By Sam Eyoboka
UNITED States-based Interfaith leaders, after a fact-finding mission to Northern Nigeria which has been under sectarian attacks, yesterday declared Nigeria a ticking time bomb which may soon become the most dangerous place on the planet.
‘Does anyone give a damn about the innocents dying every day in West Africa? If so, it’s time to show it,’ said Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rev. Johnnie Moore
A source close to Mission said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Rev. Johnnie Moore, President of The Congress of Christian Leaders and a Wiesenthal Center honoree, last week embarked upon a fact-finding mission to northern Nigeria to investigate targeted attacks by Islamist extremists against vulnerable Christian communities and other issues related to the ongoing conflict in West Africa.
Throughout the week, they met with Christian and Muslim religious leaders, representatives of non-governmental organizations, senior government officials, and more than 50 survivors of attacks by Boko Haram, ISWAP, and herdsmen.
Consequently, Rabbi Cooper and Reverend Moore said in a statement after the interface: “You, like us, have no doubt heard of the attacks on communities throughout vulnerable parts of Nigeria.
“You’ve heard of the kidnapping and abuse of young women, the churches that have been burned, the homes that have been razed, and of the million or more children now roaming the streets out-of-school.
“Maybe last week, you also heard about the second anniversary of the kidnapping of the courageous teenager, Leah Sharibu, or the torching of a bus the week before that or of the grotesque beheading of a noted Christian pastor two weeks before that.
“After our journey there, we want the world to know that you haven’t heard half of it. The terrorists’ aim to ethnically cleanse northern Nigeria of its Christians and to kill every Muslim who stands in their way.
“If things don’t change immediately, portions of Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad region may soon become the most dangerous place on the planet.
”This portion of Africa will be ground zero for the next generation’s war on terrorism, and the humanitarian cost of letting these problems fester and multiply in the near-term could result in disaster for much of Western Africa. “Our message to the leaders of Nigeria is that the status quo is unacceptable, and the government must do more to immediately fulfill its fundamental responsibility to protect all of its citizens.”