Nigeria

  • Is this Islamization of Christian Children?

    School Children

    Comments: I have attached some very controversial portions of the curriculum as it relates to religion. It is rather unfortunate that this curriculum was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan's administration who is supposed to be a Christian from the South-South when Prof. Mrs Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i was minister of Education. It is more annoying that Chief (Barr) Ezenwo Nyesom Wike was the Honourable Minister of State for Education at the time or approval. Wike is the current Governor of Rivers State, another Christian from the South-South and to worsen matters, the document was signed by Prof Godwill Obioma: a Christian Iboman!!

  • JIHAD IN NIGERIA: BURYING THE HEAD IN SAND

    ncef
    1. As a Mission Statement, the NCEF is committed to the Unity of Nigeria and the duty of the Leadership of the Nation to ensure that this Unity is not sacrificed on the altar of sectarian interests and biases.
    2. In its exercise of the Biblical "Issachar Mandate," the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) is purposed to draw national attention, as Senior Citizens, to the issues as they stand in Nigeria at present. The NCEF Press Release of July 2017, titled: Correct Assessment of Situation in Nigeria, presently under contention by some Muslim groups, was sent as "non-violent communication" (NVC) to keep Nigerians abreast with the disturbing threats packaged no doubt, by Islamists (political Islam), to destroy NIGERIA as one indivisible and all inclusive Union State under GOD. NCEF position still stands on Truth as the only pillar of national strength and unity.
    3. Kaduna Christian Youths Regroup Over Attacks, Killings Of Members

      Kaduna State

      A Youths Wing’s Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna South Local Government, recently convened a meeting of stakeholders, and deliberated extensively on ways to contain the consistent attacks and killings of their Christian members in the Northern part of Nigeria by Muslims, describing the act as a deliberate ploy to enslave them.

      Participants in the meeting, which held on Wednesday evening at Albarka Church premises in Kaduna south, expressed displeasure over the continuous and unwarranted attacks and killings of Christians by their Muslim brothers at all times without any punitive measures against the attackers.

      Youths participants, drawn from across different church denominations, dwelt mostly on the recent killings and attacks in Kano and Kaduna states. Members expressed dismay that mere condemnation of the act perpetrated against Christians by the opposite religion would no longer be condoned, as no religious faithful has monopoly of violence. 

      Also worried and discussed was the public commentaries ascribed to some top government functionaries in Kaduna state that tend to play down the population of Christians, describing it as ‘derogative and disparaging’ Southern Kaduna population or sized.

      Specifically, they condemned the statement by the APC government in its “30%” population estimation of Southern Kaduna and others, saying it’s unfair. They also pointed out that the habit of describing penetrators of the callous act of attackers as criminals and non-Muslims, without any public capital punishment, would no longer be tolerated.

      Numbering over a hundred, the youth, which involved non-indigenes, resolved to continue to watch with curiosity, actions that would be taken against the recent killings and attacks on Christians in Kano, Kaduna, Niger and others States in the north, adding that the outcome would determine their reaction in cases of future occurrence.

      Officials, led by its chairman, Solomon Tanko, however appealed to the Youth CAN to avoid any act that would jeopardize any peace process, saying, it’s following the issues judiciously with a view to report back to them.

    4. Kaduna killings latest: 27 Fulani, 6 Natives killed – Police

      herdsmen

      Relative calm has been restored to villages in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where 33 people died in clashes between villagers and Fulani, Police source has said.

      A total of 27 Fulani people living in the area were allegedly killed by the villagers in two separate attacks, while six native villagers died, the police said today in Kaduna.

    5. Kaduna Killings: Catholic Archbishop Spits Fire; Says It’s “Exclusion Policies” Against Southern Kaduna People

      kaduna_state

      Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna and Metropolitan Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province, KPC, Most Rev. Matthew M. Ndagoso, Thursday, said the killings in Southern Kaduna are part of the larger historical policies of exclusionpursued by successive governments in Northern Nigeria against Southern Kaduna and its people.

    6. Kano Blasphemy Killling: Prosecute Killers or be Blacklisted Abroad - Human Rights group warns Ganduje

      activists

      A pro-democracy and non-governmental organization, the Human Rights Writers
      Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Thursday handed a 74-hour ultimatum to the Kano State government to reopen the prosecution of the five suspects linked to the killing of the 74-year old Igbo woman in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbagheme.

