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Nigeria’s Attack Of Bishop Kukah Prove His Accusations Of Religious Discrimination, By Emmanuel Ogebe

Renowned Nigerian Bishop Kukah has been unjustly but expectedly vilified by the Buhari regime for speaking the truth about the horrific Nigerian situation before the US Congress.

However to put things in proper context, as one who has testified numerous times in congress myself and been subjected to even worse attacks by the Buhari regime including the plot to revoke my Nigerian passport (see attached exhibits), I am providing below excerpts of what else was said at the Congress.

On The State of Religious Freedom Around the Globe, in a 10-page Statement of Rev. Bob Fu, PhD., Founder and President of China Aid Association finished his remarks with following Conclusion:
“Regardless of China’s attempts to block information on persecution from reaching the outside world, ChinaAid’s research shows that religious oppression continues to increase with each passing year since 2017. As China advances its plan to Sinicize Christia nity and other religions with forced indoctrination of Communism ideology, authorities all over the country are interfering with normal religious operations and arbitrarily detaining and arresting hundreds of thousands of religious believers purely for peacefully practicing their religious faith. Given the observed universality in which the CCP persecuted both officially sanctioned and independent religions and faiths, ChinaAid has concluded that the CCP’s war on religion will continue to grow unless the world intervenes.

Recommendations:
To hold the CCP’s “bad actors” accountable for their actions. ChinaAid and I urge the United States government to continue to implement and utilize the Global Magnitsky sanctions against the Chinese Communist Party members committing and delegating gross human rights abuses.This should include those who commit violations of freedom of religion and belief in Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States government should continue to work with like minded countries in implementing bilateral sanctions like those announced in March 2021.

I also urge Congress to quickly pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in order to confront the vast labor system put in place by the Chinese Communist Party that effectively profits off the genocide of an ethnic and religious minority.

In addition, U.S. Congress should raise the alarm considering the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted in Beijing, China. A country with as poor a human rights record and actively committing genocide should be disqualified from hosting international events such as Olympics. The United States should boycott the Beijing Olympics and call on other countries who adhere to universal values to do the same.

It is equally important to show solidarity with victims of religious persecution by having members of Congress continue to meet with persecution survivors and adopt Chinese prisoners of conscience through the Defending Freedoms Project. In the Administration, President Biden and Vice President Harris should meet and host the victims of persecution and genocide in public at the White House and the United Nations in New York and Geneva.”

Similarly in a 7-page Statement, Amjad Mahmood Khan, Esq. National Director of Public Affairs Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA concluded thus: “Recommendations: Mr. Chairman, I request this important body to urge the Pakistan Government to take the following immediate measures to stop the tide of religious repression of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan:

  1. Repeal Chief Executive’s Order No. 15 and permit Ahmadi Muslims to vote alongside all other citizens of Pakistan as part of a joint electorate without any religious test.
  2. Stop the extra-territorial prosecution of foreign citizens for alleged cyber and blasphemy crimes, including U.S. citizens who are members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
  3. Cease and desist from directing technology companies to remove or alter Ahmadi Muslim digital content.
  4. Repeal regulations that prohibit the creation, possession and distribution of peaceful Ahmadi Muslim print publications.
  5. Protect the rights of accused Ahmadi Muslims in criminal proceedings and allow independent trial monitors, including foreign diplomats.
  6. Stop local and provincial police from desecrating Ahmadi Muslim mosques and gravestones.
  7. Remove Passport and National Identity Declarations pertaining to Ahmadi Muslims.
  8. Restore religious freedom for Ahmadi Muslims through repeal of the Second Amendment
    to Pakistan’s Constitution and Ordinance XX.
  9. Cease prosecuting Ahmadi Muslims as “terrorists” under Pakistan’s anti-terrorism laws.
  10. Combat impunity for attacks on Ahmadi Muslims by effectively investigating allegations
    and by prosecuting those responsible.
    Thank you.”

Clearly from the above samples, Bishop Kukah’s three page submission did not go anywhere near the tough/robust critique and recommendations made by his Chinese and Pakistani co-panelists.

Indeed the Co-chair of the Congressional hearing Rep Chris Smith said:
“In Nigeria we see a country which, on paper, has robust legal protections for all religions, but in practice is now a country where many religious and ethnic groups perceive themselves to be under serious threat.

While much attention has focused on extremist terror by Salafist groups such as Boko Haram and breakaway factions such as Islamic State West Africa or Ansaru against those they consider infidels, that is not the only threat.
Nor is it from climate change or “farmer-herder conflict,” a popular narrative favored by the State Department and certain academics, but a narrative which is woefully incomplete.

