By Steven Kefas
Renown French Philosopher, Bernard Henri-Levy has called on the U.S Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken to intervene in the continuous massacre of Christians by Fulani jihadists in Nigeria. Henri-Levy who is also an activist made the call via his Twitter handle, @BHL on Tuesday.
“Secretary #Blinken, help! I receive news everyday from my #Nigerian friends. More and more #Christians massacred. More and more #Fulani acting as #BokoHaram, therefore #AlQaïda, proxies. I was on the ground. Documents are in my film, soon available in the US. #BuhariMustGo”
Henri-Levy is known for his public speaking against the killings of Christians in Nigeria, had warned in a December 2019 article that, “A slow-motion war is under way… It’s a massacre of Christians, massive in scale and horrific in brutality.” He described the perpetrators as “Fulani raiders” and “Fulani extremists” in his article titled, “The New War Against Africa’s Christians” published in the Wall Street Journal. The activist mentioned the word “Fulanization” in his article, where a village originally belonging to indigenous Christians had been taken over by nomadic Fulani, who now claimed the land as theirs.
Lévy further said;
“…Westerners here depict the Fulani extremists as an extended, rampant Boko Haram. An American humanitarian says the Fulani recruit volunteers to serve internships in Borno State, where Boko Haram is active. Another says Boko Haram “instructors” have been spotted in Bauchi, another northeastern state, where they are teaching elite Fulani militants to handle more-sophisticated weapons that will replace their machetes. Yet whereas Boko Haram are confined to perhaps 5% of Nigerian territory, the Fulani terrorists operate across the country.
Nigerian Christians especially the ones resident in Northern Nigeria have repeatedly come under violent attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani militias. On Monday, five Southern Kaduna villages in Chawai Chiefdom were attacked, no fewer than 27 people were killed and 63 house, 68 farmlands were completed destroyed.
In July 2021, over 300 houses including Churches and farmlands were destroyed in neighbouring Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna state, over 40 people were also killed.
In the Miango area of Bassa local government area of Plateau state, a sustained campaigns of violence have left over 20 villagers killed in July 2021 alone, in addition, over 200 houses and farmlands have been destroyed. The story is the same in Benue state where scores of people have been reportedly killed between the month of May and July 2021.
There have been several calls both within and outside Nigeria on the Nigerian government to address the incessant killings of Christians and other natives in the country. During a May 2018 meeting at the White House, then US President Donald Trump told President Buhari that the US cannot allow the the killings to continue.
“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” Mr Trump said. “We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.” Trump said.
In July 2018, barely two months after the meeting at the White House, Femi Adesina, a spokesman for the Presidency said that it will be better to give up lands for ranches than to die.
“Ancestral attachment? You can only have ancestral attachment when you are alive. If you are talking about ancestral attachment, if you are dead, how does the attachment matter?” Adesina said.
The Nigerian security forces have been accused of not doing enough to curtail the violence and victims have accused them of complicity in the violence.
In April 2020, a US based news medium, Zenger News made a publication indicting the Nigerian military of collusion after it claimed that a recovered cell phone from an attacked community in Southern Kaduna ‘ raises questions of links between jihadis and Nigeria’s police and army’ (sic).
The killings, burning, maiming and raping have continued unabated in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria.