Award-winning Investigative Reporter Speaks on Pentecost Sunday Attack at St. Francis Catholic Church & “Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter-Genocide in Nigeria”
David Hundeyin, award-winning investigative reporter, founder of https://westafricaweekly.substack.com/,and one of the compilers of Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter- Genocide in Nigeria and Implications for the International Community, has explained the June 5 Pentecost Sunday terrorist attack at St. Francis Catholic church in Owo, southwest Nigeria. He says: “I see it as the latest notch in a continuous thread about extremist violence which started in the northwest, migrated to the northeast, made its way southward through the middle belt, and is now preparing for a sustained assault on the southwest in a manner not dissimilar to the middle belt in 2015. As was expressed very clearly in the report (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/345122865_Nigeria_Silent_Slaughter_Genocide_in_Nigeria_and_the_Implications_for_the_International_Community), the differences between recognized Islamic terror groups active in Nigeria and so-called Fulani herdsmen are merely semantic – they share the same existential goals and beliefs, and their methods are very similar. The terror attack in Owo was merely a continuation of the same terror observed against Christian groups across the north and middle belt for years, typified by the 2011 Christmas Day bombing of a Catholic Church in Madalla.” David goes further to say: “they are the same people. Any differences between Boko Haram/ISWAP/Ansaru and the so-called Fulani Herders are merely notional and semantic. They share the same existential goals of territorial expansion through Islamist terror and violence.”
Mr. Hundeyin, the author of “Cornflakes for Jihad: The Boko Haram Origin Story,” https://westafricaweekly.substack.com/p/cornflakes-for-jihad-the-boko-haram, and exile journalist at the moment, has studied Nigeria’s climate of religious tensions between Christians and Muslims. He explains the challenges encountered while putting together Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter report: “The report took the best part of 2 years to research and put together, including months of traveling around the country to gather eyewitness testimony, pictures, videos, and documents. The major challenge was braving the security situation to travel to places in the north and middle belt, which were not directly accessible by air, and required hours of dangerous road travel to get to. As a result of this, the report also had to be put together in secret because there was a real risk of elimination if the state found out what was being done and why.”
Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter report caused quite a stir when it first came out. David expresses the view that “The fact that this report was not only collated but also made its way to the very highest levels of the US government, which agreed with its contents and thus placed Nigeria on a special diplomatic notice list, has forever punctured the veil of invisibility and total impunity that the Nigerian state backers of these terrorists once acted with. It may not have achieved its stated goal of nudging the US government into appointing a special envoy to Nigeria as it did to great effect in Sudan, but its very existence and public availability have very greatly impeded the expansionist agenda, which previously enjoyed near-total secrecy. Sunlight at the end of the day really is the best disinfectant.”
The world hopes that “sunlight” comes upon Nigeria’s darkening climate of attacks against Christians and minority groups, and religious harmony is attained among all religious and non-religious entities. The June 5 attack left around 40 worshippers dead and injured 74 others.
Photo credit of David Hundeyin:www.davidhundeyin.com