Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
An advocacy group, the Vanguard for the Protection of Democracy in Nigeria (VPDN), has faulted United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for falling to the ‘antics’ of Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma (rtd) which resulted in the designation of Nigeria as a country of particular concern.
Convener of the group, Sharon Faliya Cham, who addressed newsmen, in Abuja, on Thursday, lamented that certain high profile individuals in Nigeria have turned their backs on fatherland and openly become willing accessories to the evil and unpatriotic plot of other enemies of Nigeria within and outside.
“We are particularly concerned about the growing tendency, especially in the international arena to accommodate and encourage the nefarious activities of those individuals against the larger interests of the generality of peace-loving and parodic Nigerians who remain unshaken in their resolve to identify with the federal government’s relentless determination to uphold and defend the nation’s territorial integrity and national stability at all costs.
“The latest of such unexpected embrace of enemies of Nigeria’s stability and the peaceful coexistence of its people by a supposedly friendly foreign partner in progress took place a few days in Washington, USA, when the policy think tank members for the Trump administration and Senior Congressional staff members met state a high-powered closed door meeting on Nigeria with Gen Danjuma said to be representing an unknown and bogus International Committee on Nigeria (ICON).
“Today he is seeking unmerited recognition from his long neglected Jukun tribesmen by launching a belated and blind Christian crusade, perched on the fabrication and manipulation of unfortunate bloody pogroms that have since been confirmed to claim much more Muslims that he is willing to admit.
“The US government is surely too well informed through its Embassy in Nigeria on the facts and figures of the so-called ethno-religious genocide against Christians in Taraba state and indeed the rest of the strife-afflicted areas of the northern states to be taken in the antics of Gen. Danjuma to the extent it has responded thus far.
“Yet the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has designated Nigeria as a country of particular concern.
“It’s latest report claims that religious freedom conditions in Nigeria remained poor in 2017 and that both the federal and state governments continue to tolerate violence and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, which cannot be true based on facts easily accessible from the media and also credible sources available to the US Embassy in Nigeria,” the group noted.