    7. Lesson to Nigerian Pastors

      the_cross

      BIOGRAPHY OF MOST REV. PATRICK KELLEY

      BISHOP KELLY OF WESTERN NIGERIA BY MICHAEL O’SHEA.

       

       
      NIGERIA, 1921-1926

      In November 1921, after a good holiday, Pat bade farewell to his mother and family at Tristaun and made his way to Dublin and then Liverpool. With him were classmate John Cadogan, Cork, and Michael O’Donohuem Laois; both were two years younger than Pat who was twenty-seven. In Liverpool they spent a few days at the African Missions transit house on Ulett Road, while waiting on the departure of the Elder Dempster liner bound for West Africa. In the city they bought suitable clothing and footwear for the tropics, a pith helmet for protection against the sun, and quinine for Malaria. On boarding ship, the purser directed them to first class cabins; the 1918 Provincial Assembly had decided that the confreres should travel first class. The trio appreciated the comfort, but were a bit ill-at-ease at the thought of rubbing shoulders with colonial nobs in the first class dining hall. As the ship got under way, the new sailors in the Roman collars clutched the rail and spoke quietly as they watched the land recede.

    8. LET MY PEOPLE GO: IBADAN DECLARATIONS 2017

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      PREAMBLE

      Leaders and people of Yoruba nation met in a solemn gathering at the Lekan Salami Stadium,Adamasingba Ibadan (7th September 2017) to deliberate on the restructuring agenda and the future of Nigeria, The summit was attended by Yoruba leaders, governors, parliamentarians, Yoruba social-cultural groups, professional bodies, market leaders, youth groups and friends of the Yoruba nation

      After exhaustive deliberations by the largest gathering of Yoruba people from the six south-west states, Kwara and Kogi states, the following communique was adopted.

    9. Mass protest in Kaduna LG over killings in Southern Kaduna, Grazing Reserves saga

      Kaduna_state

      Thousands of villagers from various communities in Southern Kaduna Thursday staged a peaceful, solemn procession in Gwantu, headquarters of Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state, against what they termed unrelenting deadly sieges of their communities by alleged armed herdsmen and the confiscation of their lands for Cattle Grazing Reserves by Kaduna State Government.

    10. Massacre of Shiites: Open Letter to Commission of Inquiry

      Justice_image

      The Iranian military attaché discussed the lack of professionalism of the Nigerian military and its incompetence. He wondered how the Nigerian army chief could travel to any location without reports from his scouts on the security of the area at least a week before his journey. He wondered how the Nigerian Military could killover one thousand unarmed civilians while they had failed to kill even two hundred Boko Haram insurgents. He wondered how a national military could commit a sacrilege as to bomb a place of worship.

    11. Massive Fraud in 2016 Budget

      Aso Villa

      http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/198208-special-report-inside-massive-fraud-buharis-2016-budget.html

       

      On Tuesday December 22, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari walked into a joint session of the National Assembly and presented the first annual budget proposal of his administration, ambitiously tagged: “The Budget of Change”.

    12. MUSA DIKWA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN – PATRIOTIC CHRISTIAN YOUTHS

      not_christian

       

      PRESS STATEMENT BY THE PATRIOTIC CHRISTIAN YOUTHS OF NIGERIA ON PASTOR MUSA KALLAMU ALI DIKWA’S FABRICATIONS OF ONE MILLION NAIRA BRIBE AND THE FALSE ALLEGATION OF SEVEN BILLION NAIRA GIFT TO CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN).

      The attention of the Patriotic Christian Youths of Nigeria has been drawn to news reports of PastorMusa Kallamu Dikwa’s claim that the CAN leadership attempted to bribe him with One Million Naira to cover the alleged Seven Billion naira campaign gift. Under normal circumstances, we would not have responded to this allegation knowing that Musa Dikwa and his sponsors are attention seekers and would love to distract from the real issues facing the Church and Nigeria. 

    13. NEED FOR POLITICS OF NATIONALISM

      NCEF
      The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) commenced meetings with political parties in its quest for politics of NATIONALISM instead of the current politics of religion and ethnicity that is threatening to tear the nation asunder. So far, NCEF has met with APDA (Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance) and PDP (People’s Democratic Party). Please find below the paper presented during the visit.

