Saturday, June 22, 2019

Alabama gov. signs law allowing Briarwood Presbyterian Church to have own police force

After several years of seeking to establish a private police force to adequately protect its church and school campuses, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed legislation allowing the Briarwood Presbyterian Church to do just that despite objections from critics.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Ivey approved the legislation some two week ago.
In a statement on the approval, Briarwood said that despite having a great relationship with local law enforcement agencies, establishing a private police force had become necessary because the state was unable to provide adequate security for the approximately 2,000 students and faculty of Briarwood Christian School located on two campuses in unincorporated Jefferson and Shelby County due to budget cuts.
“Briarwood also recognizes the state budgetary issues identified by the Emergency Task Force on School Safety and Security which coupled with the demand for APOST certified qualified first responders creates stress on our law enforcement departments. This can and does lead to full-time staffing issues for both campus locations,” the church said.
“Alabama Code 16-22 allows certain educational institutions to appoint and employ one or more suitable persons to act as police officers to keep off intruders and prevent trespass upon the institution property. The institutions currently provided the protection under this statute include a number that have less students than does Briarwood Christian School. We are grateful to the governor and our elected officials for approving our request to be added to the existing Alabama Code 16-22,” the church added.
The ACLU of Alabama argues, however, that the move by Briarwood to establish its own police force is a violation of the Establishment Clause that the church has been pursuing since 2015.
“These attempts to undermine the separation of church and state are a threat to our freedom of religion and a violation of the Establishment Clause. For that reason, we will continue to fight any plans to create a state-sanctioned, church-operated police force,” the organization said in 2017.
Read more

Monday, June 17, 2019

Rev. Solomon-Ahima, Incumbent Ayokunle Battle To Lead Christian Association Of Nigeria [Sahara Reporters]

 From Sahara Reporters:

Barely 24 hours to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) elections, Rev. Caleb Solomon-Ahima has assured Christians of his commitment not to betray their trust if elected president of the religious body.

Solomon-Ahima, who is the President, Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria (TEKAN), on Sunday gave the assurance in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.

The TEKAN president is challenging the incumbent CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, in an election scheduled for June 18 at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.

He described leadership as a “trust of the people” to be jealously guarded and kept for the benefit of the people.

“l am going into this contest with the sole purpose to rescue CAN and serve our Christian brethren by not only uniting them but lifting their spiritual lives to give their best towards the building of our Nation.

“When the church is united and in harmony with other faith for peaceful co-existence, then we can build a very strong Nigeria and give hope to the young ones.

“Nigeria is God’s Project, so we as Nigerians must believe in ourselves and God, our creator, for the desired growth and development as we work together as a team.

“We should know that even posterity will judge all our actions just as God will judge us all. So, we should fear Him in all we do, not to fail Him and His people,” he said.

Solomon-Ahima pledged to carry all Christians along in his administration if given the chance and urged the delegates to vote with their conscience in accordance with the will of God.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Submission to the Inquiry into ongoing violence between farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief

This is a Draft of a Submission by Church Arise! to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief coming up sometime in June 2019.  The final version will be submitted in a coalition with some other Organizations for more effectiveness.
Joshua Ojo
10th June, 2019


1. What are the principal drivers of the violence?
The principal driver of the violence is the conviction of the Fulani leadership that Nigeria is “Allah’s gift” to the Fulani race to rule and subdue; and the consequent pursuit of a vision of establishing in Nigeria a territory where the Fulani people of West Africa could thrive, akin to the Nazis’ vision of a Lebenstraum for the Germans of Eastern Europe.
Islam religion is the principal tool for pushing this vision. Previous attempts to actualize the vision, under the war-cry of “dipping the koran into the Atlantic ocean” (ref 1) had been checkmated.  In recent times, having obtained a more favourable political configuration, these ethnic supremacists are making, as it were, a final desperate push to actualize their vision.  The current principal battlegrounds of Benue-Plateau region (and flashes in Osun-Kwara region) are precisely where the last attempt was stalled and thwarted. (Ref 2 and 3).  The current violence is therefore clearly a more determined resumption of this long-planned and adequately advertised Fulanization agenda.
The following very well-known quotes corroborate the above position and speak eloquently for themselves:
 “Allah has bestowed on me and my people the historic duty to spread the holy faith of the Prophet throughout the Caliphate and convert these pagans. If they refuse to accept Allah and his Prophet we will wash the earth, the forests, the mountains, the rivers and the streams with their pagan blood. Ours is a holy and righteous calling. We are doing the work of Allah”.
Usman dan Fodio, the father of Fulanis in present day Nigeria. cited in )
"The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future." – Sir Ahmadu Bello, leader of the North at Nigeria’s  Independence.  Parrot Newspaper October 12, 1960. Republished on November 13, 2002, by the tribune Newspaper, Ibadan).

The current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is a prominent Fulani who has been described as the third Mahdi in the line of Uthman dan Fodio, and Ahmadu Bello (Ref 4).  On numerous occasions he has publicly declared his total commitment to the Fulanization agenda of his predecessors and mentors.  For instance, as military Head of State in 1985, he not only cast Nigeria’s vote against a Nigerian candidate, the frontrunner in the contest for the office of Secretary General of the then Organization for African Unity, he actively campaigned for the rival Fulani candidate from Niger republic, and openly celebrated his eventual victory (Ref 5).  Likewise in his second-coming as President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari pointedly told a disconcerted World Bank that all development efforts meant for Nigeria should be concentrated into the Northern East section of the country (Ref 6).  One of his infamous speeches declared his “total commitment to the Sharia movement” in Nigeria in the following words:
“I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria” . . . “God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country”
—Mohammadu Buhari, in 2001, quoted in “Insurgency and Buhari’s call for full Sharia” Babatunde Oyewole,

After three consecutive losses at the presidential polls, Mohammadu Buhari vowed to quit partisan politics.  He was however persuaded to rescind the decision by the Fulani cabal who eventually installed him (Ref 7); and now is ruthlessly directing affairs of the country - as the first lady herself complained (Ref 8).  The blatant appointment of Fulani moslems to occupy every strategic sector in the nation is simply unprecedented, and is a clear indication of the pursuit of a sinister ethno-religious agenda. (Please see some catalogue by the Yoruba Council of Elders, Europe and America, addressed to the United Nations on June 1, 2019 in Ref 9).
All these are the principal drivers of the herdsmen-farmers violence which is only a contrived cover in the pursuit of the real Fulanization agenda.
Ref 1--Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region of Nigeria, 1957.

2. What role does religion play?  Is there evidence that violence is occurring for religious reasons? Is there evidence that violence is occurring for other reasons but manifesting along religious lines?
The secondary driver of the violence is the Islamic religion.  Religion is being used to bait, to divide and rule, or at least blackmail various players (both co-religionists and opponents) involved in the conflict.  Islam is being used to suppress a national outrage as people, groups, and organizations that ordinarily would not condone ongoing atrocities were either wary of being labeled Islamophobic -if they are Christians(see Refs 1,2); or they are reluctant to criticize fellow muslims for actions attributed (even if only cosmetically) to Islam.  Others understand that a rash response to an issue overtly portrayed as religious would only play into the hand of the Fulani supremacists, and escalate issues along religious lines.  Ref 3 
Furthermore, many die-hard jihadists cash on the Fulanization agenda to push their own private religious goals by perpetuating secondary violence against Christians (ref 4). On the other hand, moslems who refuse to buy the religious false narrative, particularly from the southern Nigeria, are being viciously and ruthlessly persecuted. Ref 5.
In short, religion has been an effective cover to prosecute the Fulanization agenda which is the principal driver of the herdsmen-farmer violence.

