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Contemporary Issues Affecting Nigerian Christians

Unlike in the past, when Muslim Head of States had surreptitiously, in a very subtle manner attempted to smuggle Nigeria into Islamic organizations; this current government is now doing it with brazen audacity and impunity to the extent of flouting the constitution they swore to defend.
These are the glaring cases of attempts at Islamization of Nigeria... Read Full Publication Below or Click here to Save the PDF document to your PC.

Afenifere Group Mobilizes 200 Lawyers To Defend Yoruba Indigenes Whisked To Abuja Over Yoruba/Fulani Clash in Ile-Ife

Following the illegal,unconstitutional and sectional parade of 21 Ife indigenes over the recent clashes between the host community and Arewa settlers ,Afenifere vowed to resist the undue deployment of federal might to settle ethnic scores.

Nigerian Church Must Unite To Avoid CALAMITY

REV DR. D. C. DATIRI

President, Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN)

 

What has been the impact of the Islamic insurgency on COCIN?

The impact is unquantifiable. The destruction is unbelievable. In Borno state for instance, COCIN has lost an entire RCC. An RCC is a Regional Church Council that has a number of zones and its Local Council has lots of congregations under it. So, if you are thinking of congregations, we used to have scores of congregations that have been completely displaced and many of the members have been killed.

In terms of infrastructure, Christian properties worth billions of Naira have been destroyed.

In Borno state, we had three Regional Church Councils. The RCC in Gwoza was completely destroyed. The other two are still operating minimally because of the number of congregations that they have in Maiduguri. Unfortunately, the other congregations outside Maiduguri metropolis have been destroyed by Boko Haram.

In Bauchi state, the Tafawa Balewa Area has been under constant attacks. Even after the elections, the congregations there were attacked also. It is only the grace of God that is sustaining the brethren there.

Coming to Plateau state, communities outside Jos are being attacked almost on a daily basis. I cannot tell you how many Regional Church Councils have been decimated in these attacks. All these are communities not far from Jos. The Muslims kill Christians and destroy their properties. The media report is usually that these communities have been attacked by unknown gunmen or by Fulani herdsmen. The underlying motive is to destroy the church.

Even in Nasarawa State, we have lost no less than five congregations. When you ask who is responsible for the destruction, security officers will claim they are unknown gunmen or Fulani herdsmen. Yet, is most instances, they come dressed in military uniform. Where did the Muslim insurgents obtain the military uniform that they wear when going to destroy churches?

In Yobe, we have lost scores of churches and many of the members of our congregations have been killed.

Last week, one of our pastors was killed in Barkin Kogi. Another pastor was killed  in Wase, in Plateau state while we just heard this week that one of our pastors in Gwoza had been killed by the Muslims.

 The target of all these Islamic attacks is the church. The goal is to destroy the church so that Islam can take over.

 

What are the implications of these attacks on the Nigerian Church in general?

You see, COCIN is the predominant denomination here on the Plateau as well as in some parts of Bauchi state. COCIN forms probably 70% to 80% of Christians on the Plateau. So, if they succeed in destroying COCIN, they would have succeeded in eradicating a sizeable portion of the church on the Plateau. Since their goal is to wipe out Christianity in Plateau state, in their bid to overrun Nigeria with Islam, eliminating COCIN on the Plateau is tantamount to overrunning Nigeria with Islam. Plateau state is a big hurdle for the Islamists in their quest and overcoming COCIN on the Plateau is a sure sign that they have conquered Christianity in Nigeria.

So, they concentrate their forces on eradicating Christianity on the Plateau. It is only by the grace of God that we are surviving. We keep asking God for strength, wisdom, and courage. But, I must tell you, it is heartbreaking. At times I receive phone calls in the middle of the night from our members asking for help and in the background, I hear the sound of gunshots. It is tragic.

 

What do you suggest should be the remedy? What should the Church do?

The remedy is for the church to be united. The Nigerian church must speak with one voice and let the world know that Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen are orchestrated attacks on the church. All the Christians in Nigeria must see these attacks as intentionally designed destruction against the body of Christ in Nigeria. The unity of the church will go a long way in solving the problem.

In the midst of these attacks, compromise is still noticed amongst ministers of the gospel, even in the affected areas. What is the cause of this?

This is a serious problem in the church. As the devil is working through Boko Haram and the other insurgents from outside to destroy the church, we also notice that unsanctified ministers of the gospel also weaken the church from within.