       

      The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) wishes to thank the leadership of your Political Party for granting us the opportunity to meet with you to discuss issues that are critical to the peace, progress, and prosperity of Nigeria.  NCEF is made up of distinguished Christian Elders from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.  It is not a political party and NCEF has no intention of transmuting or transforming into a political party, either now, or in the future. NCEF is not holding brief for any political party neither is it on a mission to denigrate or discredit any political organization. The main objectives of the NCEF could be summarized as fostering Unity and Reconciliation in the Body of Christ, advocating for Democracy as the only National Ideology that could sustain a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious society like Nigeria, and encouraging Christians to participate actively in providing God-fearing leadership for Nigeria.

    14. New Education Curriculum: CAN Objects

      National Church of Nigeria

      INTRODUCTION
      This is the report  by CHRISTIAN  ASSOCIATION  OF NIGERIA (CAN ) delegates and NIGERIA CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NCGF) REPRESENTATIVES to the NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH  AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (NERDC)

      The NERDC team was led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaidu in the company of five Directors of the Council including the Director of Book Publishing and Curriculum Development.
      The paper presented was by Prof. Charles Adisa and Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies. The Delegation was led by Dr. Sam Itina, National President of the NCGF and other members of the delegation were:

      (NCGF)

      1. Prof . A  Adisa (NCGF)
      2. Dr. Mrs Ejiro Iwuoha (NCGF)
      3. Pst. Onyenachi Nwaegeruo(NCGF)
      4. Dr. Josiah Kantiyok (NCGF)

      (CAN)

      1. Bishop Jude Arogundade (Catholic Church)  (CAN) - (ABSENT)

      2. Prof. Bishop Funmi Adesanya-Davies (Protestant Church) (CAN)

      3. Dr. Mrs. Ofoegbu(Catholic Church) (CAN)
      4. Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun (Catholic Church) (CAN)

       

      TEAM KEY POINTS PRESENTED AT NERDC WERE:
      Following a brief introduction of the NCGF and CAN, obvious lapses in the new curriculum which included the list below were presented:

      1. Inciting/Derogatory statements which attack the foundation of Christianity. For example, that Jesus was not the Son of God, Jesus was not crucified and did not resurrect and the supremacy of Quran over the Holy Bible, supremacy of Muhammad over Jesus Christ, etc.
      2. Textbooks in print that combine Islamic Religious Knowledge and Christian Religious knowledge in a single textbook thus exposing children to other religion which negates the principles of our constitution.
      3. Absence of approved list of textbooks as an appendix in the curriculum/ NERDC website 
      4. Watered down content of the various subjects, as a result, creating an omnibus textbook.
      5. Making religious studies compulsory without the adequate provision of Teachers in those subjects. The implications are that a Christian student in the core north will be forced to take IRK and ditto a Muslim student in the South. In addition, a student that refuses to take the subject as a result of conflict with his/her religion is short changed of marks for that compulsory subject and may have his educational career truncated.
      6. Absence of subjects like History, Geography and Economics in the new curriculum.

       

       

      FACTS AND FINDINGS AT NERDC

      1. That the five (5) subjects: Religious Studies (CRS/IRS), Civic Education, Social Studies and Security are combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum is sacrosanct.   

      2. NERDC asserts that CAN was part and parcel of the stakeholders invited to air her views and input on the development of the New Curriculum. However the NGGF has never been invited and represented and are welcome from now on.

      3. It was acknowledged that the Curriculum on Religion and National Values needs to be reviewed as the Christians and Muslims are of the same viewpoints that the New Curriculum is unacceptable.

      4. Curriculum for Religion and National Value is assuredly for the three Basics (Lower, Middle and Upper) of the BEC 9-year Program.

      i.e 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9. (Thus, there are 3 curriculum booklets)

      5. That the design was that Text books for CRS and IRS are to be separated by Publishers as different Text books but they are written together in the same Curriculum Booklet with Civic Education, Social Studies  and Security.    