3. Is there evidence of the existence of organized, coordinated movements on either side which are attacking the other religious group for religious reasons?  If so, have these movements occupied any territory and who is leading them?
It is not the typical herdsmen that are involved in the attacks.  By standard operation, there are protective security personnel that trail groups of herdsmen on the field.  In the current situation, well-trained mobile militias are being deployed to mingle with these formal security units. Most of the atrocities that have earned the Fulani Hersdmen terror group the unenviable status of the world’s fourth most deadly terror group are actually carried out by this well-organized and well-coordinated militia.
According to first-hand reports collated by the US-based Chinua Achebe Centre for Leadership and Development (CACLD), members of the Fulani striking force at a particular location are actually assembled from several sources, including the nation’s official security forces.  This explains their ability to operate sophisticated military hardware, as well as  “disappear” into thin air after their dastard operations.  Furthermore, there have been reports of arms being airlifted into geographical areas where herdsmen strike was imminent (Ref 1). 
CACLD researchers described a typical Fulani herdsmen attack.  It begins with complaints brought in from herdsmen on the field, being passed to the top Fulani bourgeois leadership (which include governors and top national security chiefs), who decides whether or not an attack should take place. If sanctioned, “modalities will be mapped out and a date will be chosen for the attack. Most times, Fulani herdsmen in the military and police are notified and everyone sends a representative.  Neighbouring settlements send out representatives and arms cache are opened and arms are distributed to the participants”  The Report went further on:  “During an attack, every Fulani person in the area knows there will be an attack and all will contribute to make sure it goes on successfully. Fulanis in the higher levels of the military will ensure all commands under them stand down, and the top Fulani police officers will do the same. The road is then clear for the Fulani herdsmen to carry their attacks.”  (ref 2)
As submitted previously, religion is only smokescreen for these attacks.  Members of the hardcore Fulani militia have indeed been described as non-religious: they do not observe the regular Islamic prayers, and they subsist on alcohol and hard-drugs.  Not only Christian farmers, but even Christians in their churches are the prime targets of the Fulani militia cum herdsmen.  The obvious purpose of the attacks is to intimidate, terrorize, and eventually cause them to vacate their ancestral lands which are then taken over and populated with Fulanis imported from all across West Africa.
In January 2018, former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, described his gory experience in the hands of Fulani herdsmen in the southern state of Ondo; and averred that their clear mission was to “to take over the land permanently” (Ref 3). In a news report in 2018, a national newspaper listed names of over 54 communities in Plateau state that have been taken over and renamed by Fulanis (Ref 4).
Ref 3. Cattle colony, a provocative and repugnant proposal –Falae.

4. What evidence is there that attacks by members of organized criminal or terrorist groups have been attributed to groups of either herdsmen or farmers, or that they are arming/supporting herders or farmers to commit attacks?
The herdsmen-farmer conflicts narrative provides an extremely attractive cover to prosecute the Fulanization agenda.  As submitted in earlier statements above, evidences abound that organized terrorist groups are actually parading themselves as herdsmen. In 2016, the governor of Kaduna state, a prominent Fulani strategist, admitted that he paid undisclosed hefty sums of money to non-Nigerian “herdsmen” operating in Nigeria to cease their terror activities (Ref 1).  Obviously these funds only went to strengthening these terror cells and procurement of more arms.

5. Are the victims of the violence disproportionately of a particular religion? If so, why? Is there any evidence that casualties from either group are significantly underreported or over-reported?
As well-clearly established, the aggressors in the “herdsmen-farmers violence” are Fulani herdsmen, who are predominantly Moslem.  The farmers on the receiving end are predominantly Christian.  Since these are deliberate organized terror strikes to displace the farmers from their ancestral land to accommodate Fulanis from “all over the world”, the victims necessarily have been disproportionately Christian.
Casualties figures are fairly accurately reported by international organizations including The Religion of Peace ( ), US-Nigeria Law Group  ( ,  Open Doors (     

