Dear Garba Shehu,
This actually is not a friendly letter. It would have been, had it been you did your job professionally, without insulting the memories of hundreds of thousands of Christians that have been gruesomely murdered in Nigeria, including Pastors, Reverend Fathers, Seminarians and their faithfuls. A religious genocide to which we all are witnesses to.
Your press release titled "IPOB, SELF-PROCLAIMED JEWS, USING CHRISTIANITY TO WAGE WAR AGAINST THE NIGERIAN STATE" is a grievous insult to all Christians in Nigeria. Your attempt to mislead the international community over the plight of Christians in Nigeria, will be confronted and countered by any human of good conscience.
Garba Shehu, as the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), you accused IPOB of spearheading a misleading campaign using false allegations of persecution of Christians against the Nigeria state. You said that Indigenous People Of Biafra in collaboration with relevant NGOs are using "the cover of Christianity – and calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria. But the real purpose is to drive a wedge between the Nigeria government and its US and UK/European allies."
I have read your press release from the so called "PRESIDENCY" times without number, and I have been asking myself how the federal government can possibly deny that Christians are being slaughtered in Nigeria. How can even a government official rise up to utter such rubbish? This to my utmost understanding proves that this is actually the time for Christians to brace up and see that the Nigeria government truly wants to wipe them all off the surface of the earth. With this denial by the Nigeria government, it has proven the fact that the killings of Christians in Nigeria are aided and abetted by the government, if not, why is it that a government which ought to defend the people is now the one denying of their massacre. How heartless could that be?
Yes, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a Jewish adherent as he has always shown through his dressing and worship; but did that in anyway stop him from speaking against the massacre of Christians in Nigeria? Could that be the reason your so called presidency have put a blind eye as Christians are wiped out in Nigeria? The presidency, the security agencies in Nigeria are of course headed by Muslims, and they shouldn't be seen speaking for or protecting Christians?
Is it not wonderful that IPOB Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whom you all hated and called names is now speaking for the Northern Christians? Nnamdi Kanu is simply helping to save Christians from government sponsored Jihad and ethnic cleansing. He has shown that even if Biafra is granted freedom, they will still support and preserve religious freedom across Africa.
The killing of Christians in Nigeria is no longer a new thing. It has been ongoing since more than 50 years ago, and took a radical approach since the coming of this government which you belong to.
Here are some examples of massacre of Christians in Nigeria.
Eunice Olawale was a deaconess of the Divine Touch Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG), and a mother of seven. She was murdered while performing evangelism by some Muslim extremists in the early hours of July 9, 2016 at Kubuwa, in the Federal capital city of Abuja.
On Tuesday April 24, 2018, two Catholic Priests, Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha were gruesomely killed during a church service along with 17 other worshippers, as suspected Islamic extremists invaded St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ukpor-Mbalom in Ayar-Mbalom community of Gwer East LGA of Benue state.
On Thursday August 1, 2019, Ibrahim Adamu (25 years) from Taraba state and Idris Tobe (28 years) shot and killed Rev Fr Paul Offu along Ihe-Agbudu road in Awgu local government area of the state.
Then again, on 1st June 2020, Pastor Emmanuel Bileya and his wife Juliana were killed by unknown gun men. The gun men met the pastor and his wife tending to their farm and they opened fire on them killing both instantly.
Fulani herdsmen attacked Agatu in February 2016, killing more than 300 people. They also struck again on March 4, 2018 in Omusu village, Ojigo ward in Edumoga, Okpokwu local government area of Benue state
About 20 persons in Ukpabi Nimbo, an agrarian community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, were murdered during an attack by Fulani herdsmen on April 26, 2016.
These and many more are numerous attacks by Islamic extremists against the Christians. The only offense they committed is their faith as Christians.
As am writing this, Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen are moving around unchallenged, killing and wiping off Christian villages in Nigeria, especially Northern Nigeria of Benue, Taraba, Jos and Southern Kaduna. These same terrorists have been continuously pampered by the Nigeria government whom you serve. Boko Haram members that have been killing and massacring Christians are rehabilitated, paid and recruited into the Nigeria military by Nigeria government, while those displaced by that same terrorist groups are not taken care of. Nigeria airforce have even bombed and killed children in IDP camp and in a Christian village in the North, claiming it was a mistake. How do you deny these atrocities?
How many Fulani herdsmen who have declared war on Nigerians and Biafrans for the past five years have been arrested and prosecuted by the Nigeria government? None of course! For five years, they have been killing, occupying their victims' villages and renaming them. How many of these terrorists have been confronted? Rather, your government rushed to declare IPOB that have never harmed a fly a terrorist group, leaving Fulani herdsmen terrorists to be killing Christians. Didn't the presidency declare Miyetti Allah a legal stakeholder in Nigeria and called for Nigerians to respect them? Didn't you people ask the victims of Fulani herdsmen attacks to accommodate their killers? How come Nigeria Government refused to talk about and trace the source of income of Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, Bandits and kidnappers terrorising Christians across Nigeria? Why spending these huge resources on IPOB who are only demanding for referendum?
