Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has condemned what it termed false allegation of genocide against Christians in the country by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The reaction followed a report launched by APPG on June 15, 2020, in Westminster, United Kingdom.
Titled ‘Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide?’ the launch of the report featured speeches from the Chair of the APPG, Jim Shannon MP, Co-Chair Baroness Cox, and Rebecca Sharibu, the mother of Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped by Boko Haram.
APPG said it was alarmed by the dramatic and escalating violence in Nigeria characterised as the farmer-herder conflict which manifested along ideological lines, as the herders are predominantly ethnic Fulani Muslims and the farmers are predominantly Christians, it launched a parliamentary inquiry to help develop a nuanced understanding of the drivers of violence and increase parliamentary, public and governmental interest in the issue.
But spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, in a statement said: “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a misleading report in the media by the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, on the herders-farmers conflict in Nigeria.
“The 56-page report by the APPG, an informal cross-party group with no official status within the UK Parliament, titled: “Nigeria-Unfolding Genocide?” falsely claimed that the escalating conflict between Fulani herders and farmers in Northern Nigeria is manifested along ideological lines, with violence primarily targeted at Christians in the North. This unfortunate conclusion is a deviation from the truth and unnecessary exaggeration that intends to create bad blood among members of dominant faiths in the country.”
The government said the controversial report should be disregarded, because even the group issued a disclaimer in the report.