Missions Box | August 3, 2020
The International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), a nonprofit working to secure a future for all Nigerians, launched a new Data Tome (“report”) today proving the religious persecution and genocide that has been occurring in Nigeria over the last 20 years. The report includes recent testimonies of some of the more than 60,000 victims in Nigeria, including statements from witnesses who have been targeted specifically for their Christian faith, among a comprehensive collection of other data and statistics.
In a video teleconference call, ICON’s co-founder Kyle Abts introduced the report, entitled “Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter: Genocide in Nigeria and the Implications for the International Community,” saying,
“The firsthand accounts of the ongoing religious persecution and genocide are shocking and cannot be tolerated. While the country’s own government has failed to stop the violence, Nigeria has been transformed into an epicenter of terrorist activities and a ticking time bomb. This report shows us that action is needed now and intervention by the United States is critical.”
Using data from January 1, 2000 to January 31, 2020, ICON’s report exposes how one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups, Boko Haram, has killed more than 43,000 Nigerians, the vast majority women and children. Additionally, it raises awareness of the continuing onslaught by Fulani Militants, who have killed nearly 19,000 Nigerians, primarily Christian farmers. Based on data collected, between 2000-2019, deaths resulting from Fulani Militant attacks include 17,284 across the country, 13,079 in predominantly Christian states (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, and Taraba). That means three of every four Fulani Militant victims during this time were Christians.
The Nigerian government claims to be “on top of the situation,” but terrorist attacks continue to ravage different parts of the country, and perpetrators appear more emboldened by the government’s complacency.
“The ongoing violence and brutality perpetrated against innocent Nigerians by Islamist terrorists like Boko Haram and Fulani Militants has to stop; it’s that simple,” stated ICON co-founder, Stephen Enada.
“President Buhari and his administration are attempting to dictate the narrative and condition the world, really, to believe that Nigeria’s Christians are safe from terrorism, which is simply untrue, as our report verifies. A U.S. Special Envoy is key to turning things around in Nigeria.”
ICON has been advocating for the U.S. to send a Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region for several years. Earlier this year, the organization partnered with the International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice (PSJ) to launch the Silent Slaughter campaign. Silent Slaughter is a global campaign created to shine a light on the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and advocate for peace. The goal is to engage global partners to hold President Buhari accountable.
Silent Slaughter supports a peaceful, unified Nigeria and believes unequivocally that sending a U.S. Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region is key to achieving this.
Others participating ICON’s recent teleconference include Dr. Gregory Stanton, chairman and founding partner of Genocide Watch; Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom; Reverend Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders and commissioner of USCIRF; and Former Congressman Frank Wolf.
“Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter” report has received praise from multiple political and religious individuals, proving the document’s validity. Endorsements for the document include the Family Research Council, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, Genocide Watch, International Christian Concern, members of Benue State Government, the U.K. Parliament, and more.