Call it the Bible of terror, and you won’t be wrong. Indeed, the book, Nigeria’s silent slaughter…Genocide in Nigeria and the implications for the international community presents a graphic detail of the horror in Nigeria.
It is a classic work; findings of research sponsored by the International Committee on Nigeria and the International Organisation for Peace and Social Justice.
The collection which runs through 310 pages tells the story of terror. It gives an on-the-spot account and also ample space for victims of terror to register their voices.
Until you read through the book, you perhaps will not appreciate the magnitude of the harm that has been done to Nigerians; and indeed, the Christian community in the volatile areas of Nigeria.
The book is divided into nine different chapters with scholarly contributions. But the introductory statements by a retired member of US congress, Frank Wolf could cut the reader to the bones.
Wolf observes, that Boko Haram has killed more civilians than ISIS killed in Iraq and Syria combined. He adds that the global terrorism index says, “Nigeria is the world’s third most dangerous country after Afghanistan and Iraq”
This is indeed scary. But that is just the tip of the volume of information trapped in the collection. Wolf goes further in the chapter to chronicle the many atrocities of Boko Haram while also noting that the essence of the work is to be a voice for those who are losing hope. He stressed that the “data, research, testimonies, statistics contained in the tome speak loudly to the condition of genocide.”
For instance, the research notes that the terror unleashed by Boko Haram and Fulani extremists has resulted in the displacement of about 3 million people. Many are also said to be moving to neighbouring countries.
The second chapter of the collection presents a coterie of expectations. Here the researchers make critical demands from the Nigerian government, the international community, and the international bodies like the AU, UN, and EU. They ask the Nigerian government to suspend the idea of giving visa-free entry to aliens coming to Nigeria.
They also make other demands to expose the lacklustre attitude of the Nigerian government to terror. They ask for justice for victims, a review of the constitution, and for the government to show interest in seeking help from the international community.
The chapter with the title; Legal brief: Genocide in Nigeria gives an overview of the genesis of the crisis in the land. The chapter notes for instance that the Fulani tribe that is allegedly a thorn in Nigeria is not originally part of the tribes in Nigeria. Their arrival in Nigeria is said to be the consequence of the Uthman Dan Fodio jihad of the 19th century.
The transition of Boko Haram from being a peaceful dissident and anti-corruption group to a radicalised group is captured in the chapter. Reasons for the multi-facet attacks on Nigerians are also documented in the chapter.
The reasons bother on government neglect, climate change, the proliferation of small arms, and the overbearing attitude of the political class.
But one of the pathetic reasons as explained in the book is the complicity of the armed forces. The researchers are able to establish that the Nigerian Army can’t stay clean on the issue of terror.
This chapter also gives an overview of the operations of the terror groups in Nigeria. Beyond that, it gives practical tips on what can be done to forestall their activities.
One critical aspect of the collection is titled, Genocide is loading. An article from Genocide Watch appears. The article presents a philosophical discourse on the ten stages of Genocide. The chapter also tries to explore the dialects of the Nigerian government as being unable or unwilling to fight terror.
It notes, “There has been no known arrests or judicial proceedings of Fulani militants or attempts to collect the relevant evidence”
Terror: ICC must hold govt accountable
The chapter concludes that the International Criminal Court must hold accountable Nigerian government officials who refuse to provide protection for their communities.
Under the chapter, Maps, and Charts: 20 years of Slaughter, the researchers are able to establish that a genocide indeed exists in Nigeria drawing from the increase in the activities of the terror groups.
The outcome of a 20-year study of the activities of the terror groups and how they have increasingly perpetuated violence in Nigeria is published in this chapter.
Perhaps the high point of the collection is the section devoted to the testimonies of victims. Here, we are presented with live pictures and accounts of several Nigerians mostly Christians who have fallen under the sword of the militant groups.
The compendium did a great work detailing the names of these victims and providing relevant information beyond reasonable doubts. This section will draw tears from the eyes of the reader.
The section is closely followed by the report of incidents in Taraba State. The report gives a sequential account of the herders-farmers crisis in the state. It succeeds in recording 79 known cases in that state alone within a short period under review.
The irony of this report is that it was produced by the office of the secretary to the government of the state in June 2019. This is to underscore its veracity.
The Benue State incident reports also provide another classic case of the monumental harm being done by the Fulani militia. This is followed by a chapter devoted to the various interventions of the international communities.
Also read: How Nigeria can win the war against terror by Ladi Thompson: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/terrorism-nigeria-ladi-thompson/
Letters written to the Nigerian government are published under this chapter. Some other articles also appear in this chapter. One of such by Jeremy Hunt chronicles the decimation of the Christian population around the globe.
Hunt notes that the world may not be able to wipe away anti-Christian bigotry but the evil must continuously be addressed.
The collection concludes with appendix data that captures a long list of names of people and institutions especially churches that have been decimated due to activities of the terrorists’ groups in Nigeria.
In all, “Nigeria’s silent slaughter…” is a one-stop publication that gives a grueling account of the pathetic state of Nigeria and its helplessness in the face of terror. It paints the horror picture of Christians who have suffered from these imperial forces.
The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd Ben Kwashi notes in a forward to the book that “it is a timely report as it presents well-documented reports, data and conclusion that the world needs to be aware of”
The CEO of House of Lords-UK Parliament, Baroness Caroline Cox also posits, “I applaud this report as it provides the details of the atrocities and abuses in Nigeria. It is an opportune report as it presents testimonies, data, conclusions that the world needs to recognise.”
Review by Gbenga Osinaike