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Buhari Denies Persecution Of Christians In Northern Nigeria In Letter To British Parliamentary Group

persecution christians northern nigeria

Buhari Denies Persecution Of Christians In Northern Nigeria In Letter To British Parliamentary Group

The Nigerian Government has repudiated claims by a group styling itself as Northern Christian Elders Forum, who alleged that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is practicing bigotry and alienating Christians.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Shehu, the Nigerian Government’s response is contained in a letter to the British Parliamentary Group, signed by Nigeria’s High Commissioner to UK, Mr George Oguntade.

The presidential aide said “Two letters were addressed to Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, a former secretary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and now Head, “Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Support of Persecuted Christians, “and Baroness Berridge, the Chair of “All Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.”

Oguntade, in the correspondences, said the Nigerian government strongly dismissed as inconceivable and outrightly false, allusions to the effect that the Boko Haram terrorism served a government agenda against Christians.

“It would be useful for me to engage with this process to ensure that you are thoroughly briefed on the situation in Nigeria,’’ the High Commissioner wrote in the correspondences.

Responding to the interim report on Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, Oguntade, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, told Rev. Mounstephen:

“The safety and security of all Nigerians, whatever their faith, is a fundamental priority of the Buhari Government. The government knows that Nigeria can only achieve its potential if there is religious tolerance and cooperation.”

The High Commissioner explained that President Buhari’s deputy is a Pastor, adding that the President “has befriended Church leaders and church groups both within and outside Nigeria.”

He added that the President’s cabinet is balanced between Muslims and Christians, noting that he himself was a former Chancellor of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

According to Justice Oguntade, Vice President Osinbajo has maintained regular contacts with Christian and Muslim leaders as part of efforts to build and sustain interfaith dialogue.

While stressing that the country’s security challenges had no ethnic and religious colourations, the High Commissioner said the farmers/herders clashes predated the Buhari administration.

He noted that such clashes bordered on the desire for pasture by the herders and the desire to protect crops from encroachment and destruction by the farmers.

Oguntade explained that these clashes had a long history and the Buhari administration had taken major step to address the root cause of these crises and violent clashes pitting Muslim and Christian farmers alike against the herders.

According to the High Commissioner, the issue of grazing routes is historically central to these conflicts and the Buhari administration is taking a holistic approach to the matter with a view to ending it once and for all, so that Nigerians can live in peace with one another.

He, therefore, assured the international community that the Buhari Administration would ensure that “the competition over scarce land is resolved peacefully for the benefits of all parties.”

The Nigerian government also rejected attempts by the reporting group to link Boko Haram terrorism with official policy, stating clearly that these violent acts by the terrorist group predated the Buhari administration, like many others that were inherited on coming to office in 2015.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK said criminal groups such as the Boko Haram terrorists “who kill Muslims and Christians do not represent Muslims.

“Boko Haram is a murderous death cult whose savagery has destroyed thousands of lives.

“The Government is totally dedicated to eradicating their stain from our land.

“Since the Buhari administration has been in power, Boko Haram has been significantly degraded – with the support and assistance of the UK Government. We shall not rest until this mission is completed and the people of North East Nigeria – both Christians and Muslims – can live in peace again.’’

The two letters were each accompanied by a copy of an opinion article signed by the President and published on Nov. 30, 2018, by London-based “Church Times,” entitled: `DON’T POLITICIZE RELIGION IN NIGERIA’.

In the article, President Buhari, among other things, said Muslims and Christians can flourish together.

“These two great religions (Islam and Christianity) can not only peacefully coexist but flourish together. But we must first turn to one another in compassion. For as Amos teaches us: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to meet?”.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities because if we do, our palette of possibilities will remain primary. It is only when we mix them together that we can imagine new and greater possibilities.

“As our constitution spells out, politicizing religion should have no place in Nigeria. However, it is all the more reprehensible when in doing so; it feeds fears and plays to man’s baser instincts.

“For it makes us turn away from one another; it makes us retreat into our communities and walk different paths; and it blinds us to each other’s God-given dignity, ” the President said in the article published in Church Times.




