The National Christian Elders Forum, (NCEF) haven studied a petition written by a Concerned Citizen about the activities of the intelligence services in Nigeria and haven taken a global look at events in the country, is of the opinion that a Jihad has been launched in Nigeria since 1975, when General Yakubu Gowon was overthrown and the intelligence service is being used to promote Islamist ideology in the nation.
It is characteristic of authoritarian governments that in enforcing a new ideology on a people, the intelligence service has often been used to subvert, coerce, and intimidate the citizens. This was the reason Hitler introduced the Gestapo to promote the Nazi ideology, the Communists introduced KGB in Russia, and the Security Services of South Africa helped to entrench Apartheid.
There is the need to overhaul the intelligence service of Nigeria so that it would fulfill its mandate of protecting Nigeria and not promote Islamist ideology. In its paper – WEAPONS WIN JIHADS BUT IT TAKES IDEAS TO WIN THE PEACE (www.csmnigeria.org) – the National Christian Elders Forum made two recommendations as follows:
- Overhaul the Intelligence Service; make it a Nigerian not a “Northern” Institution in the promotion of Islamism.
- A Truth and reconciliation Commission to establish the platform for future relations of all Nigerians.
FULANI HERDSMEN – FORCES OF JIHAD
The NCEF joins all well meaning Nigerians to condemn the attacks of the forces of Jihad on Nimbo Community in Uzo Uwani L.G.A in Enugu state on Monday 25th April, 2016. The NCEF considers the attack as an act of genocide and warns Nigerians that if urgent steps are not taken, the forces of Jihad are determined to spread their tentacles of terror and destruction all over the nation in their unbridled determination to turn Nigeria into a Sharia state.
While the nation was mourning the demise of innocent souls in Enugu state, the forces of Jihad targeted his Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan on Friday 29th April, 2016 along Benin-Ekpoma road in Edo state. Suspected herdsmen shot at his vehicle and if not for the intervention of God, a notable leader of the Christian faith in the nation would have been assassinated. According to reports, his vehicle was ridden with bullet holes.
We condemn in all totality all these unwarranted attacks targeted primarily at Christians and Christian communities by the forces of Jihad seeking to redefine Nigerian from a Democratic nation into an Islamic Theocratic State.
The nation is in a state of emergency and the Federal Government should declare it thus, if indeed the security of Nigerian citizens is of paramount importance to this administration.
INDISCRETION OF 19 “NORTHERN” GOVERNORS
The NCEF considers it an insult added to injury for the so called “19 northern states” governors to declare that the harbingers of death and destruction across the nation should not be labeled “Fulani”. We wonder which identity the governors want to place on them?
From the Middle Belt to the southern parts of the nation, this particular group of people have been killing Nigerians, raping women on their farms, destroying farms with impunity and sacking mainly Christian communities. Even international observers have noted that the fourth most dangerous terror organization in the world is the Fulani herdsmen.
We consider this assertion by the northern governors as cruel, inhuman, and insensitive, while the nation was still reeling in shock and revulsion at the carnage meted out to the innocent people in Nimbo. Governor Shettima should immediately apologize to the nation.
Inasmuch as we are disappointed by the claim of these northern governors, NCEF is absolutely shocked that Governors of the Middle Belt states are included in this group of northern governors and none of them has come out to refute the statement of Governor Shettima of Borno State on behalf of the northern governors. NCEF finds it a puzzle that governors of the Middle Belt states that so far, have borne the brunt of the attacks of the Fulani herdsmen can stand in denial of the forces that have afflicted their people.
The NCEF expects the Governors of the Middle Belt to come out and distance themselves from the cruel joke of Governor Shettima and the Sharia governors in the northern parts of Nigeria.
A SEARCH FOR PEACE AND UNITY
In view of the challenges facing democracy and the Church in Nigeria, Christians have no choice but to transform CAN into an established Organization for the promotion and protection of Christianity in the nation due to threat of Islamism otherwise known as – Political Islam, which has no single creed or political manifesto but certain common beliefs such as that:
(1) Nigerian Society should be reconstructed in line with the Religious principles and ideals of Islam.
(2) The Islamists are demanding that Section 10 should be replaced by an Islamic State in which Religious principles and authority have primacy over the political principles and authority; and
(3) That the West and Western values which Christians over the years, have adopted in Nigeria are corrupt and, to an extent, justifies Jihad against the West and Nigeria and its values.
In the circumstance, Nigeria requires new ideas to win the peace and promote stability of the Nation.
Finally, we urge all Nigerians to urgently speak up and throw their weight behind the call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to reconcile all the groups in the nation as well as the implementation of the 2014 National Conference to restructure the nation along the lines of true Federalism.
A stitch in time saves nine.
God bless Nigeria.
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)