6.  How have poor rural communities financed the acquisition of sophisticated weapons like AK-47s?  Are both groups utilizing these types of weapons? If not, why?
Only one group, the Fulani herdsmen have access to sophisticated weapons. That is why the ongoing violence is more of a pogrom, with state protection.
There are simply too many corruption cases involving humongous sums, linked to key Fulani personalities reported in the open media, for one to make any attempt to list them.  The impunity with which these cases are quashed by the Fulani-dominated federal government (e.g. Ref 1 for a recent case), clearly suggests that significant amount of proceeds from such deals would evidently end up as “donations” to the Fulanization agenda, thus funding the militia.  Apart from such conjectures, government is known to be discussing an incredible N100 billion grant to the Organization (Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria) which is the de facto official spokesmen for the herdsmen.  As mentioned in question 4 above, the Governor of Kaduna state admitted he paid undisclosed sums to non-Nigerian herdsmen to placate them and get them reduce their activities.  These funds are obviously used to procure more sophisticated arms.
It has been observed that the cost of the weapons carried by the herdsmen security units far exceed the economic value of the cattle investment they are purportedly protecting.
7. What evidence is there of collusion between Government armed forces and either group?
First, there is no known single arrest or prosecution of the militiamen in the years they have been operating.  On the other hand, those who organize defences against the militia herdsmen are swiftly and efficiently arrested, and where truly culpable, prosecuted with uncustomary alacrity.  For example, three herdsmen were attacked, and one of them killed at Kadamun village in Adamawa state on June 1, 2017.  Barely 12 months later (June 11, 2018), 5 locals had been arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to death for the killing (Ref 1). This is a chilling confirmation of the warning by Kaduna State governor that “Anyone, soldier or not, that kills the Fulani” under any circumstances whatsoever has procured a “loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes” (Ref 2)
On March 24, 2018, highly-respected  General Theophilus Danjuma (retired), in an extempore speech at a University function in Taraba state counselled the various ethnic groups in Nigeria to resort to self-defence as the nation’s security forces have been compromised, and are definitely colluding with Fulani herdsmen.(Ref 3). Nobody could doubt that the former Minister of Defence had incontrovertible evidences at his disposal before making such weighty statement. At the subsequent Probe panel set up by the military to investigate General Danjuma’s allegation,  the chairman of  Taraba State Council of Chiefs and Aku Uka of Wukari, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi, proceeded to list several cases buttressing the claim of collusion between the Nigerian military and the killer herdsmen (Ref 4).
Please see also the response to Question 3 above, describing direct involvement of members of government security forces in either participating in militia operations; or units of government forces getting out of way precisely when the militia are about to strike.

8.  What actions or initiatives have been taken by the Nigerian Federal or State Governments, or civil society, to prevent further conflict?  Have any of these actions been successful?  Have any of these actions negatively impacted the violence?
Some states, particularly those not controlled by the political party at the national level, have promulgated laws banning open-cattle grazing.  These include Ekiti and Benue states.  These measures have produced very positive outcomes.  Even though the law at Benue state was violently resisted by the herdsmen association as well as the nation’s minister of defence (Ref 1), the Benue people have stoutly defended the law.  In Osun State, which is governed by the same political party as the federal government, a Committee to which local farmers report invasion of farms by cattle seems to be able to douse tension to a large extent, though its activities and modus operandi are not given much publicity.  Kaduna state, also controlled by the government at the centre has recently passed a hotly-contested law regulating formal religious activities as a means of addressing the conflicts.
On its part, the federal government has kept referring to the violence as “community clashes”  and advising the victims to go learn to live with their “neighbours” -  even when these so-called neighbours are declared to be non-Nigerians! (Ref 2)  The federal government’s position is that government-built Cattle Colony and grazing routes must be provided all over the nation to accommodate traditional open-grazing;(Ref 3) and more lately, that a radio station transmitting solely in the Fulfude language of the Fulanis should be operated by the federal government to ramp up appeal to them to desist from criminal actions! (Ref 4).  These measures are understandably not well-received by the non-Fulani nationalities in the country, and they appear to be further clear confirmations of the Fulanization agenda.
In the meantime, several civil and cultural societies are warning state governments not to give land for any cattle colony in their “ancestral land”. Many local militias are threatening to mobilize not only against the Fulani herdsmen, but also against any state government that collaborates with them in this regard. (Refs 5-7)



Ref 2.