Mr Garba Shehu, this your denial is yet again another big blunder which has incontrovertibly indicted the government of Nigeria in the gruesome killings of Christians across country. The press release you doctored on behalf of the Nigeria government serves nothing but the interest of the truth which IPOB stands for. I still wonder what you are still doing there as a Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity). If this government is competent, which I doubt they are, they should be considering relieving you of your duty. Your press release is a complete blunder, of which if truly there is a president, he must have signed your sack letter by now. That is because, no government will ever take such reckless blunder from someone paid to protect its interest.
Every Christian in Nigeria have now seen who their true friend is. Nnamdi Kanu they called a miscreant is the only voice speaking against the slaughtering of Christians in Nigeria. Nigerians can now see that IPOB was unjustly proscribed. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu without firing a shot, has dealt a massive blow on Nigeria. He threatened that he will destroy Nigeria with the truth, and he is perfectly executing that mission.
Your unguided Press Release has exposed the truth to Nigerians who thought IPOB have been making noise all these while. The international community can't be fooled again. You people have killed us and still use the resources in our regions to bribe diplomats not to speak the truth. That era is gone.
Thank you for opening the eyes of Nigerians. Thank you IPOB for speaking for the people. We now know better.
Elochukwu Nicholas Ohagi
(Philosopher, Teacher and Activist).
7th June 2020
The Presidency wishes to draw the attention of all citizens and the international community to a most misleading campaign spearheaded by the so-called Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) using false allegations of persecution of Christians against the Nigerian State.
A very deep and wide investigation by an agency of the Nigerian government, working with international partners have made us become aware that there are two, interconnected campaigns being run concurrently by the IPOB in this regard.
Both are using the cover of Christianity – and calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria. But the real purpose is to drive a wedge between the Nigeria government and its US and UK/European allies.
IPOB leadership of course self-proclaims as “Jewish,” a position not shared by the generality of the members.
For reasons of convenience, he claims to have an interest in the welfare of Christians – but this is a ruse: the case for independence, the leader believes, is strengthened by “proving” the government of Nigeria is “autocratic”, engaged in a “silent slaughter” of their own citizens along religion and ethnic lines – and that therefore the only viable option for the unique religious and ethnic minority is a sovereign Biafra separate from Nigeria.
Nigerians and the international community are advised to be wary of this divisive campaign, which available evidence shows is being funded with a monthly spending of $85,000 USD since October 2019, with no records of the source of this largesse.
The campaign consists of producing articles in the names of the alleged Christian NGOs’ leaders (of campaign groups created at the time this PR contract with a US lobbying firm was signed) and letters to and from members of Congress to the White House.
Unfortunately, some Members of Congress have clearly been persuaded there is indeed a “Christian persecution” underway in Nigeria – and do so quoting the campaign – and they are known to be taking up the case directly with the White House to appoint the special envoy.
The American charity secured a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and has made presentations to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
There is also a UK and European angle of the Campaign, which is more opaque than its US sister campaign – given there is less legal requirement for public filings – but what is known of this at the moment is that their Budget is sufficient to hire four PR firms in the UK, Belgium, France and the US (the latter additional to the above).
They have founded an “NGO/Charity” and a linked web-based campaign named “Stop the Silent Slaughter” which is well designed and complete with video “evidence”-completely concocted.
Members of the alleged Christian NGO have had multiple Op-Ed articles in conservative news websites promulgating their message of a “Christian Genocide”. Some of those articles have also been used as “evidence” in the sister US campaign.
Two of those conservative news websites were co-founded by the owner of the UK PR firm they have hired to generate their publicity as well as an OP-Ed article in the name of a British MP who may have been convinced by their campaign under false pretences.
They have secured additional coverage in France, EU and Germany.
They secured a MPs debate on the “Christian Genocide” in the House of Commons in which staff member of the UK PR was referenced as the “private secretary” to the leader of the UK-based Charity.
It is clear from all of the above that the IPOB’s extraordinarily and dubiously well-funded campaign in the US and UK/Europe is misusing the issue of the welfare of Christians purely to further their own political ends, and it seeks to damage inter-religious dialogue in Nigeria as well as to damage the international reputation of Nigeria.
Nigerians and the international community are hereby advised to ignore this campaign as they have disregarded similar past campaigns originated by this group which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian State.
International groups and societies are welcome to send representatives to Nigeria and give a lie to the false claims made by these terrorist groups who are duping them of their money and involving them in conduct and activities disguised to destroy the harmonious relationships existing between their home countries and Nigeria.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 7, 2020"