Rather, the principle threat comes from Fulani ethno-religious supremacism, which has been actively encouraged and abetted by the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

It is important to note that this cannot be labelled strictly a Muslim-Christian conflict, though Christians, particularly in the Middle Belt of Nigeria, are often targeted by Fulani Muslim extremists. So too are Shia Muslims, however, as well as ethnic Yoruba, who can either be Muslim and Christian, and often have families where interreligious marriage is commonplace.

What we are seeing unfold in Nigeria under President Buhari is the deliberate Fulanization of Nigerian institutions. This can be seen, for example, in the sacking of the Chief Justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court Walter Onnoghen and his replacement by Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.

It can be seen, for example, in the monopolization of key security and military as well as economic leadership positions by Fulanis appointed by Buhari in recent years, including National Security Advisor, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Inspector General of the Police, the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Minister of Police Affairs, the Ministers of Justice, Finance, Education and Agriculture, the heads of the National Petroleum Corporation and the Federal Inland Revenue Services, as well as the Chief of Army Staff – more than 30 key positions at the highest level of government.

Nor is this a new agenda; if you speak with Nigerians or listen to what Fulani say in Fulfulde or Hausa, you will hear expressed the desire to fulfill the jihadist ambitions of Usman dan Fodio, who in the late 18th and early 19th century sought to spread Islam to the sea under a Fulani spear, displacing and subjugating the far older Kanuri-dominated Islamic political order.

As goes Nigeria, so goes all West Africa, underscoring the importance of respect for ethnic and religious pluralism in this critically important African nation.

I think it is also important to underscore the fact that the single most persecuted religious group in the world is Christians, and that often these persecuted Christians come from the most economically downtrodden and marginalized classes.”

The above are undisputed facts known to the whole world so what does the Nigerian government think attacking Bishop Kukah will achieve other than sheer intimidation of truth tellers? It is instructive that the Buhari regime had just warned the media not to report the truth about the insecurity in the country. The regime had also arrested the pussy cat of Sunday Igboho in a stupefying display of mindless cowardice and dictatorial paranoia.

Ironically, by its actions, the regime has proved Kukah right. Buhari who didn’t fire Sheikh Patami for supporting terrorism is insulting Bishop Kukah for condemning terrorism.

Igboho and Kanu, southern ethnic advocates are being abducted abroad while Sheikh Gumi and other northern governors who are photographed with bandits haven’t led to their arrest. Now bandits are shooting down Airforce fighter jets in total vindication of the legitimate concerns the revered clergyman raised.

Clearly only clerics of the wrong religion can be lambasted by the Buhari regime. Indeed Bishop Kukah did not even highlight the atrocities going on in his home state of Kaduna that very day as he spoke.

According to: “SOUTHERN KADUNA PEOPLES UNION (SOKAPU) PRESS STATEMENT 13th July, 2021: The Ongoing Genocide in Southern Kaduna

For the 6th day running, armed gunmen, identified as Fulani herdsmen by victims, lay siege to several communities in Atyap land, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna and left no less than 33 people dead in an ongoing genocide and land grabbing in which 108 Southern Kaduna communities have been displaced and taken over by them since 2019.

In the latest orgy of bloodshed, the invaders stormed Magamiya village, last night around 11pm and started shooting. The family compound of the traditional ruler of Atyap Chiefdom, Agwatyap of Atyap Chiefdom, Sir Dominic Yahaya was attacked. Several blocks of flats and rooms that make up the family compound of five households were looted of valuables and foodstuffs which were carted into four waiting Hilux vans. The houses were then set ablaze. A relation of the revered traditional ruler, Mr. Toma Tauna, 70, was killed by the assailants.

They went further to loot 6 more homes which they also burnt leaving Mathew Pama, 62, dead in the same village. After putting in about 2 hours of unchallenged murder, looting and arson, they armed herdsmen attempted to burnt down St Pious Catholic Church in the village, but help came from other villages and attackers retreated in the Hilux vans for another village.

Magamiya is about 3km from Zangon Kataf semi-urban town where combined troops of soldiers and other security men are camped complete with patrol vehicles and armoured tanks.

They same assailants returned and passed besides Zango Kataf town and drove 5km west of the town and attacked three other villages from around 1:30 am this morning. In the attacks, Matyei made up of 156 homes were all burnt. The Catholic Church in Matei and its pastorium was burnt. The Catchiest, simply known as Catchiest Yau, and an infant, were killed in the attack. In all, 8 persons were killed last night in Matyei in a violence that lasted for over an hour.