Our approach has been to emphasize consecration and holiness for our pastors.

We have identified the problem that you mentioned and we are working very hard to make sure that in COCIN, such compromise amongst the ministers of the gospel is eliminated. Of course, you will understand that in this matter, I can only speak for COCIN.

 

What message would you like to convey to other Christians, particularly in the South?

I have mentioned unity of the church. The Nigerian church must unite to confront this evil agenda to eradicate Christianity in the country. Added to this is the need for intensive prayers and intercession, particularly for the Christians in the North.

One important area in which we appeal for the support of Christians nationwide is meeting the needs of the victims of these attacks. In most instances, those who survive are often impoverished. Every means of livelihood is intentionally destroyed by these rampaging forces. Their homes are burnt to the ground, their properties are burnt, their food is destroyed and even their farmland is destroyed. The Fulani herdsmen intentionally go to the farms and destroy the food crops. The aim is to impoverish the people, destroy their economy so that they can dominate and control them.

There is a great need for material and financial support for the brethren undergoing these persecutions. They need clothes, foods, medical treatment and so on.

 

Is there a political reason for this?

This is one area where many Nigerian Christians are deceived, thinking that Islam separates politics from religion. For the Muslim, there is no separation between politics, religion, commerce, and whatever other area you might mention. So, when a Muslim attacks the church, he has no political or economic barrier.

The underlying factor is that the Muslims in northern Nigeria believe that they are born to rule and dominate every other person in Nigeria. To them, everything is the same — religion, politics, commerce, and so on. So, if you do not practise the religion that they believe in, then you imply that you are not under their control and they will fight that.

The only thing that will save the church is for us to be united. If the Nigerian church can unite, they will stop these Islamic attacks.

 

Finally, sir, do you have a word for the Nigerian Christians?

I think that the biggest problem Nigerian Christians have is that for many of us, we lack genuine Christian conviction. For many Nigerian Christians, their faith is superficial, it is only on the surface. We need to develop deep faith and the way we can easily do that is to pay attention to Biblical discipleship.

If we cultivate genuine Christian conviction, our problems will melt away.

2015: How Imams, Northern Intellectuals, incited the North Against Jonathan

BY THE SUN NEWSPAPER ON MAY 2, 2015

Frontline nationalist, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai is not exactly comfortable with the dynamics of the just con­cluded general elections. The elder statesman, in his characteristic bluntness, laments on the role of religion and ethnicity in the defeat of President Goodluck Jona­than. He is deeply worried that the fallout of the 2015 presidential election might result in negative consequences for the unity of Nige­ria. In this interview with DESMOND MG­BOH in Kano, he also spoke on the expecta­tions of Nigerians from the in-coming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari and the place of President Jonathan in the nation’s history books. Excerpts:

In less than a month from now, Nigerians will usher in a new government. As an elder states­man, what is your advice to the incoming admin­istration?

As everybody knows, the main agenda of the new admin­istration is to fight corruption, to deal with the security sit­uation, particularly the Boko Haram insurgency, rescue the Chibok girls and deal with unemployment. These are the priority areas in terms of their policy objectives. It is, there­fore, the expectation of every Nigerian that these three issues would be the main areas of their attention. I think that after taking over power, these areas would be the yardstick by which the people would pass judgment on them. I think that after the first six months or thereabouts, Nigerians would be in a position to judge whether the new administration would be in a position to fulfill the promises they made to the public or not.

In the face of the dwindling global economy and the fall in Nigeria’s oil revenue, do you see the new administra­tion realising the promises it made during electioneering?

Well, I can see the problems posed by the fall in the national wealth. But I think somebody raised this same ques­tion to one of the leading figures of the APC and the answer he got was that the money they are going to save from fighting corruption in the system would be enough for them to kickstart their programmes. He said that they would reduce spending; they would reduce waste; that this waste would be divert­ed to the implementation of their pro­grammes.

But considering that some of the people associated with the incoming government are them­selves accused of corruption or have corruption charges hanging on them, how much faith should we commit in their pledges to fight and stand against corrup­tion?

Certainly, I can tell you that there are many people who are skeptical about the ability of the new government to tackle the problems of corruption in this country, precisely because of the num­ber of individuals that are instrumental in the bringing about of the new admin­istration into place who themselves are super rich without any justification. The worry of Nigerians is that, how is the administration going to handle the cases of such personalities?