      6. That the status of the Subject Religious Studies is Compulsory is sacrosanct and a pupil must offer either but not both.
      7. That NO Publisher's Textbook has been approved by NERDC yet. So ALL BOOKS in the market for now are FAKE and fictitious and should be checkmated immediately.
      8. That CAN could bring professionals to Review  the Content of the said present Curriculum  under assessment -  (I volunteered to do the review

      with Prof. Charles Adisa and it was approved.)

      9. That CAN could participate fully in the production and review of yet to

      be accepted /approved Textbooks - I also volunteered.

      10. That they will endeavour to list out the finally approved books right

      in the Curriculum and we can make recommendations.

      11. The Executive Secretary approved the team as partners in progress from hence.
      12.  All participants we well pleased at the end of the discussions.

       

      RESPONSE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
      • NERDC will be willing to collaborate with groups like the NCGF (based on their educational endowments)                                                                              • Two different teachers manual for IRS and CRS were made to reflect the separation of the two subjects.
      • Religious study is compulsory so as to provide a moral framework for adherence to the teachings of civic education, social studies and security education.
      • He disowned the publishers and the books currently in the market but WAS UNABLE TO GIVE US THE NAME OF ANY APPROVED TEXTBOOK MEANT FOR THE SUBJECT- AFTER 8 YEARS OF PUBLICATION OF THIS NEW CURRICULUM.
      • He accepted the recommendation of listing the approved books in the appendix of the curriculum as well as on their website
      • NERDC will not be able to exercise oversight function on what the schools are using, rather schools should verify from NERDC, the books that have been approved
      • NERDC is in the process of achieving a regulatory statue like NAFDAC to enable them prosecute publishers that are in deviance of the standard and principles of the curriculum
      • Accepted the need for further public hearing, sensitization and review of the new curriculum.
      • He insisted that it is the responsibility of government at various levels to provide Teachers for the subjects, and where this is not observed, parents should sue the government and demand for the requisite teachers.                                                                                                                 • He explained that they have re-introduced History.

       

       

      OBSERVATIONS

      • Publishers should be supervised so that the textbooks in print are a reflection of the principles and standard of the curriculum.
      • List of recommended textbooks should be incorporated as an appendix in the curriculum. In addition, these lists should be freely available on the NERDC website.                                                                                                                 
      • Curriculum developers should ensure that the content conforms with the curriculum and our constitutional provision.

      • Curriculum developers should be conscious of the religious and cultural sensibility of Nigerians.                                                                                               •Re-introduction of History, geography, economics and accounting back into the curriculum.

       

      RECOMMENDATIONS
      Now that all the cards are on the table, as a minister and a professional  who had lectured and still lectures in a University of Education in the past thirty years, I wish to recommendation  as follows:


      1. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS should stand alone, as individual subjects on subject listing as it was before.

      2. Civic Education, Social Studies  and Security should be combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum as a subject i.e.                                                (Nigerian  National Value).

      3. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamiRS should be made compulsory, only for the religion adherent.

      4. NERDC should produce separate curriculum booklets of IRS and CRS as it was before, statuesque ante, as it is done with the Teachers manual.

      5.Christian RK Curriculum must be reviewed immediately with inputs from our old CRK Curriculum in the 3 BEC of the 9-years.

      6. Islamic RK should be reviewed  by editing off all grievously offensive phrases/frivolous expressions about Christianity in the 3 Basics Education Curriculum because the material is in the public domain and we Christians said nothing about Islam which existed 600 AD after the  death of  Christ in our curriculum.

      7. Correction to the Curriculum and the Implementation of the Text Books must conform with the Constitution, National Policy on Education, as well  as the Cultural, Social and Religious  Values  of the Republic

      8. All publishers of the FAKE Books should be written for discussions,  that  the dissemination of the Books must stop immediately. The Church should seek court injunction immediately to enforce this.

      9. We need to work with such and some other publishers to peacefully resolve the issue if they so desire and to ensure that their reviewed books on CRS would be acceptable to us.

      10. NERDC should be advised to always produce separate textbooks for ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS and supervise their publishers to ensure the books are produced separately 

       

      12. CAN and NCGF should urgently set up a committee to review the content of the present CRS to reflect the true teachings of Christianity as the current curriculum is inferior to the previous curriculum.

      13. It is necessary to adequately mobilize and sensitize the churches to pray about the challenges posed by this curriculum to our faith.

