than one year later, the same US State Department delisted Nigeria from the list of CPC, which means that the US Government is now of the view that the Nigerian Government is no longer responsible for engaging in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom. This policy somersault is ill-advised but is the change in US government policy towards Nigeria on this issue legal and defensible?
We will reflect on the relevant law, the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The preamble to the law states inter alia that the purpose of the law is to “to strengthen United States advocacy on behalf of individuals persecuted in foreign countries on account of religion; to authorize United States actions in response to violations of religious freedom in foreign countries.” It is therefore clear from the onset and in the light of the uncontroverted facts on ground, that the situation in Nigeria falls squarely within the mandate and purview of the International Religious
Under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998, the President is required to annually review the status of religious freedom in every country in the world and designate each country the government of which has engaged in or tolerated “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). The law defines particularly severe violations as “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom,” including violations such as: (1) torture; (2) prolonged detention without charges; (3) forced disappearance; or (4) other flagrant denial of life, liberty, or security of persons.
It was pursuant to the above that the Secretary of State in Notice 86 FR 2718 (Public Notice 11289) No. 2021-00556 of December 2020 following the legally mandated and requisite consultation with the statutory body in charge of providing pre-designation information, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to the US Government/Secretary of State, designated Nigeria a “country of particular concern” (CPC) under Section 402(b) of the Act, for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
As we stated above, nothing has changed in Nigeria since that designation and no new advice was issued by USCIRF, neither was any new report issued to Congress by the Secretary of State, to justify a change in policy. Assuming but not admitting that the Office of the Secretary of State made a mistake in the earlier 2020 designation, due process demands that all stakeholders in the US Government be consulted before a change of the magnitude of delisting Nigeria from the CPC was effected. As stated above the other agencies of the government concerned, specifically the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), have denounced the delisting. The body language and signals that the Secretary of State in delisting Nigeria has thus sent out is that freedom of religion in Nigeria is treated with levity by the US Government.
In summary therefore, the relevant question ought to be, Is the 2021 delisting of Nigeria from the CPC list legal? We have shown that the original 2020 designation was done within the general and specific purview of the law. The US government agency authorized by Section 201 of the International Freedom of Religion Act of 1998, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has distanced itself from the action of the Secretary of State in the 2021 delisting. This alone is sufficient to show that the Secretary of State’s action of delisting Nigeria was prima facie illegal, ill-advised and arbitrary as it clearly violates the law on procedural steps that lead to such action clearly set out in Section 202 subsection 2 of the International Freedom of Religion Act of 1998 . The section provides as follows:
“SEC. 202. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION. (a) IN GENERAL.— The Commission shall have as its primary responsibility — (1) the annual and ongoing review of the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom presented in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Annual Report, and the Executive Summary, as well as information from other sources as appropriate; and (2) the making of policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. …. (c) POLICY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN RESPONSE TO PROGRESS.—The Commission, in evaluating the United States Government policies with respect to countries found to be taking deliberate steps and making significant improvement in respect for the right of religious freedom, shall consider and recommend policy options, including private commendation, diplomatic commendation, official public commendation, commendation within multilateral fora, an increase in cultural or scientific exchanges, or both, termination or reduction of existing Presidential actions, an increase in certain assistance funds, and invitations for working, official, or state visits…”
It is concerning to note that there was no decision memo, explanatory rationale or documented evidence that informed or conveyed the Secretary’s unilateral reversal action.
Incidentally, around the same time, emerged the Memorandum for the Secretary of State on Presidential Determination and Certification with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008.
It stated, “Pursuant to section 404 of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (22 U.S.C. 2370c-1) (CSPA), I hereby:
Determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey; to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow for the provision of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) assistance, to the extent that the CSPA would restrict such assistance or support;… and, to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to allowing for the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales related to other United States Government assistance for the above countries; and
Certify that the governments of the above countries are taking effective and continuing steps to address the problem of child soldiers.
Accordingly, I hereby waive such applications of section 404(a) of the CSPA.
You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the Memorandum of Justification, and to publish this determination in the Federal Register.”
It is highly instructive that while US President Biden in waiving legal sanctions on Nigeria related to the use of child soldiers, just weeks before the Delisting of Nigeria, provided a rationale, justification and determination to the Congress, the Secretary of State failed to do so with regard to the CPC.
