Intersociety Concludes National Investigation On Killing Of Christians
In Nigeria; Exposes And Condemns Christian Violence Against
Traditional Religions In Southeast
(Onitsha Nigeria, 4th February 2018)-The estimated 30 million
Christians in Northern Nigeria who form the largest minority in a
predominantly Muslim environment have for decades, suffered
marginalization and discrimination as well as targeted violence
especially in the hands of organized mob violence and violent groups
such as Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen.
These killings particularly the most recent ones that took place in
the months of December 2017 and January 2018 in States of Benue,
Borno, Taraba, Adamawa  and Southern Kaduna prompted a national
investigation by our organization. In the course of our investigation,
various reports on the killing of Christians in Northern issued by
reputable local and int’l groups including those perpetrated by Boko
Haram between 2009 and 2014 were considered.
The investigation identified three bodies responsible for killing of
defenseless and unprotected Christian population in Nigeria or any
part thereof. They are (1) terror Fulani Herdsmen, (2) Boko Haram and
(3) the central Government of Nigeria through its security forces
particularly the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria
Police Force. The killings by the Nigeria Police Force are custodial
deaths arising from racial profiling and unprofessional crime
detection and criminal investigation management.
Strong pieces of evidence also indicate that Christians in Nigeria
particularly in the Southeast are highly intolerant of alternative
religions in the Zone particularly members and institutions of
traditional religions. Intersociety condemns in strongest term all
forms of Christian violence against traditional religionists and their
sacred places of worship and symbols.
Fanatical Christians including preachers are found to be visiting
unprovoked violence or attacks on traditional religionists and their
sacred places of worship. Using midnight crusades, Christian fanatics
and their radical preachers locate and storm sacred places of
traditional religionists and set ablaze or destroy their sacred places
of worship, and their religious symbols and artifacts.
Totality of these is a clear breach or violation of Section 10 of
Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution which forbids the Federal Government or
any State Government from adopting any religion as a State religion
and Section 38 of the same Constitution which affirms the fundamental
human right to freedom of religion and worship in Nigeria or any part
In coming days, the findings of our national investigation on killing
of Christians and destruction of their churches or sacred places of
worship in Nigeria particularly in Northern Nigeria shall officially
be communicated to the office of the President of the Federal Republic
of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for urgent and
holistic attention or actions.
Failure of Mr. President to act or holistically redress the national
tragedy shall be seen not only as a fundamental breach of the
Constitution but also a serious breach of the Principle of
Complementarity under the int’l law; by failing in its jurisdiction
and the primary obligation to investigate, punish, and prevent
genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes under int’l law
including ICC Statute
In the eyes of local and int’l laws, it will also amount to official
cementation, aiding and abetting of killing of Christians in Nigeria
through a national policy of Cattletocracy or State aided
Agro-Jihadist widespread violence against Christian population
particularly in Northern Nigeria.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program