The official of the peace entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) also made reference to the widely condemned killing of college girl, Deborah Yakubu Emmanuel who was stoned to death and her body burned.
“DHPI has been reporting on the ongoing Christian genocide in Southeastern Nigeria for two years now. The horrifying case of Deborah Samuels in Sokoto finally woke up the world to the reality of what is happening. But this is not an isolated incident,” Mr. Viljoen told ACI Africa.
He said Deborah’s killing “is the reality that is faced by tens of millions of Nigerians through the Southeastern parts of the country on a daily basis.”
In an attempt to describe the worrying situation in Nigeria, the DHPI Director said that with over 2 million internally displaced people in Benue State alone, there are more IDPs in the Nigerian State than there are in Mozambique, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and in Ethiopia.
The DHPI official echoes the sentiments of Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Makurdi who maintains that there is widespread genocide in Nigeria and that the authorities in the country have chosen to remain silent.
“I want to make a personal appeal to all people of goodwill out there, I wish to say, please remember that a genocide is ongoing here in Benue State, Nigeria and other parts of the country with the government in power silently watching on as it fits into the power plan and religious intolerance plans of those in power,” Bishop Wilfred says in a statement that was circulated on May 20.
He adds, “Just days ago, an innocent Christian girl by name Deborah Samuel was stoned and burnt to death by Muslim youths in Sokoto State, in the name of blasphemy against their prophet. Already there are signs that the Nigerian government may not bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice with the initial reactions and proclamations already emanating from government offices.”
In the statement in which he regrets the fact that he has not paid a single visit to a number of pastoral areas under his care owing to widespread terrorism by Islamist Fulani herdsmen in Benue State, Bishop Anagbe says that the future of Nigeria where “a silent genocide of Christians” is happening, is grim unless the international community intervenes.
“With the way Christian populations have been targeted in Nigeria especially in the last seven years suggest that sooner or later, our story will become like that of North Africa, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon etc., unless and until the world accepts that a silent genocide of Christians is taking place in Nigeria and rises to demand a stop to the killings,” Bishop Anagbe says in his statement circulated May 20.
The Catholic Bishop laments the killings in Nigeria. He says, “The blood of the innocent people shed daily by murderous Islamists in Benue and other parts of Nigeria cries out to the world for help like that of Abel’s in the bible, Gen.4:10.”