       

      14. If the recommendations are not acceptable and implemented by NERDC, CAN and NCGF should consider other actions and litigation.

       

      OPTIONAL:
      1. We recommend separation  of the two (2) Curriculum in same booklet for the three (3) Primary Basics:  If they refuse the separation in the  Curriculum as in the  text; just like Christian children, Muslim children would also  have access  to the Christian curriculum  and this could be evangelical  as light is not afraid of darkness.

      2. CRS/IRS OPTIONAL/ COMPULSORY: Making CRS/IRS a Compulsory Subject is advantageous, but it must be separately compulsory as the religion of the pupil, parent or guardian that is Christians must offer CRK and Muslims IRS. We should remember it was also compulsory in the Old Curriculum.

      On behalf of the team, I hereby express our gratitude to CAN for affording us this rare opportunity to serve in our Lord's Vineyard.

      Our God reigns!  Jesus is Lord!! Praise the  Lord!!! Amen.   


      Amb. (Bishop Prof.)  Mercy Funmi Adesanya-Davies

    15. NGO REGULATION BILL - A Bill the Church should keep on her radar:

      magnifying_glass

      The House of Representatives is presently considering what perhaps qualifies as the most dangerous piece of legislation to come before the National Assembly since the return of civilian rule in 1999. It is the NGO Regulation Bill sponsored by the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Umar Buba Jibril. The bill is stunning in its audacity, far-reaching in its scope and a danger to the elective government in Nigeria. It should not be allowed to pass.

    16. NGO REGULATION BILL: ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO MUZZLE THE NIGERIAN CHURCH

      magnifying_glass

      The House of Representatives is presently considering what perhaps qualifies as the most dangerous piece of legislation to come before the National Assembly since the return of civilian rule in 1999. It is the NGO Regulation Bill sponsored by the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Umar Buba Jibril. The bill is stunning in its audacity, far-reaching in its scope and a danger to the elective government in Nigeria. It should not be allowed to pass.

      There is a context to this NGO Regulation Bill which is important. It comes at a time when the Federal Government, led by the same party whose parliamentary caucus Jibril leads in the House, has signalled enthusiasm and desire to establish a commission to regulate social media content. This, despite the fact that a similar measure previously sponsored by Jibril’s counterpart as the Deputy Majority Leader in the Senate, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, had earlier failed to pass muster. Around many states of the country, social media activists are routinely persecuted. With the active encouragement of the Federal Government and the ruling party, free expression is being chilled and dissent criminalised.

    17. Nigeria Should Think Twice Before Joining Saudi Arabia Islamic Military Coalition

      Saudi_coalition-troops

      On 15 December, Saudi Arabia made a surprising announcement as it unveiled to the world what it said will be a 34-state “Islamic military alliance” to combat terrorism “all over the Islamic world”.

      This ambitious initiative, said Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, “emanates from the keenness of the Muslim world to fight this disease, which has harmed the Islamic world’s standing in the international community”.

      Little is known about how exactly this alliance will operate, but according official statements it seems there will be a military component which includes intelligence sharing, a messaging component to combat ideology, and a sanctions component focused on “stopping the flow of funds” to terror groups.

      As for the countries involved, there are notable absentees such as Iran, Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, those said to be part of the alliance are drawn from across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It remains to be seen which countries will formally join the Saudi-led coalition, but one of those considering membership is Nigeria.

      On 17 December, Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu said that “Nigeria has been formally invited to be a member of the alliance”, but that the “decision to join has not been taken yet”.

      If Nigeria were to join, it would signify a major step-change in relations with Saudi Arabia. Islam and membership of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have traditionally anchored the two country’s relationship. But adding security cooperation to that relationship could have real potential.

      Boko Haram clearly has a transnational dimension – it is increasingly engaging in cross border attacks and has links to other Islamist militant groups beyond West Africa – and an international security platform for intelligence cooperation could be hugely useful to Nigerian security forces. Additionally, further support from the alliance in the form of funding or training could also significantly enhance counterterrorism efforts.

      However, there are also potential perils from membership that the Nigerian government should consider seriously as it ponders the Saudi invitation.

      What’s in a name?

      The first possible danger comes from the name of the group – the Islamic Military Alliance – and how this could play in Nigeria’s fraught domestic scene.

