The US President Donald Trump called the issue of persecuted Christians in Nigeria, ‘a serious problem’, during his meeting with Muhammadu Buhari, the country’s president, in the White House on April 30th.
Recently the Central African country of Nigeria has been plagued by violence attributed to Fulani herdsmen both in the Middle Belt and in the northeast of the country. The Benue state has been particularly affected with attacks happening almost on a daily basis. Most of the victims of the massacres are Christians.
In Nigeria the violent conflict, rooted in religious differences between the Islamic North and the Christian South had supposedly been brought under control by the authorities – recent events however indicate that quite the opposite is happening. At the end of April, the Fulany herders massacred Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha, along with 17 parishioners.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria urged President Buhari to step down in the wake of the massacre. Various advocacy groups, including ‘Open Doors International,’ called on President Trump to seize the opportunity to call Buhari to account for allowing unchecked atrocities against Christians in his country.
“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” said Trump as he met with President Buhari at the White House. “We are going to work on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”
President Buhari noted that the utmost efforts were being made in order to stop the massacres and to prevent future conflicts that were causing such loss of life. Regarding the Fulani herders he added that this particular case is deeply rooted and has a historical background since during the presidency of Muammar Gaddafi many people were recruited and went through military training. “The problem of herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing,” he said. “The Nigerian herders don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a machete to cut down foliage and give it to their animals. These ones are carrying AK-47s.”
Bihari said : “People should not underrate what happened in Libya. [For] forty-three years of Gaddafi; people were recruited from the Sahel and trained to shoot and kill. With the demise of Gaddafi, they moved to other countries and regions and carried the experience with them.” He went on to say that in the so-called ‘Dapchi kidnapping’, of the one hundred and six young girls taken by the Boko Haram, one hundred were released. Four unfortunately died and one girl, Leah Shabiru who did not want to renounce her christian faith, is still in captivity.
According to ‘World Watch Monitor’, the current conflict is causing more overall casualties than when the Islamist terror organisation, Boko Haram was involved.
Source: World Watch Monitor, via Christianheadlines.com
Photo: World Watch Monitor