Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Power Sharing, Religious Extremism Responsible for Boko Haram - Emeka Anyaoku

Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku
Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on Tuesday stated that religious extremism and struggle for political power were responsible for internal conflict in the country.

He said this at a national retreat on human security organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Abuja.

The claim came as the Christians in the North accused the federal government of abdicating its responsibility of protecting lives and allowing the Boko Haram insurgents to continue to wreak havoc in the region.

Over 2,000 displaced Christians from northern states including Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, among others, yesterday gathered at the headquarters of the Church of the Brethren (EYN Church) in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Anyaoku noted that conflicts arose following religious extremism particularly, when it involves the desire of one group to impose its brand of religion on the other groups.

“Where as with Boko Haram in Nigeria, religion is a contributing factor to insurgency or conflict, we must continue to affirm the need for all religions to treat one another with mutual respect. Such conflicts naturally generate antagonistic memories that are sometimes hard to heal, even long after the cessation of conflict,” he said

He also said national crisis was more disruptive of human security when there is struggle for control of political power between the component major ethnic groups, or imbalance distribution of social economic resources.

He stressed the need for an inclusive governance in a country that has been torn apart by internal conflict
According to him; “where such inclusive governance is absent, the art of reconciliation and healing of memories becomes difficult and even unrealisable.”

The Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, in his remarks, said peace and security were catalysts to the development of any nation.
“As an agent of development, man requires personal security and a conducive social environment to drive the development process,” he said.

Meanwhile, narrating their plights to journalists, the christians said no explanation by the government can justify the ongoing genocide in the North by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), North Central Zone (Youth wing), Mr. Daniel Kadzai, said Christians in the North are disappointed with the response of the international community to the pogrom by Boko Haram with the inactive attitude of the federal government.

He said: “We have lost confidence in the Federal Government of Nigeria. Available information shows that 11,213 Christians have been killed by the insurgents even before they captured Mubi, Maiha, Hong and Gombi Local Governments.

“So far, 1.56 million persons have been displaced by the insurgents. These are mostly children and elderly people. The other affected  churches are  the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Deeper Life Bible Church, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Praise Chapel, Baptist Church and many others that we do not have information on their level of victimisation.

“We express our disappointment with the international community that with over 11,000 persons killed and over one million displaced, the international community has refused to notice the pogrom on northern Nigerian Christians. Rather they have shifted their attention and resources only to Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Afghanistan, as if those killed in Nigeria are not human beings.

He said over 700,000 members of EYN church mostly women and children are now scattered, while over 8,000 members have been murdered by the insurgents.

The Christian body therefore called on the United Nations to intervene and declare the North-eastern Nigeria its territory without further delay and send in peacekeeping troops to secure the lives of the remaining traumatised people.

ThisDay Newspaper