      Soon after news broke of Nigeria’s supposed membership of the Saudi-led initiative, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body for the country’s Christian groups,registered its protest, saying membership harms “Nigeria’s pluralistic character [and] portends great danger to national unity and integration”.

      Should President Muhammadu Buhari sign-off on Nigeria joining, informing the public early, being transparent about how the decision was reached, clearly articulating the advantages for Nigeria, and securing broad elite consensus will be essential to avoid the anti-terror alliance becoming a polarising factor in the country’s interreligious relations.

      The intense controversy that trailed Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1986 offers salutary lessons.

      When “out of the blue” news broke in January 1986 that Nigeria had “secretly” become a member of the OIC the previous month, it sparked a political crisis. The non-transparent attainment of OIC membership exacerbated what in any case would have been a contentious issue, and the controversy it sparked effectively paralysed Nigeria’s participation in the organisation.

      “In order to satisfy Muslims, [Nigeria] has not officially withdrawn its membership”, saidhistorian Toyin Falola, “and in order to satisfy Christians, it has refused to play an active role in the OIC”.

      If Nigeria joins the Islamic Military Alliance, it will have to be careful as to how it presents this move to the public.

      Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical motives

      The second problem derives from Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical motives and regional ambitions.

      Most responses to the new anti-terror alliance have expressed scepticism as to the real reasons behind the initiative. The exclusion of Iran in particular – a country with which Saudi Arabia is locked in an intense struggle for supremacy in the region – is seen by many as being indicative of Riyadh’s desire to galvanise the Sunni world against its rival.

      Nigeria’s membership of the anti-terror alliance could entail, if not explicit support, then at least implicit endorsement of Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical objectives – objectives that are much broader than simply countering terrorism.

      The sectarian undertones of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry could also have domestic repercussions for Nigeria given the unresolved tensions between the Nigerian state and its own restive Shia minority.

      Whose terrorists?

      Linked to the question of Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical motives is a third problem: which militant groups will command the alliance’s focus?

      Saudi Arabia says the new alliance will confront “any terrorist organisation that appears in front of us”. But it is clear that the alliance’s heavyweights will have different perceptions of who the main threats are.

      For Turkey, for example, the role of Kurdish separatists looms large in its concerns. Ankara’s attention is focused on unseating Syria’s President Assad and preventing its nightmare scenario of an independent Kurdistan emerging amidst Syria’s wreckage. Defeating Islamic State comes an important but distant third in its list of priorities.

      Similarly, Saudi Arabia’s view of what constitutes terrorism – as enshrined in its 2013 anti-terror law – is so broad as to practically include “any act of protest or criticism” against the monarchy. The law was recently used to execute a prominent Shia cleric and critic of the Saudi monarchy, further inflaming regional tensions and leading to thesevering of diplomatic ties with Iran.

      A truism in international relations is that the heavyweights in any alliance generally define its objectives. The danger for Nigeria in joining Saudi Arabia’s initiative therefore is that it may find itself having to stand by the controversial, and sometimes reckless, policies of its powerful friends in the name of solidarity.

      No Algeria

      The fourth problem for Nigeria’s possible membership of the alliance is the absence of Algeria.

      If one were to map the landscape of Nigeria’s security threats, a picture would emerge of three separate geographical levels of concern: stability in the Lake Chad region, where Boko Haram is concentrated, would constitute ‘vital’ interests; the broader Sahel, which potentially offers Boko Haram strategic depth and connects Nigeria to the chaos in Libya, would be of ‘strategic’ interest; and stability in the Levant, where the so-called Islamic State is based, and beyond would come under ‘peripheral’ interests.

      This perspective illuminates Algeria’s importance to Nigeria’s priorities. Stability in the Sahel is crucial for Nigerian security, and Algeria is the regional power in that neighbourhood. Despite its reticence about using military force – its constitution explicitly forbids external military adventures – Algeria’s potential as a stabilising power is undeniable.

      The Sahel is both a barrier and a highway straddling Nigeria and Libya, the latter of which is arguably home to Islamic State’s most important outpost. And Nigeria’s limited capability to project its power means close cooperation with Algeria is essential if the region is to push back against the further spread of IS.

