The Nigerian authorities’ response to communal violence is totally inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful, Amnesty International said today, as clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Ondo and Kaduna have resulted in 168 deaths in January 2018 alone.

“The government must totally overturn its response to these deadly clashes to avoid this crisis getting out of control. They need to investigate and bring suspects to justice,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

WASHINGTON – Across the globe, there were various incidences of violence over the Christmas holidays in Egypt, Pakistan, Israel and Nigeria amongst others. However the continuing bloodshed in Nigeria into the new year is deeply concerning.

According to published reports and victim accounts, at least a dozen fatal attacks have occurred this season including:

1. Attack on Carolers in South Kaduna State left 5 Christians killed, others injured Dec 22, 2017 by suspected Muslim Fulani Herdsmen

2. Attacks on worshippers during Christmas service in Benue state left 3 Christians killed and others injured on December 25, 2017 by suspected Muslim Fulani Herdsmen

3. Attacks on 4 churches in Kwara state on New Year’s day. Many injured, raped and properties destroyed on January 1 by local Muslims

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) through its Secretariat had a press conference on January 16, 2018 in which they called the attention of the Federal Government to the current situation in the country in which the Fulani Herdsmen are going about killing innocent people with impunity and the lopsided appointments in the Security and Education sectors by President Muhammadu Buhari. The press conference was read by the General Secretary of the Association Rev. Dr. Musa Asake. Immediately after the Press conference, Garba Shehu who is the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity released a press statement in which he accused me that in my press statement “I could not cite any valid cases of constitutional violations.” While his accusation was going round, the JNI had a press conference in Kaduna on January 21, 2018, in which they accused CAN of using Herdsmen to Destabilize Nigeria. This development becomes very necessary for me to respond to the two accusations to put the record straight so that Nigerians should not be misled into believing those hypocritical statements. 

TRUMP’S DECLARATION ON JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISREAL IS IN ORDER

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is compelled once again, to draw the attention of the Buhari Administration to the non-aligned status of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in international conflicts. We have had cause to express great apprehension when in December 2015, President Buhari, without giving consideration to Section 10 of the Constitution, as well as to the sensitivity of Christians that constitute over 50% of the Nigerian population, led Nigeria to join the Saudi Arabia initiated Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC). 

ADDRESS OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, (CAN) REV. DR. MUSA ASAKE HELD AT THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE, ABUJA ON TUESDAY, 16THJANUARY, 2018

Gentlemen of the Press,

On behalf of the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the entire Christian Community here in Nigeria, I welcome you to this press conference in the precious and wonderful name of Our Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Since this is our first meeting this year, permit me to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and wishing you a productive and prosperous 2018. 

Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy, CEDRA, has observed with concern the impunity of Fulani herdsmen in parts of the country as a sign of a ‘letdown’ by the Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, under President Muhammadu Buhari and his security goons.

“A horizontal and vertical perusal of opinion of pundits holds that the Federal Government of Nigeria can nip in the bud this menace,” CEDRA believes.

Nigeria is at a desperate crossroads and all right and honest efforts must be exerted not only to chart a redeeming and life-saving course for her, but also, all well-meaning and patriotic persons must, irrespective of any primordial or other artificial bias, division or concern rise up to steer this ship away from the path of certain destruction and collapse.

1. February 2013: 
Fulani Attacked Agatu burning several villages, including Inoli, Ologba, olegeje, olegogboche, olegede, Adana, Inminy and Abugbe communities. 186 lives lost to butchery and gunshots. GEJ sent MOPOL to control the situation but they failed. Another attack followed in Agatu in the month of May 2013.

Our attention is drawn to the statement credited to his Eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, President Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) on the alleged harassment of Muslims adorning Hijab. We call upon the government of Sokoto, under whose authority the Sultan is, the Federal Government that has the responsibility for national security to call the Sultan to order. We equally call on the Diplomatic Community, International and Civil Society Organizations and advocates of social harmony, peace and security to know the direction to look and who to hold responsible, in case of any upsurge in violence or unrest. This is against the backdrop of past experiences with sectarian crises in the North, Boko Haram insurgency and Herdsmen terrorism. They were accentuated by this kind of unpatriotic, divisive and strife-inducive rhetoric to which the Sultan of Sokoto has been given in recent times. The Nigerian people are called upon to be mindful of the implications of such rhetoric.

Foremost rights activist in Northern region and founder Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA), Dr. John Danfulani, has decried the insensitivity of President Muhammadu Buhari to the killings in Southern Kaduna, as well as his lack of courage to tackle Governor Nasir el-Rufai over his constitutional breach on the issue.

A 35 years’ old father of 10 reportedly killed and two of his wives, who sustained fatal gunshots injuries, in a recent herdsmen attacks in Utonkon in Ado local government area of Benue State, are writhing in pains after having been discharged from hospital with bullets still inside their bodies. 

The two women, according to eyewitness, were shot along with their deceased husband by Fulani herdsmen in the afternoon of the fateful day when they were heading to the market in Utonkon, on a motorcycle, on Christmas Eve, 24th December, 2017. 

Tragedy has, again, struck the people of Southern Kaduna, following the gruesome killing of Etum Numana II, Dr. Gambo Makama, in Numana Chiefdom in Southern Kaduna area of Kaduna state. 

The unfortunate incidents, which occurred in the night of January, 2018, has thrown the entire chiefdom into another round of mourning as Etum Numana II was said to have been killed alongside his wife. 

The Advocates for Freedom and Democracy wishes to draw the attention of well-meaning Nigerians, Diplomatic agencies and global community to the activities of frontline Islamic leaders and organizations, who seek opportunities, to ignite sectarian strife in Nigeria. It is saddening to recall how past activities and utterances emboldened and compounded Boko haram and rendered efforts at national consensus difficult. Indeed, it berthed the Fulani herdsmen phenomenon. These leaders had justified and ascribed the hate-induced ideologically-inspired activities of Boko haram religious deviants as poverty induced.

Monday 6th November, 2017

To: All Christian Leaders
Christian Association of Nigeria
Heads of Denominations
Heads of Christian Ministries
Heads of Christian Fellowships and Groups
Laity Christian Leaders
Distinguished Leaders of Christianity,

Please find under the cover of this letter a Memorandum from the Chairman of the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), Mr. Solomon Asemota, SAN, to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, on the crucial need that a Truth, Peace, and Reconciliation should take place as basic prerequisite to Restructuring the Nation. The Chairman of the NCEF enumerates in the paper reasons why Reconciliation should take place in Nigeria.