500 long days …

On August 25, a candle-lit vigil was held in Abuja by many relatives of 219 still-missing schoolgirls,marking 500 days since their abduction by Boko Haram fighters in the town of Chibok in Borno state.

It has been reported by international rights group Amnesty International, that at least 2,000 women and girls have been captured by the group since the beginning of 2014.

Our Political Predicament

In our most recent publication, the issue of election was paramount and took the headlines of all world media. Religious sentiment in Nigeria cannot be devoid of the political arena.
The Christian community at various levels and times pretended to be too holy to be involved.

It is very clear that political power encourages spiritual freedom. We can see that in the contention between the Roman authorities and the early believers. The elections are since come and gone. A Christian leader who could not keep his religious ethics in his political career lost to a Muslim. Right from the day Muhammadu Buhari’s government was inaugurated, (29 May, 2015), we can see clearly the number of appointments made so far. Over 90% are Muslims and close allied are all Muslims.

Sad in this game was the support given to the Muslim with a trust that he will end insurgency. Today, we are still under insurgency. Unfortunately, we read from the media how the leader of ISIS has secured a Nigerian visa to come and hide in Nigeria. This seems to be speaking about the connection between Nigeria’s terror group and ISIS.

Mistakes upon mistakes in the name of spirituality are common among Christians. When we finally lost political power, we are fast drawing to the end of our religious freedom as Nigerians. As we pray we must watch.

An Election nears while the killings continue

There has been widespread criticism of the decision to delay the election date in Nigeria.  Originally set for 14 February, the election is now to be held on 28 March, following a request from the military for more time to deal with the Boko Haram activities in the north-east.

On 3 January, Boko Haram overran the fishing village of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad.  Then they simultaneously raided Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, and the city of Monguno on 25 January.  Fortunately, the Nigerian military successfully defended Maiduguri but Monguno, with 100,000 civilians and a large military base, was overwhelmed.  As Boko Haram relentlessly continues it’s attacks across the north-east, it is now estimated they control an area about the size of Belgium.

In a recently released video, Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, vowed to disrupt Nigeria’s elections at any cost.  Dr. Bitrus Pogu, a prominent leader in Chibok, has said that Boko Haram’s offensive is meant, in part, to deny President Goodluck Jonathan, a christian, a second term after the 2015 elections.

One of the major difficulties to holding a free and fair election is that the electoral law states that voters must vote where they are registered.  Apart from those who have been killed by Boko Haram, around one million Nigerian’s have been displaced from their towns and cities. Nevertheless, Nigeria’s electoral commission says it will distribute voter cards to all 68.8 million voters before the election.

In a surprising development, Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has resigned from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).  He was a founding member of the PDP and led the party to two victories following military rule which ended in 1999.  His action may persuade undecided voters to support the opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC), formed in 2013 and regarded as a Muslim alliance with much support from the north.  It is led by retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari, a muslim military ruler deposed in a coup in 1985.

Wole Soyinka, Nigeria’s Nobel Prize winning author is critical of both contenders in the Presidential election.  To him, both President Goodluck Jonathan and opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari are “problematic candidates.”  He said, “We cannot continue this cycle of evil and irresponsibility.”

Increasing uncertainty and instability will continue since there has been a legal challenge to Buhari’s eligibility to contest the election.  The case is to be heard in the Federal High Court in Abuja on 23 February.  Mr. Obasanjo has warned that there may even be a coup.  Instability reigns..

Not good news

The recent massacre of 141 people, mostly school children, in the Pakistani city of Pashawar has been described as a watershed moment in Pakistan’s battle against the Taliban.

Nigeria’s watershed moment happened eight months ago when armed Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 276 girls from their school.  Since then, the march of Boko Haram into northern Nigeria continues unabated, in no way slowed by an ineffective military.  One of the reasons for the weak response to Boko Haram’s attacks was unearthed a few months ago by an Australian, Stephen Davis, who was involved in the negotiations to free the Chibok girls.  He named several government officials who he said provided money and supplies to the militants, among them, the former Governor of Borno State, Modu Sherriff and a former Chief of Armtaff, retired Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika.

Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has stated that the insurgency’s war between Muslims and unbelievers will end when Islamic law rules Nigeria..

Disturbing news …

Nationally:

Rev.Ibrahim has written:
‘Recently, there were several attacks by the suspected Boko Haram members on the poor farmers in the rural setting of Sanga Local Government.  It is in the southern part of Kaduna state and shares a boundary with the northern part of Nasarawa state.  The area is predominantly Christian.  Sad to note here that the government of Kaduna state gave them little attention in terms of emergency help.  Many kept dissociating these attacks from having religious affiliation but it is clear that no Mosque was destroyed in the Sanga attacks or a Muslim family attacked.  With all glory to God, the Christian community did not mount a revenge mission. This is in line with the teaching of the scripture.’

Locally:

We, (Rev.Ibrahim’s family), woke up on the 23th July to hear about two bomb blasts in the city of Kaduna – where we live.  One of the blasts targeted a renowned Islamic Scholar (Sheik Dahiru Bauchi). He is one of the Liberal scholars who advocates for peaceful Islam. The other blast targeted the former Military leader and leader of the greatest opposition party in Nigeria.  Both of them are Muslims and have a lot of followers.  These incidents changed the interpretations of our insurgency challenge in Nigeria. If not for divine intervention, test events could have plunged our state into confusion and clear crises..

About Zonkwa

Zonkwa, the venue of the just concluded Seminar in the southern part of Kaduna state in the north central region of Nigeria has existed for over 200 years as a settlement. The Muslims had lived in Zonkwa for over one hundred years before the post-election violence in 2011. Afterwards, many of them left their homes unprepared and unplanned.

No one has ever organised a meeting to tell the Christians about Islam until the recent Seminar held by Passion for Converts International Ministry.
WE MUST DO ALL IT TAKES TO EDUCATE..

Nigerian President acts on militants in three N.E. states

In mid-May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa following an attack on Police barracks in Bama in Borno state by Islamist militants.  Members of the Boko Haram group are blamed for most of the violence, having being linked to the deaths of around 2,000 people since 2010.

A massive deployment of men and resources are aiming to assert the nation’s territorial integrity, since the militants cross frontiers virtually unchallenged.  The President said that attacks on government buildings and the killing of officials and other civilians amounted to a declaration of war.

Amnesty International have accused Boko Haram of committing widespread atrocities in the mainly Muslim north.  The name Boko Haram means ‘Western education is forbidden’.  They are fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

Rev. Ibrahim reports that “Although the Federal Government inaugurated a committee on amnesty for the Boko Haram sect, they kept killing Nigeria’s security forces. Hopefully, now that security forces are at war with the insurgents, the unnecessary killings of believers in that axis will be reduced.

Thanks be to God that we celebrated the 2013 Democracy Day without a record of any blasts, courtesy of the quenching of Boko Haram insurgency by the Presidential declaration of the state of emergency.”.

Facts about Nigeria

Nigeria, officially called the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is located in West Africa.

In 2011, the country had an estimated population of 167 million; it is the seventh-most populous country in the world and the most populous in Africa.  Abuja became the capital of Nigeria in December 1991, replacing Lagos.

Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria with an estimated population of approximately 8,000,000.

The government of Nigeria is a presidential federal republic. The current President, Goodluck Jonathan, is a christian.

Nigeria is a multi-religious country. Fifty percent of the population practice Islam, (mainly in the north), while the rest mostly adhere to Christianity, (mainly in the south). Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups.

Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of crude oil in the world and the 8th largest exporter..