NIGERIA: Killing of Christians Bloodiest in 2023, Over 8,000 hacked to Death, Intersociety Reports

By Paschal Norbert

ONITSHA, FEBRUARY 23, 2024 (CISA) Nigeria is currently undergoing one of the deadliest genocides in the world. Intersociety estimates that more than 150,000 people have been massacred in the country since 2009. The genocidal massacres have mainly targeted Christians and are carried out by the Boko Haram and Jihadist Fulani militias.

According to a special investigative report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), “Killings and associated grisly and egregious violence against persons or groups and properties of international colouration; perpetrated on the grounds of ethnicity and religion accounted for over 150,000 defenceless civilian deaths since 2009, leading to burning down or wanton destruction of tens of thousands of civilian dwelling houses, over 18,500 Sacred Places of Christian Worship, 1000 Traditional Religious Sanctuaries and 2,500 Christian/Traditional Learning Centers during which over 59,000 square kilometres of landmass (twice the size of South-East Nigeria) ancestrally belonging to indigenous Christians and non-Muslim others were seized and their owners uprooted and sacked in at least ten States.”

Intersociety reports that the 150, 000 religious-related deaths in Nigeria include direct killings of individuals by Islamic Jihadists and indirect killing, where those abducted either die in captivity or are killed and classified as ‘victims of the enforced disappearances’.

“Between 2016 and 2023; a period of eight years, more than 30,000 defenceless civilians were abducted by Islamic Jihadists and, some say, ‘Islamic-inspired’ security forces in Nigeria. The abducted over 30,000 were never returned alive to date. In all, Christians accounted for roughly 100,000 of the ‘direct deaths’ and ‘indirect deaths’ of the over 50,000 while moderate Muslims accounted for about 46,000 and members of other religions accounted for the remaining 4,000 defenceless civilian deaths,” the report released on Ash Wednesday, February 14, states.

The report suggests that the Islamic Jihadists are protected by the Nigeria security agencies, who are also responsible for the increase in the number of Christian deaths since military campaigns to defeat Boko Haram & ISWAP have killed hundreds of civilians, garnering more support for the terrorist groups.

“Jihadists And ‘Islamist Security Forces’ Killed 8,222 Christians In 2023: The combined forces of the Government protected Islamic Jihadists and the country’s Security Forces (NSFc) are directly and vicariously accountable for hacking to death in 2023 of no fewer than 8,222 defenceless Christians-covering a period of 13 months or Jan (2023)-Jan (2024), out of which Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen were responsible for at least 5,100 Christian deaths, Boko Haram and their allies 500 deaths, Jihadist Fulani Bandits 1,600 deaths and ‘Islamic-inspired’ security forces 1000 Christian deaths,” they say.

Intersociety maintains that Nigeria is currently experiencing a “Silent Genocide” or “Jihadist Genocide of Christians” and that the most shocking reality of the escalating security situation is that the perpetrators of the massacres have been left to roam the country in broad daylight without any consequences on their actions.

“The Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen operate freely and unchallenged with impunity and reckless abandon; with the Nigerian Security Forces (NSFs), widely accused of being “Islamic-inspired”, turning blind eyes or looking the other side; except when it comes to the protection of Fulani cows and their herders; or arresting members of the victim communities and their leaders; labelling them ‘bandits’,” the report says.

“Instances of the Nigerian Military’s brazen partisanship and biases in the massacre of Christians in Nigeria or any part thereof are too many to be mentioned,” it states.

Intersociety recommends the appointment of a UN Secretary General’s Special Emergency Envoy on Nigeria and a UN Security Council Resolution authorizing a comprehensive UN-backed Commission of Inquiry or International Investigation into systematic and well-coordinated ethno-religious attacks by Government-protected Islamic Jihadists on defenceless Christians and others and their sacred places of worship and homes.

They also advance that the International UN Investigation must cover the ongoing mass killings, abductions, disappearances, torture, lootings, wanton destruction of civilian houses and other properties and other grievous international offences ravaging Old Eastern Nigeria, particularly in Imo and other parts of the Southeast regions.

Founded in 2008, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization. It campaigns for the promotion and advancement of civil liberties and the rule of law including civil and criminal justice reforms; democracy and good governance built on public governance accountability; and public safety and security including accountability for regime and policing atrocities.