By Sam Eyoboka
National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, has dismissed the Federal Government’s rebuttal of the petition it forwarded to the British Parliament over the insecurity in the country, saying it was lying. The NCEF had written the British Parliament, apprising it of the high level insecurity in the country but the government, through the High Commissioner in London, Justice George Adesola Oguntade (retd), wrote the Parliament, saying issues raised by the Christian elders were untrue.
The group, which has Elder Solomon Asemota, SAN, as chairman, also has as members Gen. Joshua Dongoyaro (retd); Gen. T.Y. Danjuma (retd); Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; Dame Priscilla Kuye; Elder Shyngle Wigwe; and Gen. Zamani Lekwot (retd), among others. But advising the British Parliament to discountenance the government’s submission, the group in another letter to the parliament, signed by Chief Solomon Asemota and other members, said the Federal Government was lying about the security situation in the country. It stated: “While we concede that the government of Nigeria is at liberty to contact the British Parliament, we are concerned that any information relayed to the UK Parliament should be based on facts and not deliberate dissimulation. It is on the basis of this concern that we issue a follow-up to our submission of June 3, 2019. ‘’While trying to deny culpability in the wanton murder of Christians in Nigeria, the Buhari administration could not hide its hostility and sectional discrimination against other ethnic nationalities that are not from his northern part of the country. ‘’In October 2017, the President of the World Bank, Mr. Jim Yong, revealed that President Buhari informed the World Bank to concentrate projects in the North of Nigeria. ‘’It is permissible in Islam for a Muslim to lie, especially to non-Muslims, to safeguard the Muslim or to protect Islam. This is called ‘Taqiyya’. This culture seems to have extended to Christians in an Islamic dominated Federal Government of Nigeria. ‘’It is rather unfortunate that due to political patronage, for culture change, Christians in the Buhari administration are also practising dissimulation. The Vice President of Nigeria, a pastor, regularly dissimulates on the issue concerning the persecution of Christians as well as the genocide going on in Nigeria. ‘’The Vice President of Nigeria was in the United States where he made statements that many people considered inaccurate and gross denial of reality. ‘’According to news report, ‘A former Acting Asst. U.S. Secretary of Defence, Mr. Frank Gaffney accused Nigeria’s Vice President of shamelessly lying about the killings of Christians in Nigeria. … ‘Mr. Pence’s visitor is a man who should be on their side. ‘’After all, he’s one of the very few Christians in a Nigerian government otherwise dominated by Islamist Fulani tribesmen. Unfortunately, he is instead part of the problem’”. The report continued: “He lies, including this weekend in New York, about the anti-Christian persecution his government is at least tolerating and, at worst, enabling. The VP’s own tribe has sharply repudiated him for doing so. “The socio-cultural group of the tribe of the Vice President called ‘Afenifere’ said ‘All the reports provided clear indications of failure of the state as the security forces are largely incapable or unwilling to safeguard the lives of our people against these criminals as we are not aware of any of them that has been arrested or is under trial at the moment just as all the Federal Government has done so far is to make excuses for the Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah groups (Fulani Herdsmen) that have been accused of so many crimes against the people of Nigeria. “It is against this backdrop that the meeting was scandalised by the opportunistic and provocative utterances of the Vice President in New York dismissing the danger we face in Yorubaland as well as by other zones in Nigeria as being “politically motivated. “As if he is unaware that we are in a digital world, which explains why America and Britain have issued travel directives to their citizens not to travel to more than 2/3 of Nigeria, the VP without much thought for his integrity stated that ‘with respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in parts of the country, again, this is not entirely new. In fact, some of the kidnapping stories you read or listen to are simply not true anywhere, some are fuelled by politics.” ‘’The Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK in his reply on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria was downright evasive.
