A group of coordinators of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the United States says the country should appoint a special envoy to the Lake Chad region, alleging that Christians are being killed there.
In a letter to Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, the group alleged that “Biafra Christians” are being targeted in incessant killings in the region and other parts of the country.
The IPOB coordinators accused “extremists” of spearheading the attacks which it said the federal government has failed to address.
It made reference to the report by the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief, a group made up of British parliamentarians, which said Christians are being targeted because of their faith in Nigeria.
The letter dated July 6 and signed by Clement Okoro, the group’s national coordinator in the US, read: “We write to you as the United States coordinators for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an organization that represents the social, political, and economic interests of Biafrans in Nigeria.
“These issues have been compounded by the Nigerian government’s inability and unwillingness to hold violent perpetrators accountable for their actions.
“As Biafrans who live and work in America but remain immensely concerned about the state of our homeland, we urge you to consider appointing a Special Envoy to the Lake Chad region who can hold the Nigerian government accountable for its harmful actions and equally detrimental inaction.
“Our concerns have also been echoed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, a group of British lawmakers from across the ideological spectrum established to raise awareness of and defend against religious freedom abuses around the world. Last month, the APPG released a report titled, Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide, which provided recommendations to prevent the persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
“While the report noted that issues like resource competition, population growth, and climate change have contributed to the farmer-herder conflict, it highlighted extremist ideology and government mismanagement as the main sources of conflict, emphasizing, “the inability of the Nigerian Federal and State Governments to protect Christian farmers, and the lack of political will to respond adequately to warnings or to bring perpetrators of violence to justice, has fostered feelings of victimization and persecution.”
The group said in addition to appointing a special envoy in response to the alleged attack, the US should also conduct a study to highlight the issues and hold the Nigerian government accountable.
“The IPOB strongly supports this request, as we believe the only way to prevent the Nigerian government from allowing these attacks and human rights violations to continue with impunity is rigorous oversight conducted by a well- respected third party, like a Special Envoy,” it said.
“People around the world look to the United States as a defender of human rights and democratic values, and we strongly believe that American oversight in the region would promote stability and save lives.”
The press statement was distributed by Mercury Public Affairs, the US lobbying firm.
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