Former Minister of Defence and respected business mogul, General TY Danjuma (Rtd) has taken his protest against killings in the Middle belt to the United States of America.
Speaking at a session hosted by the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), in collaboration with Heritage Foundation and 21 Wilberforce, he said the issue of extremism among some Fulani people has led to horrific attacks on villages that echo Boko-Haram tactics.
General Danjuma who was at the event with Taraba State Governor, Daruis Ishaku discussed implications of Nigeria’s escalating religious and ethnic violence. Representatives from the U.S. government and prominent NGOs also joined the discussion.
According to Danjuma “Evidence is there that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed. Corruption continues and ineffective governance does not confront attacks on villages.”
“If chaos continues in Nigeria, refugees will flood over West Africa, then Europe and eventually America – whether you build a wall or not,” warned General Danjuma.
Darius Ishaku, Governor of Taraba, stated that his own leadership abilities are hampered by the structure of Nigerian governance. He said, “We do not have state or local police … Governors do not have power or influence to make changes in their own states.”
Also in attendance, Former Congressman Frank Wolf, Senior Distinguished Fellow at 21 Wilbeforce, added that, “Europe can barely handle Syrian and Iraqi refugees so they’d be overwhelmed if Nigeria collapsed.”
He stated that Nigeria is the lynchpin of regional stability and a strategic partner with the US in the struggle against extremism and this matter should be tackled with all seriousness.
General Danjuma and Governor Ishaku asked concerned American organizations to help Nigeria nurture its democracy.
“We need ‘civilized democracies’ like the US to help with our Nigerian democracy in ways that provide security for citizens of every religious affiliation, bring justice to perpetrators of violence, and empower civil society to confront atrocities and stand together to promote peace.
Meanwhile, the visit has no doubt raised red flags within the presidency and the nation’s security circle. Shortly after the visit, President Buhari in an unprecedented move, held security meetings with service chiefs and heads of security agencies three times.
According to one of the sources, “nothing has happened in Nigeria to warrant a campaign of calumny against one’s country and government in the name of defending one religion against another.” What we have is a security challenge(not ethnic or religious cleansing) and we expect a person of the status of T.Y to join hands with the government to solve it rather than going to U.S to whip up sentiment against the government. If it is a private meeting, what is the business of Governor Ishaku there? He was taken along to corroborate the allegation of ethnic cleansing and persecution of Northern Christians.”
It will be recalled that President Trump in his recent meeting with Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari at the White House decried religious violence in Nigeria.
According to him “We encourage Nigeria’s federal, state, and local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure affected communities and to protect innocent civilians of all faiths, including Muslims and Christians.”