Ref 5. Yoruba leaders reject cattle colonies, back ranching.

Ref 6. Urhobo have no land for cattle colony – Omo-Agege.

Ref 7. Cattle colonies: Buhari pursuing Fulani supremacy agenda, says Nwabueze


9.  What tangible, practical steps can be taken in the short and long run by the Nigerian and UK Governments, as well as the wider international community, to prevent further conflict?
The UK government with its vast intelligence facility, is obviously well-informed about all these incidents and their drivers.  The UK government could significantly contribute to resolving the crisis if it could be bold enough to discount short-term economic benefits from the current Fulani leadership in Nigeria and tell them the home truth, about the futility of their pipe-dream of subduing other ethnic nationalities in modern Nigeria.  The Fulani leadership may thus rethink their policy and perhaps look for more viable and peaceful alternatives to protect their strategic interests in a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
This would be akin to the Trump approach to the long-standing Middle-East conflict, which is apparently producing some positive results.
More tangibly, the UK government could make it very clear to the Nigerian government that ongoing systematic killings are indeed grievous, and are totally unacceptable to important international partners such as the UK.  Key individual actors implicated should be appropriately threatened with sanctions including visa ban and freezing of bank accounts – measures that have proved effective in the past.
Other ideas that would obviously positively impact the situation, even if clearly unattractive to the federal government currently in office, include the establishment of State police, promotion of private-funded cattle ranches by those who have commercial interests in the business; removal of Sharia from the nation’s constitution; and issuance of ID cards to clearly distinguish between Nigerians and the “Fulanis of the world”

10.  Has the spread of fake news and misinformation impacted the conflict?  What tangible, practical steps can be taken to address this issue?
Fake news and misinformation have not significantly impacted the situation.  Usually the situations have been too grievous to be further exaggerated by fake news. Fake news have been used both by Fulani agents, especially to test the waters ahead of policies; and also by the opponents, trying to provoke mass reactions against government.  Traditional media tend to deliberately play safe by whittling down casualty figures.  Overall, in my opinion, the impact of fake news has been minimal on the humongous problem at hand.
11.   Do the religious communities in Nigeria view the conflict as being primarily religiously motivated?  If so, what impact does this perception have on tensions between these communities?  What steps can be taken to improve relations between communities?
Religious communities realize that the conflict is NOT primarily religiously motivated.  However they are acutely aware of the intense efforts to bring in religion as a major factor.
This reality makes religious communities that perceive the crisis as opportunity to push their religion (mostly, Moslems) to embrace the campaign.  Christians on the other hand understand the potential negative impact.  This has inevitably led to tension and distrust.
For instance, the new law passed by the Kaduna State legislature regulating the practice of religions as a mean of dousing herdsmen-farmers clash was heartily endorsed by several prominent Islamic groups, while Christians have largely rejected it and have taken the matter to court (Ref 1).
Prominent and respected Christian groups and denominations have repeatedly issued statements describing the herdsmen-farmer conflict as religion-related .  The Nigeria Christian Elders Forum has indeed made a submission to the UK-All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief in the ongoing exercise.
It is difficult prescribing a uniform set of solution for the herdsmen-farmer conflict all over Nigeria, as the expressions often vary from one community to another.  In all cases, it is instructive to note that it is the same Fulani herdsmen slugging it out with the other different ethnic nationalities all over the country.


Joshua Ojo, a professor of Physics at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, publishes the Christian newsletter and Blog, Church Arise! ( ,

Church Arise! Joins Advocates for Freedom and Democracy Coalition to write CAN on State of the Church in Nigeria

May 28, 2019

Heads of Church Blocs
Officials of CAN
Heads of Denominations
All Christian Leaders
All Nigerian Christians

Dearly beloved of the Lord,


We respectfully bring greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).