Again, the electoral promises of the new party apparently sound­ed so lofty. It appears to disre­gard the current recession that is sweeping across the globe. Do you share the same fears?

Everybody familiar with the global political economy would have the feel­ing that the global economic situation today is not ideal for any government to embark on costly projects. But I be­lieve that they must have done their homework before coming out with their promises. I believe that they must have done their homework.

Despite the efforts of President Jonathan to seek the friendship of the core North by extending a reasonable size of projects to them, he was hated, hunted and turned down by these same peo­ple during the presidential elec­tion. What exactly happened?

Well, the people (core North) have been incited against Jonathan a long time ago. Even the educated ones were not fair in relating to his achievements in the region. They had made up their minds that Jonathan is anti-North. And whatever he has done, he remained an­ti-North. The fact that he sited nine of 12 new universities in the North in order to assist in bridging the educational gap that exists between the North and the rest of the country did not matter. The fact that he introduced the Almajiri schools which would reduce the number of young peo­ple who go about doing nothing but beg­ging also never counted to them.

In fact, somebody this morning, as we were discussing Jonathan, insisted that Jonathan was only busy sacking North­erners from federal establishments. But when I looked at the number of ministers and northerners in key positions, I real­ised that this very influential individual, who should know better, had made up his mind not to be objective about the issue. He was not prepared to listen to anybody. So, some people had made up their minds. The fact remains that there was this high level conspiracy against Jonathan, such that whatever he does, it would have been very difficult to con­vince people to abandon their already concluded opinion about him.

For instance, I was made to understand that a number of the members of the tra­ditional institution and influential clerics and university people, they all ganged up to spread one form of propaganda or the other against him (Jonathan). And this propaganda has already gone down deep into the minds of the people. The Friday before the presidential election, virtually all the imams in the North made a simple appeal to their congregations that when they go out the following day to cast their votes, they should make sure that they did not cast their votes in favor of an infidel. Just in one or two words, the campaign was finished. So, the follow­ing day everybody was charged to go and vote against an infidel. Who was that in­fidel? Jonathan. Even the Friday after the election, I attended a mosque where the imam was offering thanksgiving prayers to God for getting rid of an infidel.

Still, on this topic, what about the PDP members who also failed to rise up to defend their own and their party?

That is not my problem today. My prob­lem is that we in the far North have acted out the script of Gideon Orkar. We have opted out of the mainstream of Nigerian politics and I am waiting for the time to come when we would realise the conse­quences of our action.

When you say that you people have acted out the script of Gideon Orkar, what exactly do you mean?

Let me put it this way. This country is a country which is equally divided between Christians and Muslims. Where a Muslim would not vote for somebody because he is a Christian, then there is a problem. It may not appear immediately but there is a long time predicament that would one day appear because when someday it is the turn of a Christian to vote for a Mus­lim, surely this thing happening today would boomerang.

So, you foresee a future where the country would naturally be torn between Christians and Mus­lims…?

(cuts in) This is my fear. It is not only a divide between Christians and Muslims, but also a divide between the North and the South, and that would not augur well for the political future of this country.

There is this funny outcome that has played out so far. Some PDP leaders who declined to cam­paign for Jonathan have been losing their states or losing their strongholds like what we have seen in Kano, Jigawa and a num­ber of the North West States. What is your take?

Well, the bandwagon effect was so monumental that little campaign here and there would not make much differ­ence. The campaign against Jonathan has gone far before most people understood that it was beyond the capacity of a few individuals to change the direction of the mind of the people. I hope you under­stand.

But some of the members of his political group played games with him?

Yes, there is this feeling that quite a number of PDP members and leaders here did not work hard enough for Jona­than. But what they did not understand is that in politics, if you ask your supporters to vote for your opponent for whatever reason; when they go to vote for your opponent, if you are not careful, they are gone forever. And this is what happened to all of them.

Looking at the future, do you think the PDP would survive this defeat and return to a position of reckoning in the country again?

Well, you are in Nigeria, when the lo­cal government elections took place in 1999. At that time, APP and PDP were neck to neck. And the moment, the mil­itary government decided to back the PDP to win the local government elec­tions, people from APP started to troop out of the party into the PDP. And this is what happened. At the end, when the state elections took place, APP was only able to get nine governors in addition to the six governors of the AD. This is about the same scenario that is repeating itself. So, it depends on those who are going to run the affairs of the PDP from now till 2019. What would be their strategy? The tendency in Nigeria is that if you are in government and people are not getting what they wanted from you, then tomor­row they would start conspiring against you. Let us wait and see how the new administration would be able to meet the aspirations of the generality of Nigerians. That would dictate the survival or resur­gence of the PDP in the future.

