Christian group petitions Trump over alleged ethno-religious cleansing in Kaduna

Christian group petitions Trump over alleged ethno-religious cleansing in Kaduna

- A northern Christian group, VNCMN, writes US president, Trump, over the violence rocking Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria

- The Christian body, accusing FG and Governor El-Rufai, claimed the killings are ethno-religious cleansing

- The group, therefore, petitioned President Trump to intervene and proffer a lasting solution to the crisis

Christians in the north, under the umbrella of Voice of Northern Christian Movement in Nigeria (VNCMN) have petitioned the United States president, Donald Trump, over alleged ethno-religious cleansing in southern Kaduna and other parts of the country.

The Christian group alleged that since the emergence of Governor Nasir El-Rufai as the Kaduna governor, violence has engulfed the erstwhile peaceful Kajuru chiefdom in Adaraland, The Guardian reports.

In an official protest letter to Trump through the United States Embassy in Nigeria, the executive director of VNCMN, Reverend Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa, said that under President Muhammadu Buhari, peace has continued to elude the Adaraland and other parts of the country.

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The group said: “Through divisive and poisonous utterances and policies, the people in Adara chiefdom have never been more divided along religious lines.

“In Kaduna state, he (El-Rufai) unilaterally proposed to create a purely Islamic emirate for the handful of Muslims in Kajuru town over large swathes of ancestral Adaraland. This, coupled with vindictive arrests and detention of any outspoken Adara citizen, has shattered any existing cordial relationship among the people in the area.

“In the light of the foregoing, the Chief of Adara, Dr. Maiwada Raphael Galadima, was invited for a meeting with El-Rufai and while returning from the meeting with the governor, he was ambushed and abducted together with his police guard, wife and daughter. The wife and daughter were eventually released but the police guard and the chief were murdered. Since then, the Adara chiefdom and the entire Kajuru local government area have been faced with constant threats, attacks, killings and mayhem.”

The group further alleged that Governor El-Rufai, in public, told the entire world that he had given millions of naira to terrorists to stop attacking the people of southern Kaduna.

“When he saw that the Fulani terrorists could not complete the work of cleansing the ethno-religious Southern Kaduna, Governor El-Rufai took over from them, using the power of government on the people to take over Southern Kaduna communities for Islam and Fulani ethnic groups, abusing the power of his office,” the group said.

The VNCMN wondered why the unpleasant situation is being foisted only on Southern Kaduna which is predominately inhabited by Christians.

It claimed that"the focus of Governor El-Rufai and the federal government is pointing to the Islamic agenda, with a view to taking over all Christian settlements, villages, towns, districts, local governments and the entire state to the detriment of the Christians.”

The group then called on President Trump and the international community to intervene and proffer a lasting solution to the alleged act of lawlessness and intimidation of the Christian community in Nigeria.

Reacting to the Christian group's letter, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) through its director and founder, Prof. Ishaq Akintola said: “We are not surprised at this kind of development. Let them go ahead if Trump owns Nigeria, let them go ahead and report to the rest of Christians in the world. They are simply making things worse. Trump cannot dictate to Nigeria. I think they have shown that they lack patriotism, it is myopic of them and highly parochial.’’

A senior government official in Kaduna state who spoke to The Guardian in anonymity also debunked the allegations, describing them as products of politics.

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Meanwhile, in a move toward fostering peaceful coexistence, Alhaji Muhammad Isa Muhammad II, the Emir of Jemaá in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna state hosted Muslims and Christians to a fast-breaking meal.

The emir said during the event at his palace in Kafanchan, that the get-together was intended to further strengthen the existing peaceful coexistence among the peoples in the emirate.

He urged all those in attendance to propagate the message of peace and love toward one another.

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