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Monday, 12 May 2014

Boko Haram is Jihad against Christians, says Enugu Cleric: British Prime Minister, David Cameron joins “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign

 


 May 12, 2014

*Calls for overhaul of security outfits
 



As the current security challenge confronting the country  continues, the General Overseer of Christian Victory Prayer Ministry, (CVPM) Worldwide, Pastor Dan Obinegbo, has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to embark on total overhauling of all the nation’s security outfits.

 

He regretted that the unholy activities of members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in the North Eastern part of Nigeria, had gradually turned into a wild wind that may blow the entire nation into oblivion if not addressed.

Speaking with newsmen in Enugu, weekend, the cleric, however, blamed the insurgency on what he described as “betrayal of trust” by Muslim security operatives, especially soldiers and policemen of the northern extractions.

 

Pastor Obinegbo argued that if Muslim security operatives from the Northern part of the country had done their jobs with patriotism and sincerity of purpose at the inception of the menace, it would have been nipped in the bud.


According to the cleric, “Boko Haram is a religious war being waged on Nigeria because a Christian is on the throne. They are foot soldiers of the Northern elites who do not want or believe in President Jonathan
“Boko Haram is a Jihad against Christians in Nigeria or Jonathan, with the Organisation of Islamic Countries OIC, undertone.

“Boko Haram is a manifestation of mythical orgies of 1990s, the same Kano riot and Kaduna riots of the 1980s, it is the same wickedness of blood thirstiness for those who call themselves brothers in the north.
“Where was Boko Haram when Babangida and others were in power? Boko Haram now came from nowhere because the head is from south-south”

The CVPM leader noted that “warfare are made ready for the days of battle, but victory belongs to God” advising members of the sect, and their sponsors, to turn away from their evil ways or be ready to incur the full wrath of God.

While hailing the intervention of United States (US) and other foreign nations towards rescuing the over 200 missing Chibok secondary school girls being held by the insurgents, Pastor Obinegbo warned Nigerians not to be carried away by the international assistance.

On the ongoing National Conference (CONFAB) in Abuja, the clergyman, said” “coming together as a people to deliberate on national issues that would correct some of the present imbalances was a good development, but our problem had always been implementation of the outcome.

 

 May 12, 2014

British Prime Minister, David Cameron has promised Britain “will do what we can” to help find more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.

He made the comments as he held a sign bearing the “#Bring Back Our Girls” slogan on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Mr Cameron is the latest high-profile supporter of the social media campaign after US First Lady Michelle Obama was pictured with a similar poster.

He also told the BBC One programme: “I rang the Nigerian president to offer anything that would be helpful and we agreed to send out a team that includes some counter-terrorism and intelligence experts to work alongside the bigger American team that’s going out there. We stand ready to do anything more that the Nigerians would want.”

He said it was unlikely Nigeria would ask for British troops to help but added: “I said to President Jonathan where we can help, please ask, and we will see what we can do.

“This is not just a problem in Nigeria,” he said. “We’re seeing this really violent extreme Islamism – we see problems in Pakistan, we see problems in other parts of Africa, problems in the Middle East. Also, let’s be frank, here in the UK there is still too much support for extremism that we have to tackle, whether it’s in schools or colleges or universities or wherever.”

Michelle Obama raises pressure over kidnapped schoolgirls

 
 
American first lady delivers president's weekly address to highlight concern over Nigeria
Link to video: Michelle Obama devotes weekly address to Nigerian girls
Michelle Obama has taken the unique step of delivering her husband's weekly presidential address to express outrage at the kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls.


Speaking for the first time instead of the US president, before what is Mothers' Day in the US on Sunday, she said the couple were "outraged and heartbroken" over the abduction of more than 300 girls from a school in Chibok on 14 April.


"What happened in Nigeria was not an isolated incident. It's a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions.


"I want you to know that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government's efforts to find these girls and bring them home. In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams, and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now."


As the international rescue effort to find the girls continues Islamist extremists blew up a bridge on Saturday night, killed an unknown number of people and abducted the wife and two children of a retired police officer in north-east Nigeria. The events came as a senior aide to the president, Goodluck Jonathan, moved the closest yet of anyone within government circles to admit there was "much to be remorseful and angry about" in the way last month's abduction had been handled politically.


Ken Wiwa, an adviser to the president and son of playwright and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, wrote in an article for the Observer that there was something "reassuring" in the fact that the world cared about the plight of the girls. He said that, with support, Nigeria could "overcome this challenge", and called it the turning point in the battle against terrorism.

There are now warnings of a refugee crisis emerging from the escalating violence by insurgents, after a quarter of a million people have fled their homes. "The brutality and frequency of these attacks is unprecedented," Adrian Edwards of the UN refugees agency said. "The past two months have seen multiple kidnappings and deaths, creating population displacement both inside Nigeria and into neighbouring countries."

Refugees report acts of extreme violence, of homes and fields being burned down and grenades being launched into crowded markets and bus stations. People are being caught in the crossfire between the insurgents and government forces, and there are allegations of arbitrary arrests and summary executions.
The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said the security council should act quickly to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group and hold "its murderous leaders to account". The security council has demanded the release of the girls and is threatening to take action.

"The members of the security council expressed their intention to actively follow the situation of the abducted girls and to consider appropriate measures against Boko Haram," the 15-member council, which includes Nigeria, said.

A team of UK experts is now in Nigeria to help with the hunt, but they admit they face "large information gaps", the Press Association reported.

The UK advisory team in Abuja have been in talks with senior officials, including Jonathan and the national security adviser Sambo Dasuki, in a bid to get to grips with the emergency.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesman said: "The scale and complexity of the incident and the environment means there are large information gaps.

"The priority for the team in the first instance is establishing the facts such as the precise identities of those taken and what has actually happened to help Nigeria build a better picture."

Jonathan said he believed the girls were still in the country despite fears, prompted by the sabotage last week of a border bridge, that the kidnappers were trying to stop anyone following them into Cameroon.

In her speech, broadcast nationwide on radio and uploaded as a YouTube video, Michelle Obama said: "This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls."

She noted that the Chibok state secondary school where they were abducted had been closed because of terror threats, but the girls had gone back to take exams. "They were so determined to move to the next level of their education … so determined to one day build careers of their own and make their families and communities proud," she said.

Earlier last week the first lady tweeted a picture of herself holding a placard with the #bringbackourgirls campaign hashtag.

On Friday Amnesty International claimed Nigerian commanders were warned before the kidnap that armed men were assembling near Chibok, but the military were unable to raise enough troops to respond. "This abduction could have been prevented," said Amnesty spokeswoman Susanna Flood.

The Nigerian government said it does not believe the Amnesty allegation but was investigating.