The armed Fulani herdsmen then went down to Abuyab Community about 500 metre away and burnt down ECWA church Abuyab and the home of Former ECOMOG Field Commander, Maj. Gen. Shekari Billyok (rtd) and 11 homes. Their attempt to attack Runji Community, nearby was repelled by villagers who got reinforcement elsewhere.

As they retreated, the attempted to destroy the main bridge linking Matyei with Zangon Kataf town and other Atyap Communities, but only succeeded partially.

Yesterday, before the night attacks occurred, the same armed herdsmen came in Hilux vans and attacked the Atyap of Makarau and Kachechere Communities leaving 10 people confirmed dead, 12 houses burned after looting them.

The ECWA and the Anglican Church pastoriums that serves the communities were set ablaze. In a nutshell, 20 Atyap natives were killed by attackers (who all the villagers that saw them) identified as armed herdsmen between afternoon and today’s morning, Tuesday, 13 July, 2021.

The previous day, Sunday, 11th July, Warkan Community, about 7 km east of Matyei, came under fire by armed herdsmen, leaving 8 people dead. The village was looted and animals rustled before 11 homes were burnt by invaders.

On 9th July, 2021, Timothy Ayok, 35, from Makarau village was ambush and killed dastardly by armed herdsmen as he returned from his farm that afternoon. On 8th July, at Kibori village, about 1km from Zangon Kataf town, a widow, Mrs Esther Patrick, 65 and her family of three were wiped out, including her 6 year old grandchild, Yerima Godfrey.

Therefore, in the past 6 days, at least 33 Atyap natives of Zangon Kataf Area were massacred, 4 churches and 215 homes burnt by assailants always identified as armed herdsmen in a genocidal campaign that has been become very intensive since 2016.

SOKAPU condemned this wicked act and the complicit silence and in action of government from taking steps to bringing the perpetrators and their leaders to justice. Our Atyap members have been consistent in accusing the Hausa settlers of Zangon Kataf semi urban town of harbouring killer herdsmen, yet no authority has done anything about it.

On the 31st March, 2021, some Fulani squatters on Atyap land complained that their cattled and sheep were killed by Atyap persons. In a swift move, 15 Atyap leaders from 4 indicted communities were arrested by troops, detained for days handed over to Kaduna State Police Command Headquarters.

The police alleged that the Atyap leaders, among them 85 years old Waje Laah, killed 706 Fulani cows and 75 rams in a single day and buried them in a ditch same day, which every rational person know as impossible feat to accomplish. But all the same, they were kept in detention for three months without trial and only released on bail last week.

Meanwhile not less than 100 Atyap natives had been killed and about 24 Atyap villages burnt and hundreds of hectares of farmland bearing growing food crops destroyed by Fulani cows since July 2020. Not a single Fulani leader has been called for questioning.

We are hereby calling for humanitarian assistance for the thousands of displaced Atyap women and children who are still moving away from several villages to various places around Samaru Kataf, Zonkwa and environs.

We are also calling on NEMA and SEMA to provide immediate relieve materials to the displaced persons. We call on the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty Internationals, the United Nations and all relevant international organizations. including local NGOs and Human Rights groups to bear pressure on the Federal Government and Kaduna State Governments to stop the genocide in Atyap land and bring the culprits to justice. Sign: Luka Binniyat
SOKAPU Spokesman”.

Similarly, Advocate Reuben Buhari also reported that: “In three months, from April 1st to June 30th, 222 were killed while 774 people were kidnapped in Kaduna state. We are talking about 222 people killed in just 3 months. In addition, 20 people were raped and 266 injured.

The earlier given first-quarter report shows that 323 were killed while 949 got kidnapped, also in 3 months. So in 6 months, 545 were killed while 1,723 people were kidnapped in my kaduna state. And these statistics are only those victims that became public. Some casualties in some remote villages do not even get reported.

So, with the spiralling insecurity in Kaduna, only God Knows those that would, unfortunately, make the statistics for the 3rd quarter. May God protect us.”

Rather than explain to Nigerians how ordinary “bandits” who have received billions in ransom money were able to shoot down an Alpha fighter jet, a misguided government is lampooning an esteemed cleric.

I extend my felicitations and commiseration to Bishop Kukah and urge him to take these attacks as a badge of honor and the price of integrity for which he will not lose his divine reward. I have been in his shoes and the government minister Aisha Alhassan who thought she was god and attacked me for testifying in the US Congress is now no more.

Happy Sallah to the good people of Nigeria and may Nigeria’s wicked misrulers repent of their errant ways.

Emmanuel Ogebe is of US NIGERIA LAW GROUP

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