Furthermore while preceding Secretary of State Pompeo designated Nigeria a CPC, he also waived accompanying sanctions on Nigeria which was an option open to Secretary Blinken – maintaining the status quo.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND OF COUNTRY CONDITIONS
Instead of reinventing the wheel, we present the United Kingdom organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s perspective on the issue which gives a balanced assessment of the US State Department’s decision. CSW is an international advocacy NGO specialising in religious freedom.
Excerpts from the CSW position published 29 November 2021 by its president, President Mervyn Thomas CMG, are reproduced below.
“….News of Nigeria’s removal from the CPC list has met with widespread condemnation, including from USCIRF, whose Chair Nadine Maenza said in a statement: “While the State Department took steps forward on some designations, USCIRF is especially displeased with the removal of Nigeria from its CPC designation, where it was rightfully placed last year.”
CSW shares these concerns, and our question to the State Department is: “What changes within the last 11 months warranted Nigeria’s delisting as a CPC?”
The failure to re-designate Nigeria comes amidst ongoing, egregious religion-related violence by terrorists in the northeast, by assailants of Fulani origin in central states, and ongoing historical violations targeting Christian communities in the country’s Shari’a states.
This violence, which has increased exponentially under Nigeria’s current administration, has also been insufficiently addressed. Instead, it has metastasised, occasioning similar death and displacement in Muslim communities of Hausa ethnicity in northwestern states, and a general rise in abductions for ransom across the country by assailants of predominantly Fulani origin, with the lives of civilians regularly commoditised and extinguished on the slightest pretext by non-state actors.
While the State Department’s designation of the Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram as entities as Entities of Particular Concern (EPCs) is welcome, it further highlights the shortsightedness of the country’s de-listing as a CPC.
There are credible concerns that Fulani militia have now cemented ties with terrorists in the north-east, amidst reports of the relocation of two Boko Haram leaders, their fighters and several bomb makers to forests in the south of Kaduna state, and of the presence of the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansaru in the area. The most recent abductions and murders along the notorious Kaduna-Abuja road are also being attributed to terrorists.
In addition to its apparent tolerance of violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) such as these, the Nigerian authorities also meet other criteria for CPC designation by engaging in systematic, ongoing and egregious FoRB violations.
In Shari’a states, Christian communities continue to face a host of violations, including the abduction, forced conversion and marriage without parental consent of underage girls, and land seizures without compensation. In October 2021, the Kaduna state government demolished 263 buildings in the predominantly Christian Gracelands community in Zaria, including six churches, a school complex and homes, despite a court ruling against any demolition in at least one instance.
And Christians are not alone in experiencing violations.
Under the current regime, some 700 unarmed men, women and children belonging to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a Shi’a organisation, were killed in December 2015 over two days in attacks on their facilities by the Nigerian army that were launched after an IMN religious procession blocked a road on which a convoy carrying the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was travelling.
Moreover, Nigeria’s blasphemy laws continue to occasion miscarriages of justice.
In another case highlighting intra-religious violations, on 10 August 2020 a Shari’a court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of Kano city, the capital of the notoriously volatile Kano state, sentenced Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, 22, to death by hanging after deeming him guilty of blaspheming in a song he had shared via WhatsApp in late February 2020. The cases highlight the continued misuse of Nigeria’s blasphemy law, and its incompatibility with the country’s national and international obligations.
In a case highlighting the ongoing violations of the rights of the non-religious, the President of the Nigerian Humanist Association, Mubarak Bala has been detained arbitrarily since 28 March 2020, when he was arrested at his home in Kaduna state for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed in Facebook posts.
Mr Bala’s case also highlights the intersection between democracy and FoRB, particularly the seeming disregard of the current administration for the rule of law as part of a worrying and progressive clawing back of Nigeria’s democratic gains. The lead up to 2019 elections saw the harassment and removal on dubious bases of the Chief Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, and his replacement by Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, formerly a Shari’a court judge, who subsequently oversaw appeals against electoral malpractices in a perfunctory manner, summarily handing victory to the ruling party.
The period immediately preceding the US Secretary of State’s announcement of Nigeria’s delisting as a CPC witnessed a return of the wanton intimidation of judges.
Additionally, the freedoms of expression and of the press are being increasingly curtailed by a draconian broadcasting act and the regular levelling of cyberstalking charges against journalists and bloggers.
