Bishops Urge Nigerian President to Resign for Failing to Protect Christians from Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria's visit to the White House follows a scandal that erupted in January 2018 when Trump allegedly branded African nations "shithole countries"
AFP/SIMON MAINA

Catholic Bishops this week called on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to resign for failing to protect Christians from the deadly Muslim terrorist menace at the hands of the Fulani herdsmen gripping the African country.

The comments from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria came days after the April 24 attack by suspected militant Fulani herdsmen that killed the 19 Christians, including two priests, during morning mass at the Catholic Church in the Ukpor-Mbalom community of the Gwer East Local Government Area in Nigeria’s Benue State.

Amid the ongoing carnage at the hands of the herdsmen, Christians have accused President Buhari, who shares ethnicity with the semi-nomadic Fulani group, of leniency towards the terrorists, Africa News reports.

In the wake of the April 24 massacre, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other followers of Christ condemned the heinous attack.

The attack came a day after David Curry, the CEO of Open Doors USA, a group that monitors Christian persecution across the world, highlighted the “rising threat” against Christians posed by the terrorist Fulani herdsmen in comments to Breitbart News.

“Despite this rising threat [by militant Fulani herdsmen] … This is the conflict in Nigeria that no one is talking about,” he said, echoing the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The Catholic Bishops Conference accused Buhari of failing to keep Nigerians safe by ignoring clashes between the settled Christian farmers and the herdsmen that “have left hundreds dead,” Africa News points out.

In a statement shared with various African news outlets, the Bishops describe the Fulani as a “wicked and inhuman gang of the rampaging and murderous terrorists, who have turned the vast lands of the Middle belt and other parts of Nigeria into a massive graveyard.”

The Bishops declared:

Since the President who appointed the Heads of the nation’s Security Agencies has refused to call them to order, even in the face of the chaos and barbarity into which our country has been plunged, we are left with no choice but to conclude that they are acting a script that he approves of…He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our country has become.

The bishops went on to note that the Muslim Fulani terrorists threaten “the foundation of our collective existence.”

They further urged Buhari to step down, noting:

It is clear to the nation that he has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of the Nigerian citizens. Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the part of honor and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.

The Global Terrorism Index (GTI), repeatedly cited by the U.S. State Department, revealed last year that Fulani militant herdsmen carried out more attacks and were responsible for more fatalities in Nigeria in 2016 than the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)-linked Boko Haram.

In 2016, the index noted that Fulani terrorists had killed 60,000 people since 2001.

Open Doors USA points out, “In the last year alone, Fulani militants have razed more than 50 villages and over the last four months have killed now 516 Christians.”

Consistent with reports from Open Doors, the Catholic Bishops noted that the attacks by Muslim terrorist Fulani herdsmen against Christians have intensified in recent months, declaring in the statement:

Since then, the bloodletting and the destruction of homes as well as farmlands have increased in intensity and brutality. Now our Churches have been desecrated and our people murdered on their altars. … We collectively feel abandoned and betrayed.

Consistent with the position of other Christian groups, Rev. Ayokunle Olasupo, the CAN president, urged members of the religious minority in the African country to rise and defend themselves against the herdsmen.

Citing the Amnesty International human rights group, Curry acknowledged that some Christians had killed members of the Muslim Fulani herdsmen group.

.