  1. Metu Nyetu

    June 27, 2019 at 11:05 PM

    “BELIEVE THAT, BELIEVE anything!” I think one of James Hadley Chase’s novel goes by that title. Buhari’s office and cows are far more important to him than the blood of thousands. Let nobody try to deceive us here! If he ever cared for the lives of Nigerians, his supporters would not have massacred and maimed many in 2011, after he lost in the presidential polls. And if my memory is still loyal to me, I recall that he said that he was not sorry for the lives of those lost.

    HOW, THEN, COULD anyone say that a man like this loves Nigerians? Fulani herdsmen rout settlements from east to west, and PMB’s mouth piece, by name of Femi Adesina, tells us that we must yield to their demand for the grazing bill, or die. Is this how it is done where freedom and human rights are regarded?

    AS FOR THE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS, THE WORLD KNOWS the truth that this letter is not telling. A country where you are terribly restrained in the north as a Christian, but down south as a moslem, you are free and act freely.

  2. Amanda

    June 28, 2019 at 12:27 AM

    Nigeria is a sovereign country. What’s British’s business with Nigeria internal issues? I thoght Nigeria had got independent?. If not, why do they celebrate silly independent day every year if they are still subjected to British rule?. Nigerian christians need to decide what they really want. You can’t be yelling and screaming like goat about the so called persecution all the time. If you look at media house today in nigeria you notice that majority are owned/control by christians. They are able to publish propagandas all the time.

    Just 2 weeks ago a family member sought my advice on getting a job at a christian owned company. She was told she must convert to christianity to get a job. Not only convert to christianity but she must prove to the company that she actually converted by posting pro-christian phrases like “without Jesus in my life i am nothing”. Jesus is the way without him there is no eternal life etc. Not only my family member but every other muslim employees have converted to christianity just to put food on their table. Is this constitutional?.

    I now officially believe nigeria is a shithole lawless country.

    • iron bar

      June 28, 2019 at 2:42 AM

      Another heap of trash..go and read the death toll since he took over the govt..what of sw which the herdsmen has invaded.Even benin highway was shut down yesterday for another senseless killing from this jihadists.foreign missions including UK advised their citizens to avoid many states when visiting naija .its awake up call.
      mr ambassador ,keep lying just to launder our dirty image to the world but glad people in diaspora are in tune with what is going.

      • Amanda

        June 28, 2019 at 7:25 AM

        Fulani herdsmen travelled all the way from North to cause mayhem in SW, a place they knew nothing about?. Guy, use your brain.It is impossible for outsiders especially nigeria, to quickly maneuver themselves around the region without master planners who are indigenous. And if herdsmen just decided to kill, what are the governors doing?. Dont they have police force and army national guard to confront them or army are only meant to protect politicians?. Stop deceiving yourself, bro

  3. Mon

    June 28, 2019 at 5:19 AM

    The only people to blame here are Nigerians, every region need to wake up and follow Ipob way, even the so-called Christian leaders, the majority of them are Christians in disguise, the Usman dan fodio agenda is playing out in this 21st century so fast, thanks to my people, Igbos, and Biafrans in general who continuously opposed and fighting against this Usman dan fodio agenda to Fulanize and Islamize every region.

    British remain the master planner of every evil going on in Nigeria, though, their company anyway. Indigenous people need to rise up and claim their respective place.

  4. DB

    June 28, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    You sound totally ignorant of what is happening in Nigeria especially in northern Nigeria. Let us assume what happened to that family member was true, that is nothing compare to what Christians are suffering in the North. It is a known fact and El rufai is still on it even though the court weakened him but he is not ready to stop. What do you make of the killings in southeern Kaduna, Taraba, Nasarawa, etc. I believe you are not resident in Nigeria and you cant be in the US and be better informed than those in the country. I will advise that you take a month vacation in Northern Nigeria. Even though you a a muslim, you might be better informed if you come to Northern Nigeria and make your conclusions and compre the islam you think you know to what operates there. Where is hishbah police in Nigerian constitution? By the way, Buhari is just a figure head, so there is no way he could have responded to anything. His cabal do all the talking, he is just a puppet old man. Nothing upstairs again. Nigerians made an expensive mistake voting him again. That is why the blood thirsty criminals in the name of fulanis are more emboldened.

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