      Since March 2013, intelligence chiefs from eleven countries across the region – including Nigeria and Algeria – have met every two months, with foreign ministers meeting every three, as part of the Nouakchott Process to discuss Sahelian security. Diplomatic energy may well be better spent improving the performance this multilateral initiative, where matters affecting Nigeria’s direct strategic interests are concerned, than in the broader Saudi-led alliance.

      In assessing whether to stay in or out of the Islamic Military Alliance, Nigeria should be careful to weigh the clear potential advantages against these equally formidable perils.

      Muktar Usman-Janguza is a geopolitical and security analyst.

      http://africanarguments.org/2016/01/08/why-nigeria-should-think-twice-before-joining-saudi-arabias-islamic-military-alliance/

    18. Nigeria: A Macabre Dance of Death

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      PRESS STATEMENT BY CAN

      The National leadership and the entire members of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, have received with rude shock and disbelief the report of yet another religious hatred motivated gruesome murder of a dedicated 42-year-old Christian mother of seven children, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, who on Saturday 9th July, 2016, was brutally killed while doing Christian evangelism.

      Mrs. Eunice Elisha was murdered in Kubwa area of Abuja, FCT, in the early hours of the day. Her neck was slashed and she was also stabbed in the stomach. About a month ago in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme, a 74 year old Christian was murdered at Wambai market due to an altercation with a Muslim man who came to the front of her shop to perform ablution. Her offence was that she objected to the Islamic washing rite in front of her shop.

      Just last week a clergyman of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Reverend Zakariya was killed by attackers suspected to be Fulani Herdsmen in Obi LGA of Nasarawa state. They attacked him on his farm, cut off his arms and legs, then they chopped his head with a machete. Another fresh but sad news reaching us is that of the Fulani herdsmen militia that is back on rampage killing 81 people in multiple attacks in Logo and Ukum local government areas of Benue state in central Nigeria.

      In recent times, there have been multiple cases of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on various Christian communities, all over the nation. In the South East and in the South-South zones, there have been gruesome attacks on IPOB members and on Christian communities in the Niger Delta. All these are in addition to the relentless attacks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and southern Borno.

      The Christian Association of Nigeria commiserates with the families affected by these mindless orgies of death and destruction as well as with the entire Christian community in Nigeria. We pray that God in His mercy shall comfort and strengthen the families of all the Nigerians affected in these unwarranted murders unleashed upon the nation by religious extremists.

      The recurring decimal of violence and murder of innocent Nigerian citizens on the basis of religious intolerance demands specific and relevant response from all concerned citizens in the country more so when the government in power seems to have adopted an attitude of lukewarm response to the evils being perpetrated in Nigeria in the name of religion.

      The discrimination against non-Muslims in Nigeria under the Buhari Administration is assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve.

      You will agree with me that with these happenings and the lukewarm attitude by the authorities concern toward putting an end to it, Nigeria is dancing a macabre dance of death, both for the nation and for its citizens. It is time to stop the beat and let common sense guide the nation out of the present quagmire. A stitch in time saves nine.

      Before the situation escalates into an unmanageable national crisis, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is calling on the authorities both at the states and federal to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice if the confidence of Christians on this government must be maintained.

      The unprovoked attacks on Christians and the authority’s inaction is becoming unbearable and may not be tolerated anymore, inasmuch as we will continue to call on Christians to remain tolerant and law abiding, it is becoming inevitable to also call on them to buckle up and be ready to defend themselves against these incessant unprovoked and mindless attacks.

      Signed…
      Rev. Dr. Musa Asake
      General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
      10th July, 2016

    19. Nigeria's Muslim Government Targeting Christians by Con Coughlin

      federal_republic_nigeria

      President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator, rather than concentrating his efforts on Boko Haram, has instead mounted a campaign of intimidation against his Christian opponents in the south of the country.

      50,000 children are facing death by starvation, according to Western aid officials. In May, the Nigerian military killed at least 15 people at a peaceful Biafran protest.

    20. Nigerian Church Unites to Overcome Insurgency

      National Church of Nigeria

      The world’s deadliest terrorist group is not in the Middle East. It’s in Nigeria, where the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram and other forces killed more than 4,000 Christians in 2015.

      That tally was a 62 per cent increase from the previous year, according to Open Doors, a global charity that supports Christians in places where their faith exposes them to government, social or sectarian hostility.

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