The NCEF cannot understand why the High Commissioner who is of age bracket with NCEF members with an average age of 70 years, most of whom are known to him, if not all the members of the National Christian Elders Forum. ‘’They are made up of champions in the Military, Police, the Judiciary, Business industry, Bureaucracy, and others who were in the colonial service before independence. To suggest that NCEF represent Elders of only the North and not the whole of Nigeria even though our petition was written on NCEF letterhead is “Taqiyya” – deceit. ‘’We stated the Church groups which each member belongs, including one of our members who served with the High Commissioner as Supreme Court Justice throughout the period the High Commissioner was a Justice of that court. ‘’The undersigned Solomon Asemota, SAN who also signed the earlier petition to the APPG on IFoRB appeared before the High Commissioner when he was Justice of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. His Excellency knows that Solomon Asemota, SAN, is not a Northerner and the Asemotas are Edos from the South South region of Nigeria. ‘’NCEF does not know where the High Commissioner got his Northern Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) in answer to such an important issue confronting Nigeria – conflict of ideology that has consumed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people. ‘’The NCEF can only attribute the conduct of His Excellency to culture influence. The High Commissioner and most other members of the NCEF were part of manpower development established by the British for Nigeria’s independence that formed the nucleus of the three arms of government – Legislative, Executive (including the Armed Forces, Police and Civil Service) and Judiciary at independence in 1960.
‘’President Buhari was not in this category in that he joined the Army in 1962 after independence. The High Commissioner was a student at Independence in 1960. ‘’As a group, NCEF was able to appreciate fully where Nigeria got it wrong. The High Commissioner in his letter tried to downplay the status, importance and influence of the members of the group by reducing them to representing a section of the country by changing the word National to Northern. ‘’By this act, we are clear in our minds that the High Commissioner did not appreciate he too is part of the group of Nigerians, who the Islamists, who regard western education as a sacrilege (Boko-Haram), refer to as “useful idiots”. ‘’We do not expect that culture influence would change a learned friend and brother from common law culture to Sharia law culture that made His Excellency to reduce an ideological problem to a lesser one of riot between Muslims and Christians. ‘’His Excellency the “High Commissioner” was reported to have said “the Northern Christian Elders Forum had made allegations against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari whom this group said was practising bigotry”. ‘’President Buhari’s administration is far more than bigotry that in a country with equal number of Christians and Muslims in population that constitute over 80% of Nigeria’s total population, that Muslims should occupy the following key and strategic offices, including Ministers of Interior, Finance, Defence, Justice, National Security Adviser, Chief of Army, and Air-Force Staff, Inspector General of Police, Director General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Director General, Department of State Security, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission, Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, President Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge High Court of Federal Capital Territory. ‘’If this is not bigotry, then it must be “Stealth Jihad” by President Buhari, the same stealth jihad which seemed to have caught up with His Excellency, the High Commissioner of Nigeria to the UK who we knew was once an erudite scholar and judge. He seemed to have succumbed to the influence of the culture of Sharia now being imposed on Nigeria. ‘’How NCEF wished that the High Commissioner had used his intellect, training and knowledge to bear, on the conflicting ideologies of democracy and Sharia in Nigeria and how it is affecting the country, men and women and what may happen to future generation of Nigerians. ‘’Educated Christians must change the perception of “useful idiots” to “useful neighbours”. We must all – Christians, Muslims and Animists, ensure that our education reflects in our day to day life. In the case of a lawyer, we must be learned at all times. ‘’In conclusion, it is very clear that the above facts constitute Jihad on a section of the Nigerian populis – non-Islamists, which include Christians, non Islamist Muslims and Animists. There are two types of Jihad: A Conventional Jihad which meant the constant state of war since 1914 that must exist between the Dar-el-Islam and Dar-el-Harb since the 8thand 9th century. “Fight in the name of Allah and in the “path of Allah”, “combat those who disbelieve in Allah”. Conventional Jihad fits Boko-haram and Fulani herdsmen based on available evidence contained in this presentation.’’ ‘’The NCEF is convinced that the Islamists like those that strive to establish a modern caliphate in Iraq and Syria will fail but all that the Christian Elders are trying to do is to stop the ongoing Jihad in Nigeria so that it will not leave a quake of destruction as it did in Iraq and Syria after the Islamists murderous adventure in the name of culture. ‘’Democracy is the answer not Sharia. The Jihad has extended to ensuring that Sharia trained Lawyers i.e. Lawyers with LL.B Sharia are appointed into sensitive positions in the Legal Profession. The former Attorney General majored in Sharia. ‘’The Head of the Nigerian Law School, was one time Professor of Islamic Studies. The present Acting CJN was one time Judge of the Sharia Court of Appeal whose ambition then was to be Grand Khadi of Nigeria.