A group of activists from 54 Commonwealth nations have held a protest at the United Kingdom Parliament, Westminster London over alleged Christian genocide in Nigeria.
The group, under the aegis of Commonwealth Activists United Kingdom, said the protest is a show of its rejection of the report by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group alleging an unfolding genocide in Nigeria.
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In a letter to Rehman Chishti, Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, House of Commons and signed by its President, Hameed Williams, the activists said such “declaratory assertion could create fresh problems for a country that is dealing with problems it did not create.
” The lies about genocide against Christians and certain ethnic minorities as claimed in the report are symptomatic of the APPG claiming competence in a field it knows nothing about, similar to the misconceptions that were promoted by ancestral colonialists to desecrate and violate Africa; the continent was presented as inhabited by savages when in reality it was home to several civilizations that would have evolved into models had they not been interfered with,” the letter reads in part.
“Repeating this same colonial tendency at this time that the world has become enlightened to the dangers of negative stereotyping is racist and should have no place in a time when the errors of colonization and subjugation of certain races are still being addressed to right the wrongs of the past.
“From what we can make of the report, the APPG merely reviewed cherry-picked newspaper stories and articles, the reports of NGOs that have their own ulterior motives and agenda against Nigeria, the testimony of disgruntled elements and the only thing that came close to being factual, was the interview with distraught persons that were affected by the crisis. This cannot in any way be classified as objective research because the very information that the report was based on was already tainted. We do not foresee APPG doing this if the country of interest were to be the in the European Union or the United States of America.
“The inference that attacks by terrorists and roving pastoralists are condoned by the government of Nigeria and its military is unacceptable. We think the authors of the APPG report would have been objective enough to use the same sources it gathered its information from to note that the government did not allow its own citizens to be massacred without stepping up.
“There are many news stories that detailed how the military is combating terrorists and arresting those involved in attacks and communities but the APPG Report mischievously avoided reflecting this aspect of the situation in Nigeria.
“We also see a deliberate exploitation of Nigerian dead citizens from terrorism related incidents by mischaracterizing their demise as the product of a Christian massacre when the truth is that Nigerians – Christian, Muslims, animists, agnostics, atheists and persons of other creeds – are being killed under circumstances in which the United Kingdom is complicit. This should not be the case in a civilized world. We condemn every single instance of a human life being unjustly taken as we condemn the dislocation of families and communities for any reason”.
The activists, however, warned that the death of any Nigerian should not under any circumstance be dismissed as a sectarian affair.
It added that “Our protest is therefore aimed at demanding a rethink of the misleading content of the APPG Report and redirect the group’s focus and that of the UK Parliament to the Nigerian reality as opposed to the present situation where some individuals want the world to believe in lies and accept falsehood as truth”.