A non-governmental organization, the Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, has expressed worry that the United States is stoking ethnic and religious tensions in Nigeria by supporting northern leaders. Their statement follows the visit by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, who met with the Sultan of Sokoto and a number of northern political leaders.
The group stated that “our worry is how the US is trying to address Nigeria's problems through some few ethno-religious leaders only from the North without due regard to the secularity and or plurality of ethnic groups/religions in the country.”
The group also characterized Mr. Kerry’s visit as “a sympathy visit to the dreaded Boko Haram sect.”
They also cautioned US President Barack Obama to not cause deeper ethno-religious divisions in Nigeria.
The group’s full statement can be read below:
Press Statement 27th 2016
JOHN KERRY'S UNHOLY ROMANCE WITH THE NORTH IS A THREAT TO NIGERIA'S UNITY The recent visit by the United States Secretary of States, Mr John Kerry to selected ethno-religious leaders in the Country in the name of state visit to Nigeria is a threat to Nigeria's survival in the midst of her challenges. Kerry's visit would have addressed myriads of the Country's problems if he had made it purely a state visit with a view to assisting Nigeria to tackle the Country's teething problems but that is not the purpose for his visit. We felt the US has an agenda to undo Nigeria's existence, especially gleaned from its Secretary's visit to the Northern Nigeria. To us, that is a sympathy visit to the dreaded Boko Haram sect, apparently to emboldened their cause of continuing perpetuating the Jihad against Nigerians.
We might not have issue with John Kerry's visits to the Sultan of Sokoto and the 19 Northern governors had he has made it in that purpose. Our worry is how the US is trying to address Nigeria's problems through some few ethno-religious leaders only from the North without due regard to the secularity and or plurality of ethnic groups/religions in the Country. When Nigeria become a mono-religious state? It concerned the US Secretary of States to warn the Federal Government of Nigeria from using excess force against the Boko Haram sect but feign ignorant to the more troublesome issues that have been a threat to our corporate existence as a Country. The menace of fulani herdsmen's genocidal attacks on the inhabitants of the Middle Belt and the Southern Nigeria as well as the unchecked religious killings of Christian faithfuls by the Moslem radicals did not concerned Kerry? The Biafra agitation in the South East and the Niger Delta Youth militancy over resource control in the South South we are sure did not formed part of his visit. The problem of kidnappings in the whole of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt which is majorly perpetuated by the Fulani Herdsmen we believed was not discussed because the US did not care about what is happening to the Christian community in Nigeria. Is John Kerry trying to tell us that the US is not aware of these nagging issues in Nigeria? If she is aware of the nation's woes then why the selective visit to a section of the Country in the name of state to Nigeria?
President Obama should not cause ethno-religious division in the Country as Nigeria is already on the brink of being polarized along ethnic/religious lines. If the US care about Nigeria's survival then she should prevail on the present Government to present itself as a national government other than government of a particular section. We have said it time without number that President Buhari's actions are sharp dividing the Country along ethnic/religious lines. Until he sees himself as a President of Nigeria, the Country's unity in diversity will be in shamble. We implore the US, the UN, the EU and the AU to intervene in the silent genocide going on in Nigeria. The people of Southern Nigeria, the Christian community and the Middle Belt are under siege by the invading Fulani herdsmen and the Islamic sects who are above the law under this present Government. The Southern Nigerians and the Christian community in the Country as well as the people of Middle Belt who are now strangers in their lands deserved to live in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. The International bodies should act fast to prevent a repeat of the Rwanda genocide in Nigeria.