Christmas day killing of Christians: Group says Buhari displaying executive hypocrisy
The Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship has described as hypocritical the response of President Muhammadu Buhari to the killing of 11 Christians on Christmas Day by the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) in Borno State.
Buhari in a statement had condemned the execution of innocent Christian hostages by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The hostages were executed on Christmas Day in a horrendous manner by the ISWAP
But the graduate fellowship body said in a statement signed by its National President, Prof. Charles Adisa and its General Secretary Mr. Onyenachi Nwaegeruo that the president’s actions contradict his address on the Christmas Day killings of Christians.
The statement reads in part, “Our mixed feelings stem from the fact that on the one hand, the President as the father of the nation is appalled by the murderous act. On the other hand, however, we are not excited about Mr. President’s sermon on why religious intolerance as being exhibited by Boko Haram should not be allowed to divide us as a nation. The President has not before now, either in word or in deed, demonstrated that religion should not be a factor in national unity.”
The statement notes further that the president has not only benefitted from disunity orchestrated by religion but has “over the years been an advocate of religious intolerance”
The group reasoned that the lack of will power to stem the tide of religious intolerance has been a reason why “Boko Haram and its murderous activities are a threat”
It added that Boko Haram “does not constitute as much a threat to our national unity as the hypocrisy of the political class, especially those who use religion to achieve their political goals, among whom Mr. President is a major actor.
“President Buhari in his five years in the saddle has exhibited the worst ethnic and religious bigotry in running the affairs of the State. Utterances showing his support for Sharia in preference to the Nigerian Constitution while in opposition (we are not aware of any condemnation by the President about the reckless statement by the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the need for more accommodation of Sharia in the Constitution), his position that no Muslim should vote for a non-Muslim, and the statement that ‘anybody fighting Boko Haram is fighting the North’ are, in our judgment, as dangerous as the execution of those Christians by Boko Haram.”
The body noted also that “Buhari’s sectarian disposition in his appointments, his antagonism of some sections of the country, the replacement of Southerners with Northerners of Islamic disposition each time there is vacancy in government position, speak more divisiveness than Boko Haram activities.”
While stating that it does not in any way justify the activities of Boko Haram and the execution of Christians, the body said it is more worried by “the hypocrisy of the President whose actions and inactions, such as pardoning, recruiting and absorbing “confessed” Boko Haram members into the military, have emboldened the insurgents all the more. How so much better it would be if Mr. President would live and lead by example rather than pontificate on national unity.”
The group described the claim by President Buhari that Boko Haram does not spare anybody in its operations as false asking, “How would Mr. President explain the release of Muslim students of Dapchi by Boko Haram while Christian Leah Sharibu is still being held?
“Or how would he explain the release of two hostages who are Muslims while the 11 Christian hostages were executed?
“If Boko Haram members do not discriminate, could President Buhari release to the world number of Muslim victims in the last 10 years of the insurgency, as against that of Christian victims, so as to show the balance in terms of the numbers?
The graduate Christian body observes that “available statistics show that Christian communities and worship places have suffered far greater destruction at the hands of the insurgents than Muslim lives and property. The truth is that Muslim interests are affected only accidentally, or when the murderous group considers a Muslim a traitor to its own interest.’
The body also noted that the claim of President Buhari that the insurgents have been decimated is betrayed by his promise that it “will not lower its guard in the war against terrorism”. It added that “What this means is that the Buhari administration has been deceiving the nation in maintaining that Boko Haram has been downgraded and no longer constitutes a threat.
The Christian group further accused President Buhari of shedding crocodile tears stating that it is displaying executive hypocrisy.
It then placed several demands on President Buhari asking him among many other things to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu who has been held hostage since February 2018.
Other recommendations made by the body include:
- Release all those detained by DSS whom the courts have consistently asked you to release; this includes El Zakzaky and journalists who have spoken against your administration.
- Reshuffle the headship of all the security outfits as well as major government parastatals, departments and agencies to reflect balance, inclusiveness and diversity.
- Engage in urgent negotiation for the release of Leah Sharibu and several other abducted Nigerian women from their captors.
- Recommend to the NJC that the current CJN be sanctioned by removal from office for recommending constitutional change in order to accommodate Shari’a.
- Immediately disarm Fulani herdsmen-terrorists and proscribe their umbrella body for hate speech, inciting violence and admitting that they are involved in killings.
- Ensure the arrest of people known to have engaged in acts of terrorism and bring them to book.