*The Advocates*
The Advocates for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) is a coalition of 63 Christian fellowships and groups of professionals bonded with the vision to address anti-Christian and undemocratic agenda in Nigeria towards achieving a more egalitarian society where fundamental freedom is guaranteed and everyone is free to practise the religion of their choice, without molestation.  Our membership cuts across all the Blocs of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The theme of this passionate outreach to your respected person is as expressed by Jeremiah the weeping prophet: “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow…” (Lam. 1:12). 

*The Swelling Inferno*
The Church in Nigeria in our day is confronted with an existential threat from Islamists emboldened by foreign governments and their local collaborators in high and low places.  Daily, we are inundated with very saddening news of the abduction of priests and Christian traditional leaders, forced conversions, Christian girls being forcefully ‘married’ off to Islamists, Christian villages being overrun and resettled by jihadists, massacres at educational institutions, etc., all of which appears to be swelling to the eventual Armageddon, unless someone rises soon.  Against that painful background is the never-before assignment of only Muslims of a particular northern extraction to head virtually every arms-bearing security agency in Nigeria; a pattern that has been replicated in every other strategic agency, for example, the education sector.  The only exception in that sector is the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board where the Moslem head is from the south-west, but who is also the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs. 

During his visit to Aso Rock in November last year, the Rev Dr Dachollom Chumang Datiri of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) presented a gruesome report to President Mohammadu Buhari, of horrendous persecutions and terrors deliberately targeted at the Church; hundreds being killed and displaced without mention in the press.  Christians in Nigeria have become an endangered species.  This is certainly a time of war, as our opponents themselves have declared, although there are those who still insist on the gross denial.  That brings us to the focus of this letter.

*Between Solomon and Jephthah*
Every season calls for its peculiar leadership.  Excellent peace-time leaders do not always make effective war generals.  Winston Churchill was a great war time leader; a prominence that might have been diminished if he had been leading in calmer times.  God knew why He raised David when He did, and Solomon not in the days of the wars of David.  That was also the wisdom of the elders of Gilead in Israel.  They had the numbers, they had the arms, but they needed the weapon of right leader at a time of war, even if they had to go far to fetch that prepared person (Judges 11:4-6). 

While we suggest that the contributions of the current leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) be recognized, given the tempestuous season, it is our persuasion that the Church in Nigeria has found itself where the wise elders in Gilead once stood. 

The office of the President is obviously the most critical among the national offices.  In her wisdom, the National Executive Committee of CAN at its last exercise, has already cleared two candidates for the office.  We wish to suggest for your prayerful consideration, that instead of a contentious election that will make us even more vulnerable to the forces of darkness threatening to devour the Church in Nigeria, Dr Caleb Solomon Ahima be presented as consensus candidate.  Especially coming from the persecuted regions of the Church in this season of war, we are persuaded that he feels the pinch enough to lead in the present confrontations against those opposing forces.  This will also be charitable to his TEKAN/ECWA bloc which is yet to produce a CAN president in the 43 years of existence of the Association.  A fresh hand would be a great leadership asset in the present threats against the Church in Nigeria.

We thank you immensely for taking time to go through this letter.  We trust your prompt response to our humble call, that we don’t miss this critical opportunity to reposition the Church and effectively mobilize against the forces of Hell that desperately seek to destroy us and our heritage.  We plead with members of the National Council of CAN to kindly appreciate the significance of this period in enforcing the will of God on earth.   May it not be said of anyone, like Esau, that they sold their destiny for temporary food, waking up thereafter in tears, but too late to regain the treasure they had traded off (Heb. 12:16-17).  History, and more importantly, Heaven, waits to witness our response; yours.

We thank you for your kind attention, and may Heaven depend on you.  Amen.


*For the Advocates for Freedom and Democracy*

Prof Kontein Trinya
Prof Joshua Ojo
Barr Isaac Eze