Christians hoped that Nigeria’s 2019 general election would bring much-needed relief to Christians of its ravaged Middle Belt region. Their hopes were dashed when the incumbent candidate, President Buhari, won a second term in office last month.
Chaos and scandal led up to the election. The government made a number of suspicious arrests, including the arrest of a key campaign director, and two offices belonging to the general election commission were burned down. The election was delayed by a week, preventing many voters from making it to the polls.
When the dust settled, election officials declared that Buhari defeated his challenger, Atiku Abubakar, by more than 3 million votes amid cries of corruption from angry voters. Abubakar reportedly claimed that the election was a sham, asserting that such a large margin of victory would be statistically impossible in some states.
Nigeria’s beleaguered Christian communities in the North and Middle Belt are in critical shape after enduring brutal persecution for the past two decades. Thousands of formerly vibrant Christian villages from the Middle Belt are now ghost towns as Islamic Fulani militias have systematically murdered and raped Christian communities to clear the land of Christians.
It is a brutal land-grabbing strategy driven by hatred for Christians and the need for grazing land for Fulani cattle herdsmen.
Buhari’s second term in office does not bode well for Christians. As the death count reaches near genocidal levels, the Buhari administration still refuses to recognize the Fulani attacks as anything more than “land scruples.” Fulani Muslims hold all top security positions in the government. They protect their own and are either incompetent or complicit in the murder of thousands of Christians.
ICC is working to restore Nigeria’s broken Christian communities through communal farming assistance. Millions of Christian refugees fled from their villages to the surrounding cities for protection. Now, they need assistance to return to and repair their farms. Moving forward, ICC will continue to petition the US government to call for action from the Buhari administration.
Please join us in praying for and financially supporting persecuted Christians in Nigeria.