Christians in North East Nigeria Accuse Government of Unfairness
By Hassan John
Christians in several villages and communities in the North East region of Nigeria have accused government and military of favouring Muslims over persecuted Christians.
The allegations were made by Christians from seven local government Councils in Adamawa State, recently in Abuja. They said the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI) focused their programmes and projects towards Muslims while Christians, both in designated IDP camps or within communities as well as in the reconstruction projects within communities, were neglected.
The Christian Association of Nigeria in the north east argued that all palliatives and interventions initiated by government through the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI), NEMA and the state government have designed their interventions and humanitarian assistance in favour of Muslims to the outright neglect of the Christian communities in the devastated north eastern states who have been the main targets of terror attacks.
They said that their communities, schools, churches and businesses had been destroyed and yet the government had not responded to their plight fairly.
Speaking on behalf the Christians, Rev Paul Alhamdu said, “The sharing of these relief materials are usually done in discrimination against us, for example, NEMA brought some relief materials on the 31st March, 2015 in Mubi North and Mubi South Local Government Areas, and our people (Christians) did not get a share from the relief materials.”
He accused the government of neglecting Christians and argued that, “The primary responsibility of government is the security and welfare of its people but our government has not compensated us, neither are we being cared for effectively.”
The Rev Alhamdu said hopes of Christians have been raised by what the palace of Emirs and traditional rulers.”
He accused community leaders of diverting assistance meant for the displaced persons. The Christian leader challenged the government to “check to see how effective (the distribution of assistance) has been.”
The Christian Association also accused the Vice president Yemi Osinbajo, who is a Christian, of complacency while Christians are killed by Fulani Islamic Cattle Herdsmen and Boko Haram and their property destroyed by Islamic religious extremists in the North.
The Rev Sabestine Handre, a Church leader in Adamawa State, challenged the information spread by the military on the defeat of Boko Haram. He said: “The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Burutai, had perhaps giving information of the success the army achieved in other places but, “that is not absolute; there has not been any complete success. He has not lied, but he has also not said the whole truth.”
The Rev Saul Danzaria, a member of the Christian executive team in the northeast, explained that the number troops in the northeast are not enough to stop the Boko Haram Islamic terror group. Rev. Danzaria added that there are many communities vulnerable to attacks by the sect.
The government has not responded to any of the allegations.