Some Background on Why What’s Happening is Happening
Three important points:
#1. Islamist supremacism and the ensuing violence in Nigeria goes back far beyond the current upsurge by the Fulani and the years of slaughter by Boko Haram. One of the prime instigators was Uthman dan Fodio, the 19th century founder of the Sokoto Caliphate. dan Fodio’s great grandson made his ancestor’s and his own opinions on the future of Nigeria after independence from Britain quite clear.In the Parot newspaper of 12 October 1960, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, and Premier of the Northern Nigeria region said:
The new nation called Nigeria should be an Estate of our great grandfather Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in North as willing tools and the south as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future.
#2. There is a strong connection between the Islamist supremacists of Nigeria and of Sudan. The president of Sudan, ICC-indicted war criminal Omar al Bashir is, reportedly, of Fulani background. And in the minutes of a top secret National Intelligence and Security Services meeting in Khartoum in June 2017, Bashir and his top cabinet members discuss:
Linking Boko Haram with the Islamic State:
Following the current expulsion of the IS organizations from Syria and Iraq and because there are no suitable terrain to continue their struggle, some of them want to head to Asia and others want to go to West Africa. We must find them sanctuary in South Sudan Areas of Bahr al Ghazal and Western Equatoria in order to continue their struggle. These areas will link them to Boko Haram through CAR and some of them we are going to use them in Libya. (President Bashir)
Linking Boko Haram with Islamists in Somalia:
The idea of relocating the extremist organizations to South Sudan could link them with many places. The area could link them to the West Africa with Boko Haram and to the East with Somalia. (Ibrahim Gandur, Foreign Minister at the time of the meeting)
Planning to use Boko Haram as an armed militia or terrorist group against South Sudan, to further destabilize the country and “punish” South Sudan President Salva Kiir:
We will train youth from South Sudan and from West Africa, transferring a group of students supporting Boko Haram from Nigeria because the Sana tribe resemble people who live around Wau and Western Equatoria, and let Salva Kiir be faced with a secret movement. (Ibrahim Mahamud, Engineer, VP of the National Congress Party)
#3. No matter what you hear about global warming/climate change being responsible for the current attacks on “farmers” by “herdsmen,” or, more frequently, the “violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen (note the deliberate moral equivalence),” the killings and destruction in Northern and Central Nigeria are not about economics, they are about ideology, to quote the Stefanos Foundation. Whether it is called “religious conflict” or “settlers/indigenous struggles,” “Boko Haram or Farmer/Herders’ clashes” the targets are the same: the victims are clearly ethnic, non-Muslim Nigerians. Their truth of their plight is never addressed, and their human rights violated with impunity.
The Dilemma of the Christians: Damned If They Do, Slaughtered If They Don’t
Before Boko Haram and its bloodthirsty leader (who said if Allah asks him to kill a Christian, he would enjoy it, like killing a chicken) appeared on the scene, there was persecution of Christians in Nigeria. Massive slaughters of Christians took place in the 1990’s and 2000’s long before Boko Haram was spawned from whatever hellish demons from which it came. The Christians were always expected to turn the other cheek (i.e. not even defend themselves, and if they did defend themselves — or most times, even if they didn’t, the incidents were referred to as “Christian/Muslim violence.” Or, in the euphemistic language of Human Rights Watch, “inter-communal tension.”
In one case, in the town of Maiduguri, Christians were slaughtered because there was an eclipse and it was blamed on the sins of the Christians against Allah! In another, a journalist commenting on the 2002 Miss World beauty pageant held, amazingly enough, in Nigeria, said that she was sure “Mohammed would have liked to marry Miss Nigeria.” Muslim militants “retaliated” by slaughtering more Christians.
The Anglican Church of Nigeria is some 22 million strong, but it has been hammered by jihadi violence. Thousands of Christians were killed in the early 2000’s as a response to peaceful protests against the imposition of Sharia law in the area that encompasses the Anglican Diocese (now Province) of Kaduna. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have been created by this long-going jihad. In addition, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos in Plateau State, the Most Reverend Ben Kwashi and his wife have been personally targeted by Islamists.
A Warning about What Could Happen If No Relief/Defense Comes to the Christians
After years and years of mass killings during which Northern and Central Nigerian Christians have been “turning the other cheek,” they have begun to say that they “have no cheeks left to turn.” If they receive no protection from their government against these attacks, no support from their fellow Christians in Southern Nigeria, or if no pressure is put on the Islamists to make them stop attacking, they may well decide to fight back. Fighting back means defend themselves and their families when attacked – action that is totally justified.
The action would be totally justified. But in the logic that is now being used to discuss the situation, where moral equivalence is given to the perpetrators, Christians are blamed for “provoking” violence upon themselves (!), and defending yourself is referred to as “retaliation,” Christians would be further blamed. It appears that the only response that Christians are permitted to have by the media and certain other human rights and foreign policy elites is to lay down and die when they are attacked by the jihadists. They are told after every attack to “act with restraint” or “Nigeria will become a war zone.” Well, for the Northern and Central Nigerian Christians, Nigeria is already a war zone. And because they do not, for the most part, fight back, their rights are continuously violated and their freedom denied by cowards who attack communities at their most vulnerable and kill them with as much as ease as shooting fish in a barrel.
My next post will start a list of the latest attacks on Christians in Northern and Central Nigeria, beginning with the urgent case of the abducted Christian schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu.