FORMER defence minister Lt General Theophilus Danjuma has told the UK Parliament that President Muhammadu Buhari is pursuing an Islamist jihad in Nigeria and is thus not serious about tackling Muslim extremist groups like Boko Haram.
Over recent years, Nigeria has been plagued by the murderous activities of extremist groups with Boko Haram fighting in the northeast, Fulani cattle herdsmen on the rampage across the Middle Belt and armed bandits unleashing terror in Zamfara State in the northwest. President Buhari has come under fierce criticism for failing to address these security issues, with critics saying he is sympathetic to their causes.
Being an ethnic Fulani, a cattle owner and a Muslim himself, President Buhari has come under attack for not being able to bring himself to deal with these armed terrorists. Christian groups in particular have accused him of turning a blind eye to the attacks they suffer, that sometimes involves the burning down of churches, ransacking villages and the massacre of hundreds of worshippers.
Yesterday, several prominent Christians, including Lt General Danjuma, the former military governor of Rivers State, General Zamani Lekwot and Chief Solomon Asemota, told UK MPs that President Buhari was not serious about tackling insecurity. All members of the Nigerian Christian Elders Forum, (NCEF), these Christian elders blamed Lord Lugard for sowing the seed of ethno-religious crises and dichotomy between northern and southern Nigeria.
In a paper dated June 3 and sent to the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, of the UK Parliament, they called for a deepening of democracy and the rejection of sharia. Titled Competing Ideologies of Democracy and Sharia in Nigeria: The Nuance Understating of the Drivers of the Conflict in Nigeria by Farmers and Herders, the paper was in response to a request for written submissions to the UK inquiry into ongoing violence between farmers and herders in Nigeria.
They cited the prevailing waves of insecurity and quoted President Buhari’s pre-2015 comments supporting the sharia movement. They added that President Buhari said he would die for the course of Islam, had made it clear he could not be blackmailed into killing the sharia idea and had called on Muslims to only vote for those who will promote Islam.
Their paper added: “The action taken so far by the government suggests collusion or cover up by refusing to call jihad by its proper name. When a crime is committed and acts of subjugation and/or humiliation is added such as rape or religious signs or cries, this is jihad.
“Because the violence is motivated by ideological reasons, action taken by all interested parties must be directed towards the prevention of violence. Bullets do not kill ideology, it is a better ideology over time that can eliminate Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen and this is Democracy,” they said.
According to the Christian elders, Lord Lugard was in love with Muslim north especially the Sultanate of Sokoto. They added that he was a disgruntled suitor who seemed to have lost his faith in Christianity before he got married to Miss Flora Shaw.