A US-based non-profit group, Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE) made the call in a petition written to the office of the United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinke.
In the petition, the GATE accused the Nigerian government of sponsoring terrorism by carrying out terrorist activities, including training, fundraising, financing, and recruitment of terrorists.
It stated that the government officials were using the shell of their office as a safe haven, transit and operational base for terrorists and terrorist activities.
The group claimed that some ministers in Buhari’s administration, governors, an ambassador, former Inspector General of Police, head of a security agency and some political office holders were sponsoring terrorism but said the government had failed to take any step against it.
The GATE stated that the US Government designating Nigerian officials as sponsors of terrorism will have far-reaching legal implications, including potentially arrest and criminal prosecution in a federal US court if they visit the country.
The petition reads in part: “The balance of terror of government’s false narrative has further exposed the complicity of the Nigerian Government in the anti-Christian butcheries and its monumental failure in discharging its constitutional duties of protecting and safeguarding the citizens irrespective of their religion, tribe or creed.
“The Government has not only failed to provide official credible data of the killings, maiming and Christian properties destroyed or burnt but also undermined, mangled and denied same when independently presented.
“The Government has also failed woefully in letting Nigerians and the International Community know, with verifiable statistics, the proportionality or dis-proportionality of such interfaith asymmetric killings, maiming and destroyed or burnt or lost properties.
“That is to say that there are no credible data from the present central Government of Nigeria or its security and law enforcement agencies including Nigeria Police Force and Defense or Army Headquarters, showing the percentage or number of attacks against defenceless Christian communities by the state-backed and protected Jihadist Herdsmen or reprisals by the victim Christian communities, if any.
“In other words, there are no credible Government’s records or from its security and law enforcement agencies showing the number of attacks against Christians since mid-2015 by Jihadist Herdsmen, number of Christians killed, a number of their lands seized and occupied by the Jihadists and number of Christians’ properties including dwelling houses, worship and learning centres destroyed or burnt or lost to Jihadist Herdsmen.
“Government or security or law enforcement records are near totally absent, if not totally absent regarding the number of Jihadist Herdsmen arrested and investigated, convicted and jailed since mid-2015 for killing Christians or seizing or destroying their properties especially their sacred learning and worship centres. Independent records have continued to indicate that such perpetrators are often not arrested but shielded by the security forces.
“On the other hand, there are also no credible records from the same Government or its security and law enforcement agencies showing the number of attacks against Jihadist Herdsmen or Fulani citizens or settlements by the victim Christian groups or communities, number of Fulani citizens killed, number of their lands seized and occupied, number of Fulani properties including dwelling houses, Mosques and learning centres destroyed or burnt by same Christian avengers.
“On our part and independently speaking, the evidence on the ground grossly shows the contrary or contradicts all the Government claims. Apart from attacks on Christians in Nigeria being brutally asymmetric or ‘98%/2%’ ratio; or radical Islamists’ attacks or violence against Christians 98% and reprisals against such attacks or violence 2% or less; the Nigerian Government, adding to its monumental failure to protect Christians and fish out and punish their attackers, has also repeatedly repelled such reprisals if rarely risen or rarely about to occur.
“Under the same Government, any reprisal killing of Herdsman is given the widest media attention locally and internationally; with the wheel of justice speeded up against the perpetrator(s). But when Christians are massacred, Government rolls out industrially its media censorship and inaction including aiding and abetting; for purpose of dwarfing or mangling the same.
“Both in principle and in practice, the present Government of Nigeria has provided and still provides maximum protection for Fulani settlements and their jihadist groups and turned and still turns blind eyes, including little or zero response, to an early warning or distress calls on the side of the persecuted Christians and their properties, especially when under attack or about to be attacked.
“Naturally, individual or group victim citizens’ reprisals become inevitable when governing or securing authorities woefully failed in their duties to protect them and go after their attackers; or whereby same governing or securing authorities take sides and shield the perpetrators and cover up their atrocities.
“In the case of persecuted Christians and their communities in Nigeria or any part thereof, they have remained substantially pacifist, nonviolent, peaceful and law-abiding; allowing themselves to be massacred at will; only for the same Government and its security and law enforcement agencies especially the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force to torment and punish them for being nonviolent.
“Even in the midst of vicious, systematic and coordinated attacks or violence against them by the Jihadist Herdsmen, the Government does little or nothing to protect and secure them other than to criminalize and collectively frame them up with all manners of false labelling and accusations.’’
This comes after the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami revealed why the Federal Government cannot name the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria.