15 priests killed, 300 churches attacked since 2021 by Jihadists – Group
By Phil Okose, Onitsha
No fewer than 15 Christian priests were reportedly hacked to death by Fulani jihadists who destroyed over 300 churches and killed about 4,100 believers in the Christian faith in eight months.
This disclosure was made known to newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday by the Chairman of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, Nze Emeka Umeagbalasi while reacting to the alleged protection of the said Fulani Jihadists by the Federal Government, allegedly through the duo of the Minister for Information and
Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
According to Umeagbalasi, “this atrocity was within eight months or January to August 2021 with not less than 15 Christian priests or Pastors killed or abducted and over 300 churches attacked, and in August alone, not less than 400 Christians were killed.”
“Since 2009, a period of 12 years, over 43,000 Christians and some 29,000 moderate Muslims have also been hacked to death by Jihadists and their ‘esprit de Jihad’ in the country’s security forces”, he alleged.
He continued that, “Over 17, 500 churches and 2,000 Christian schools have been lost, 30million Christians mostly in the North terrified, 10million uprooted, 6million forced to flee to escape being hacked to death by Jihadists and 4million displaced as ‘Christian IDPs’, with Benue State alone hosting 1.5million.”
“Over 23,000 Christians have also been (reported to have) disappeared to the point of no return and hundreds of thousands of them died indirectly owing to persecution-related hash conditions including Government neglects.
Malam Garba Shehu had in his latest statement, also credited to the person of ‘President Muhammad Buhari’, described ‘IPOB’ as “not fighting for Christians in the Southeast” and labeled international voices against persecution of Christians across Nigeria as “international IPOB Lobbyists”.
“His comment on Sunday, 30th August 2021 was about seven days after Minister Lai Mohammed issued a statement claiming that “his recent foreign trip on international media engagement was useful” and that he used same to “debunk fake news on persecution of Christians in Nigeria”.
“Minister Lai Mohammed’s statement also coincided with killing of over 60 Christians by
Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Jihadist Fulani Bandits in Plateau, Benue and Kaduna States.
In one of their Kaduna attacks, the Nigerian Defense Academy was targeted, leading to the killing of scores of Christian military officers. Till date, the Nigerian Government has neither sacked any senior military officer; including the Commandant of the Academy nor apprehended any of the Jihadist Fulani culprits. It must be recalled that Mallam Garba Shehu had sometime in 2020 fabricated and falsely alleged that “the groups and persons behind international voices and concerns on persecution of Christians in Nigeria are internationally sponsored by IPOB” and as internationally published by the US-based Christian Post, several international groups and persons concerned reacted angrily and strongly condemned the Nigerian Government”.
“As if that was not enough, Mallam Garba Shehu on Sunday, 30th August 2021 resorted to same blackmails and lies as he did in 2020. Consequently, the referenced unguarded utterances of Mallam Garba Shehu and Minister Lai Mohammed are clear indications that ‘Jihad enablers in Aso Rock are shivering and panicking”, the statement alarmed.
He concluded that, “This is on account of their failed lies, blackmails and fabrications that have refused to fly at international borders or scenes. The Nigerian Government must also have been rattled by the fact that ‘its international lies and fabrications have failed woefully at diplomatic circles and international scenes despite huge amount of borrowed resources committed towards promoting and sustaining same. Such huge waste of public funds has been the case in key international parliaments, intergovernmental, justice and diplomatic quarters and political corridors of power where they are wasted and lavished on lobbying, ‘tipping’, pressure groups and image-laundering by the Government”