During a visit to Nigeria earlier this month, the US Secretary of State made public statements which appeared to herald a return to business as usual. However, he also met privately with Christian religious leaders who left him in no doubt about their deep disappointment, and he expressed an interest in how the government would take forward the findings of the damning report by the Lagos End SARS Panel, which recently found the army and police complicit in a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on 20 October 2020, and in subsequently covering up the death toll and preventing medical assistance from reaching the injured.
On the first anniversary of the massacre presidential spokesman Lai Mohammed had dismissed the event as “a massacre without bodies,” but claimed to have been misquoted while the US Secretary of State was in the country. However, soon after he left, Mr Mohammed again denied a massacre had occurred, and began describing the report, among other things as “fake news” and “tales by moonlight.”
Worse still, the army officer who supervised the massacre has reportedly been promoted; a panel member has expressed fears for his life after receiving threats, and several people who stepped forward to testify before the panel are also being threatened, with one woman requiring stiches after suffering a serious assault.
These are just a few examples of violations of the right to FoRB and intersecting rights, which highlight the need for continued international vigilance and scrutiny. Nigeria is on a precipice, and as much as it may wish to do so, the US administration cannot simply resume business as usual.
The removal of the CPC designation at such a critical time sends the wrong message to perpetrators of religion-related violence and general lawlessness that shows no sign of abating.”
There is really no need to add to the above position other than to refer to two other documents that support the CSW position, namely, one, the 2020 United States Nigeria Law Group (USNLG) Communication to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Concerning the Preliminary Examination into International Crimes Committed In Nigeria (Appendix A to this memo); and, two, the USNLG 2021 MAGNITSKY Memo to the United States Congress on Nigeria (Appendix B to this memo).
The video of “bandits” in military uniforms claiming responsibility for the train bombing from which dozens died and over 100 passengers remain missing is a chilling confirmation of the failure of intelligence that has mischaracterized the kidnap insurgency.
In it, the MD of Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, was flanked by armed terrorists. He was abducted by the terrorists on March 28, following bombing of Abuja-Kaduna train. Below is the transcript (without the Islamic chants.)
TRANSLATION FROM HAUSA TO ENGLISH
BANDIT #1: “We are the Bandits that attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train some time ago and seized numerous hostages. This hostage with us, because of his old age and pleas, and in the spirit of the month of Ramadan, we took pity on him. We have brought him out of the deep forest and we’ll let him go free – we’ll hand him over to his relatives. But this government should know what’s up. This is nothing, we just pitied the old man. We are going to give him the opportunity to speak, in case he has more things to explain. Listen to him:
HOSTAGE: Greetings. I want to let you know that the bandits have pitied me because of my age and they have brought me out here. I want to let you know that I have left behind in captivity numerous hostages and they will need a lot of help to get out quickly. So I hope the government will meet the leadership of these bandits and sit and negotiate with them in order for the rest of the hostages to be released.
BANDIT #2: This thing we are telling you is for certain. Either you give in to our demands or we will deal with all the hostages – to kill them off is a very small thing to us. And you know very well that it’s not your money that we want because if it’s money that we want we wouldn’t even have to go to this extent (bombing the train). You know exactly what we want. You better shape up and do exactly what we want.”
It is overwhelmingly clear not only that this is terrorism and not mere banditry or brigandage but that even worse these islamist terrors are slaughtering innocent Nigerian citizens and others on account of an opaque, inscrutable and unfathomable understanding they have with the Nigerian government. There can be no clearer proof of the complicity and complacency of the Nigerian government by admission of their partners in venality on the newly released video.
Washington lawyer, Nina Shea testified further, ‘The Fulani in the neighboring Sahel have been recruited by ISIS and Al Qaeda but State’s report neglects to examine whether they or Boko Haram are influencing or linked to segments of Nigerian Fulani; the report raises the Sahel conflicts only to note a questionable theory that “altered grazing routes” have caused conflict because the Fulani herders “are unaware of preexisting agreements between the local herding and farming groups.” ‘Hearing on Conflict and Killings in Nigeria’s Middle Belt – by Nina Shea.
We submit in addition that the State Department discounts the terrorist Fulani group that killed five US Green Berets in neighboring Niger (ambushed by cows no less) which remains the highest American fatalities in the region not even from Boko Haram, ISWA, Al Qaeda and Ansaru – all older and more notable terror groups.
Per Shea, Esq. “In October, proof of cross border collaboration between networks of criminals and terrorists emerged in the international media when US special forces rescued American hostage Philip Walton from captivity in northern Nigeria. He had been abducted from his home in terror-plagued Niger by six unidentified men armed with AKs and riding motorcycles, and trafficked into Nigeria. American officials feared he could be sold to Nigerian terrorist groups. Certainly, State has access to information of cross-border radicalization, terrorist recruitment or support among Fulani nomadic herdsmen in this area that it should have reported.”
We only add that the kidnapper identified by Nigerian authorities over American Missionary Walton’s Niger abduction is a confirmed Fulani syndicate member just like the Fulani kidnappers who also abducted American and Canadian businessmen in Kaduna state some years ago and murdered British aidworker of American NGO Mercy Corp Faye Mooney at Easter 2019.
Accordingly, the US State Department and Secretary Blinken is respectfully invited to note the foregoing submissions and relevant law and the danger posed to local and global security by the US Government’s 15 November 2021 volte face on Nigeria. The wrong step can be corrected now. And it should be corrected in the interest of the peace, security and wellbeing of the American people: peace is not possible anywhere except it is built and promoted everywhere. It is trite to note that the pursuit of peace is the primary concern of the American people. One can only trust that the Secretary of State, Honorable Antony Blinken will reconsider the policy delisting Nigeria, in the interest of justice and have the courage to do the needful by correcting the gross mistake now.
At Easter 2012, Assistant Secretary of State Johnny Carson denied that religion was a factor in Nigeria’s violence, infamously saying, “I want to stress that religion is not driving extremist violence either in Jos or northern Nigeria.” Secretary Clinton refused to designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Secretary Kerry finally did it only after we brought it before congress.
This recurring state of denial by successive Democrat-led administrations has been a serial policy failure and reenacting this “Circle of lies” must run its course once and for all, after a decade, for peaceful resolution to occur. After a Decade of Deaths, these falsehoods must die and never be resurrected again for Nigeria to end the genocide.
According to media reports,
“The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Harvard Kennedy School in the United States, have said that Nigeria as a nation, is at a point of no return with all the signs of a failed nation (per) former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell and Mr. Robert Rotberg, who is the Founding Director, Harvard Kennedy School’s Programme on Intrastate Conflict and president emeritus, World Peace Foundation, said Nigeria is currently in its final phase, from which it would eventually collapse…
“Its report said Nigeria has since moved from being a weak state to “a fully failed state,” having manifested all the signs of a failed country, including the inability of government to protect the citizens, large scale violence and festering insurgency.
According to them, President Muhammadu Buhari admitted that the federal government has lost control of the situation is the first step towards the restoration of stability. The duo warned that Nigeria’s failure as a state comes with negative consequences for peace and security in West Africa sub-region as well as Europe and the US.
“Nigeria has long teetered on the precipice of failure. But now, unable to keep its citizens safe and secure, Nigeria has become a fully failed state of critical geopolitical concern.
“Its failure matters because the peace and prosperity of Africa and preventing the spread of disorder and militancy around the globe depend on a stronger Nigeria.
“Long West Africa’s hegemon, Nigeria played a positive role in promoting African peace and security.
“With state failure, it can no longer sustain that vocation, and no replacement is in sight. Its security challenges are already destabilising the West African region in the face of resurgent jihadism, making the battles of the Sahel that much more difficult to contain.
“And spillover from Nigeria’s failures ultimately affects the security of Europe and the United States.
“All failed states harbor some form of violent internal strife, such as civil war or insurgency. Nigeria now confronts six or more internal insurrections and the inability of the Nigerian state to provide peace and stability to its people has tipped a hitherto very weak state into failure.
“According to political theory, the government’s inability to thwart the Boko Haram insurgency is enough to diagnose Nigeria as a failed state. But there are many more symptoms. At a bare minimum, citizens expect their states to keep them secure from external attack and to keep them safe within their borders.
“Nigeria now appears to have reached the point of no return. Indeed, few parts of Nigeria are today fully safe,” the report added. https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/component/k2/nigeria-is-at-the-point-of-no-return-us
The above report was from mid-2021 six months before you delisted Nigeria and came from Ambassador Campbell who years ago warned of a religious war in Nigeria.
Mr Secretary, not facing the facts is not helpful to Nigeria or the world. Hold Nigeria accountable for lives now.
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