By Faith J. H. McDonnell (@Cuchulain09)
The Washington Working Group on Nigeria, of which The IRD is a founding member, this week will release a report of the documented atrocities committed in Nigeria by Boko Haram in 2012. Compiled by Justice for Jos, a project of Jubilee Campaign, the report is in the form of a prayer calendar which memorializes attacks against individual Christians, churches, government institutions and employees, schools, and businesses in 2012 in Nigeria by month and day.
The report is in itself an indictment of the false moral equivalence frequently utilized by the United States government and the media to describe the growing conflict in Nigeria. It will be released on Friday, April 26, at 11:00AM at a briefing at The Family Research Council, 801 G Street, NW, Washington, DC featuring human rights leaders and government officials from northern Nigeria.
April 2013 marks the second anniversary of one of the worst attacks on Christendom in modern history. In Nigeria’s 12 Sharia states in the north, over 700 churches were destroyed in the space of 48 hours in post-election violence stemming from Islamist anger at the April 2011 election of a Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan. The carnage resulted in hundreds of deaths and the displacement of over 65,000 people. But Islamic of militants of the terrorist organization, Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) continue their campaign to Islamize Nigeria with ongoing attacks.
Just this past week over 185 people were killed in Boko Haram’s Friday-after-prayers-at-the-mosque attack on Baga, a town in Borno State. According to the BBC news Boko Haram bombarded Baga with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire, burning down 40% of the town. BBC reported that “Residents of Baga fled into the bush and only returned on Sunday afternoon to find much of the town destroyed and human and animal corpses strewn through the streets.”
Justice for Jos Special Counsel, Emmanuel Ogebe, adds that his contacts on the ground have revealed that Boko Haram has overrun northern Borno State, much as jihadists took over northern Mali last year. He told of a recent attack on a bus, in which the passengers were separated by religion, and the Christians were killed.
In addition to the meeting on Friday to launch the 2012 report, the Washington Working Group on Nigeria will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, April 25, at 12:30 at the Cannon House Office Building, Room 234. Although open to the public, the briefing will focus on helping Congressional staff members to understand the true situation in northern Nigeria and to encourage a renewed effort by Congress to push the State Department to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.