The Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA) on Tuesday 7th January has reacted to the burning of USA flags in Nigeria by Muslim youths over the death of Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in Iraq. NSCEA said, whoever invites trouble may find himself overtaken by it without another to blame, at God’s own appointed time, as the issue is between the U.S and Iran and not Nigeria.
Nigeria Islamic group, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), generally known as Shiites, has protested against the United States, for carrying out a drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq last Friday which killed Iranian military commander, General Qasem Soleimani. They registered their protest in Abuja on 6th January over the death of Iraq military leader.
Protesters were seen burning the USA flag with picture of President Trump and chanting Death to USA, during their Monday’s march as they echoed anti US and Israeli chants as a show of solidarity. They also burned the flags of both countries, describing the Americans and the Israelis as enemies of Islam, as their tempers flared.
The Shiites turned up in large numbers and marched through the major suburbs of Nyanyan, Mararaba and Masaka in the FCT and Nasarawa State to protest against the US action, which has led to the escalation of tension in the Middle East.
As tension arose over possible Iranian response and further military action by the US, they protest in defiance of the appeal by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) against any planned solidarity march by Muslim youths across the country over the crisis.
The US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, The statement reads, Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
The statement also notes previous deadly actions by Soleimani and his Quds force, which it said was “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. Such that the strike “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
“A US-backed airstrike had killed Soleimani, who is the Revolutionary Guard General and head of the elite Quds Force, at Baghdad International Airport and Soleimani’s killing had sparked rumors of a third world war likely to start between the US and Iran and it was reported that President Trump had disclosed that Soleimani was plotting to kill lots of American citizens but was caught in the process.”
Again, President Donald Trump warned on Saturday that the US is targeting 52 sites in Iran and will hit them “very fast and very hard”. “If the Islamic republic attacks American personnel or assets. In tweet that defended Friday’s US drone strike assassination of a powerful Iranian general in Iraq, Trump said 52 represents the number of Americans held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran for more than a year starting in late 1979.
He said “some of these sites are “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”
The Christian youths have been calm in Nigeria, even so calm to date after “Martha Bulus, a Nigerian Catholic woman, was going to her bridal party when she was abducted by Islamic extremists of Boko Haram. Martha and her companions were beheaded and their execution filmed.
“The video of the brutal murders of these 11 Christians was released on December 26 to coincide with Christmas celebrations. It is reminiscent of the images of other Christians dressed in orange jumpsuits bent on their knees on a beach, each being held by a masked, black-clad jihadist holding a knife at their throats. Their bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Libya.” The Christian youths are calm.
ISWAP beheads TEN 10 Nigerian Christian Captives as retaliation for Baghdadi death on December 27, 2019. Islamic State released a video purporting to show its militants beheading 10 Christian men in Nigeria, saying it was part of a campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and its spokesman.
The militant group posted the footage on its online Telegram news channel on Thursday, the day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio. The video showed men in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives then beheading 10 of them and shooting an 11th man. The Christian youths remained calm.
An earlier video seen by Reuters said, “the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate Islamist state. In that video, the captives pleaded for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to save them.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, on massacre, wrote, “In Nigeria, the murder of 11 Christians by mad Islamists is a reminder of how many of my African brothers in Christ live faith at the risk of their own lives.” The Christian youths have been calm.”
On the scale of Nigeria’s anti-Christian persecution was Martha’s cas, Martha was less fortunate than another abducted girl, Leah Sharibu, who has now been in captivity nearly two years and just spent her second Christmas in the hands of Boko Haram.
The reason? Leah refused to convert to Islam and deny her Christianity. Nigerian Christian leaders are also protesting the “continuous abduction of under-aged Christian girls by Muslim youths…”. These girls “are forcefully converted to Islam and taken in for marriage without the consent of their parents.” The Christian youths remained calm!
Nigeria is experiencing an Islamist war of the extermination of Christians. So far, “900 churches in northern Nigeria have been destroyed by Boko Haram. U.S. President Donald J. Trump was informed that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed there since 2015. In one single Nigerian Catholic diocese, Maiduguri, 5,000 Christians were murdered.
ISWAP split from the militant group Boko Haram in 2016 and has become the region’s dominant jihadist group. Islamist insurgents have killed about 30,000 people in northern Nigeria in the past decade. Islamic State leader Baghdadi died during a U.S. military raid in Syria and Muhajir in a separate military operation, both over the same weekend in late October”. Yet, the Christian youths have been calm!
Recently, the kidnapped Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi, has cried out from captivity on Jan 6, 2020 calling on CAN, the governor of Adamawa State, Fintiri and other authorities to come to his rescue. “Andimi’s disappearance followed a foiled attack on Michika LGA by Boko Haram insurgents on Thursday.
A short video uploaded by Ahmed Salkida, a journalist on Sunday, showed that Andimi has been captured by the terror group. Andimi, while pleading with the authorities, urged his family members to pray for his release, “I’m appealing to my colleagues, referents particularly my President, and my Governor for my release.” I urge you all to be patient, do not cry, do not worry but thank God for everything.” Nothing has been done to date! Yet, the Christian youths are calm!
In the mist of these sinister and inhuman treatment of Christians, so much horror and indignation, fighting, maiming, killing, kidnapping, beheading of Christians, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in Nigeria are proud and caught burning the USA flag with picture of President Trump, and chanting Death to America at the FCT, Abuja describing the Americans and the Israelis as enemies of Islam, because of an issue that is between the U.S and Iran. What a horrible tale What then should the Christian youths in Nigeria do! In all these, but REMAINED CALM!
Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
Secretary, Elders Council, NSCEA
Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA)