WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2020
The International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), a nonprofit working to secure a future for all Nigerians, is demanding accountability after it was revealed for the first time publicly that a Northern Nigeria governor is commanding Boko Haram. In a live interview
, former deputy governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Dr. Obadiah Mailafia said repentant terrorists told him this directly. He also said now that terrorists have infiltrated Southern Nigeria, their plan is to start a civil war by the year 2022 and that the Buhari Administration is complicit.
Since going public with this knowledge, Dr. Mailafia was brought in for questioning by the Department of State Services (DSS) to discuss specific details, including sharing the name of the Boko Haram commander.
“For far too long, there has been great darkness in Nigeria where people of faith face persecution and daily violence that most of us cannot even begin to comprehend – and no one should have to endure,” said Stephen Enada, co-founder of ICON. “By refusing to hold perpetrators accountable, the government has failed its people over and over again. Today, that needs to stop. Dr. Mailafia has given the name of one of the highest-profile perpetrators to the government, and we expect swift action to follow.”
Last month, ICON released a new report
proving ongoing religious persecution and genocide in Nigeria. The report shows more than 90,000 innocent people have been killed between 2000 and 2020 – mainly women and children. Names of victims have been logged, but the names of perpetrators have been largely unknown. “We commend Dr. Mailafia for coming forward and encourage others with information on perpetrators to come forward as well,” continued Enada.
“The Nigerian government has an opportunity here and should remember that the world is watching. They need to act on this intelligence and our government needs to prioritize discussions on sending a special envoy,” said Kyle Abts, co-founder of ICON. “Innocent Nigerian people have been dying in droves, for too long. At the end of the day, the people responsible for these crimes must be held accountable and the killing must stop.”
Nigeria is the lynchpin of regional stability and a strategic partner with the U.S. in the struggle against extremism. Swift and precise policy decisions from the U.S., in partnership with Nigerian civil society, can have profound stabilizing effects. On the reverse, a destabilized Nigeria will have negative impacts on the region, and around the world.
“We must act now to move toward a peaceful, unified Nigeria and to prevent another African genocide,” Abts continued. “We need a special envoy and the terrorists committing these crimes need to be held accountable.”