It is speculated that Chief Oluse­gun Obasanjo is already lobbying to nominate some ministers into the Buhari administration. Is Bu­hari politically safe working with people like Obasanjo?

If people report that Obasanjo is having his eyes on some particular ministries, I will not be surprised. Because this is ex­actly why he quarreled with the late Yar Adua. It is also the reason he quarreled with President Jonathan. By his own mantra, he would like to dictate to who­ever emerges as the president through his own facilitation. And he would like to see that whatever he wanted is what is done. The moment you fail to do what he wants, then he would start a fight with you. I would like to believe the specula­tion that Obasanjo has already earmarked some ministerial positions that he would want to be reserved for his nominees. If that is true and his candidates were not picked; then that would surely be the be­ginning of his quarrel with General Bu­hari.

What is the place of President Jonathan in history? Where do you think he would find himself at the end of all this?

From the point of view of his service to the nation, I think that one remarkable thing is that even though he was defeat­ed by the smallest margin in the history of presidential elections in Nigeria, he accepted the defeat and he did not go to court. In other cases of presidential election results, the margin was in the re­gion of 10 million and yet people went to court to challenge the outcome. In this case, the margin was just 2.5 million and he accepted defeat. He will go down in history as the president, who accepted defeat as a result of which so many lives were saved in this country, and in fact, a president who saved the nation. Because, if he had not accepted defeat at the time he did, and people had started killing one another, by now we will not be having this interview in my house, today.

http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=117430

The Wrong Way To Fight Jihad

FP: Vijay Kumar, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

You are one of the rare individuals running for office in America who is actually making the issue of Islamic Jihad a significant part of your campaign. Tell us your view of Islamic Jihad and the background you have to make you see it the way you do.

UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES: AN URGENCY FOR A NON-ISLAMIST PARTY/PARTIES IN NIGERIA

Definition of Terms:

Muslim – An individual who practices Islam as a religion.

Islamist/Islamism – A Muslim who practices Islam as a political ideology that holds that Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system that must dominate the society (Political Islam); antithetic to Democracy.

Policy Incoherence Fuels Herdsmen Attacks

There is now a commonality of opinion that the rate of violent attacks of farmers all across Nigeria by armed Fulani herdsmen skyrocketed since the emergence of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who by birth is a Fulani.
Conversely, since he assumed office last May, president Buhari has yet to articulate a workable public policy framework on how best to effectively combat the rise in armed Fulani attacks/insurgency. 

ANOTHER LOOK AT NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING

BACKGROUND

According to the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Musa Asake, Ph.D,: "the National Executive Committee (NEC) of CAN,  the Association during its meeting in Abuja on Tuesday 28th. February, 2017, passed a resolution that the National Day of Christian Protest and Mourning which earlier took place on 8th., 2017, should be repeated on Sunday 19th. March, 2017."

In his notice passed to the Nigerian entire Christian Community,  "the (NEC) of CAN took this decision when it was brought to its attention that many Christian assemblies were not able to participate due to lack of awareness about the program. In addition, the relentless attacks of Islamist Jihadists on Christian Communities and Christians in the Nation make it imperative that Christians should consistently speak out to condemn and expose these dastardly acts."

It was further agreed that "in view of the security situation in the country, NEC recommends that Christians should NOT engage in street protests on that day. Rather, each Congregation should gather in front of its place of worship with Placards, Banners and if possible, dress in Black, as symbolic mourning of the thousands of Christians killed by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria and discriminatory Security forces, particularly in the  East."

Furthermore, the (NEC) of CAN  also recommended that "each local assembly should ensure sufficient Media coverage of the Protest. In particular, arrangements should be made for TV coverage. All Christian assemblies in the Diaspora should endeavor to participate in order to draw International attention to the Genocide against Christians in Nigeria. It would be recalled that on 4th. February, 2017, the US Congress declared that "Nigeria is the most dangerous Nation on earth for anyone to be a Christian."

THE ISSUES OF CONCERN BY CAN:

The issues for concern were neatly spelt out:

Issues that should be highlighted during the National Day of Christian Mourning are as follows:

1.      Murder of Christians by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, Muslim assailants and discriminatory Security forces.

2.      Violation of the Federal Character Principle in the 1999 Constitution in Federal Government Appointments, particularly in Security and Education.

3.      Harassment and intimidation of Christian leaders by the SSS/DSS.

4.      Failure of Security Forces to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the Genocide

5.      Non implementation of the 2014 National Conference Report. (This Report, amongst others, recommends State Police.)

Thus, this  information was published and circulated to All National Leaders, Bloc Leaders, Zonal Chairmen, States Chairmen of CAN and Christian Leaders and all Churches were notified and well prepared.

OBSERVATIONS

However, it was to the dismay of the entire Christian Community that further instruction and directives were given: "that Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) again wishes to inform all Christians, both at home and abroad, that based on credible reports of concern, it has decided to suspend the Christian Day of Mourning formerly scheduled to take place globally on Sunday 19th March, 2017."

It was further buttressed that, "The President of CAN took cognizance of the preparations that various Christian groups have made to participate in the program which was designed, in all honesty and sincerity, to mourn the death of thousands of Christians murdered by religious insurgents. Again, a Statement from the National Secretariat of CAN states that the suspension of the program was due to “misunderstanding, misinterpretation and subsequent Security concerns”.

Some pictures and videos on Social media even shows mobilization of Assailants  into Southern Kaduna on the 16th. and 17th. of March against the Christian day of mourning which was supposed to be held on 19th. March, that could not be interpreted as coincidence.

Thus, "Nigerian Christian assemblies were urged to have a normal Sunday Worship on 19th. March, 2017,  but should suspend any action on the Day of Mourning. Nevertheless, Christians should be careful and watchful, as further communication shall be issued by CAN in due course."

According to the source, "In the meantime, we are all urged to remain steadfast and resolute in the Grace of God that Nigeria shall overcome the present distress and Peace shall prevail all over the Nation."

Christians are also encouraged to keep praying steadfastly and always be evangelical, seizing every possible opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

However, while the "Nigerian Christian Mourning Project" which is supposed to be a continual event in the Nation in different phases,  until the massive murder of Christians stops in the nation, is temporarily suspended, it is important to elucidate as reminder to the Christian Community the Communiqué of Parts 1, 2 & 3. These are very  important because they reinstate the purposes of the suspended "Christian Black Sunday of 19th. March, 2017 and National Protest." (Available at www.csmnigeria.org)

CONCLUSION

It bewilders Nigerian Christians that Christianity has come under siege and Christians are being killed, massacred and slaughtered in total violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Section 38 (1) “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”

The responsibility of the Government is to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and ensure the protection of all the citizens. Section 14 (1)b of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states: “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government:

No reasonable person would be satisfied with the present state of affairs of Nigeria. We therefore call upon those in Government to ensure that the Constitution of Nigeria remains sacrosanct.

Whither the Nigerian Church? No. 14

I am writing this current Newsletter for the sake of real Christians especially leaders of the church in Nigeria and the nations. My intention is not to scare believers and hinder them from doing God’s work but they should be totally obedient to their calling. This edition will mostly zero into my calling and personal experiences about things of God. I know some people will say, “here she goes again, can’t this woman who is over 70 years of age, leave the global spiritual issues to the younger generation of Christians?  In any case Jesus is coming soon and what will happen will happen anyway,”

Calling Middle-Belt Governors To Pull Out Of The So-called “19 Northern Governors”

At the advent of state creation in 1967, an Interim Common Services Agency (ICSA) was established ostensibly to manage the common assets of the states of the defunct Northern Region. The Agency wound up in 1970. We should have been talking of states and zonal political structures and not the defunct North.

The Agitation For Middle-Belt Region Will Not Go Away

The Middle-Belt Region is the host and home to Rivers Niger and Benue in Nigeria. It is interspersed by upland and broad valleys and plateau and covered by high grass – law savannah and acacia – tall grass savannah and, acacia – desert grass savannah. It is almost of the same latitude between the North and South of Nigeria. It stretches from the Western to the Eastern longitude of Nigeria.

DisclaimerInformation on this site is provided for the purpose of creating awareness, mobilizing prayers and raising support for persecuted Christians in Nigeria.
No information on this site should be used as the basis, or the purpose, of mounting, or inciting, an attack, hatred, or any vindictive action on any individual or groups of individuals.

Management, Kingdom News

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