Posted by News Express | 24 March 2020 | 814 times
As escalating violence in Nigeria raises security concerns in the United States and throughout the world, the International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice (PSJ) convened global partners in Washington, D.C. to ask for help in bringing peace to Nigeria. The group met with key policymakers last week to ask for support and launched a global awareness campaign in the U.S. Dr. Richard Ikiebe, co-founder of PSJ, convened the group, which included leadership of several U.S. nongovernment organisations working on issues in Nigeria. They met with key policymakers, including: Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State; Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom; Morse Tan, Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice; Senator Todd Young (R-IN); Representative Mike Gallagher (WI-08); Defense Fellow for Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA); Legislative Director to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA); Legislative Director to Representative Jim Baird (R-IN); and Legislative Assistant to Senator Mike Braun (R-IN).
“We are very pleased by the response from U.S. policymakers. At all levels, there is deep and genuine concern for the Nigerian people and how their plight impacts U.S. national and global security,” said Dr. Ikiebe. “My sense is that it’s not a matter of whether the U.S. government will take action on this, it’s a matter of when and to what degree. We will continue to serve as a resource to policymakers as they work on this critical issue and advocate for swift action before things go from bad to worse.”
The group asked that the U.S. government use the full extent of its power to help address the crisis in Nigeria.
Specifically, the group requested that the following measures be taken:
•Appoint a U.S. Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region;
•Direct the U.S. Department of Treasury to use all assets at their disposal to stop the genocide, including the use of the Global Magnitsky Act; and
•The Nigerian government must demonstrate their efforts to stop the genocide before receiving any U.S. aid.
Leaders joining Dr. Ikiebe included Major Abdallah Baikie, Rtd. of PSJ; Stephen S. Enada, president and cofounder of the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON); Kyle Abts, co-founder of ICON; Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council (FRC); and Reverend Johnnie Moore, President of the Congress of Christian Leaders (CCL); among others.
“We are incredibly grateful to U.S. policymakers for their time and attention to this crisis,” said Enada. “The Trump Administration named Nigeria a Country of Particular Concern in December, sending a strong signal that our government will not stand for these abuses. With violence escalating and civil unrest at an all-time high, there is more that needs to be done. Now is the time to act.”
“Without Western intervention, things will most certainly get worse,” said Abts. “The violence will continue unabated and that should concern everyone, everywhere. Further, a destabilised, crisis-laden Nigeria will have negative impacts for the whole region, aside from business and other security interests, the whole stability of that part of western Africa could be in peril if this issue isn’t addressed. We need to take action now.”
While in Washington, PSJ and ICON also launched the Silent Slaughter campaign, a global campaign to bring awareness to the Nigeria’s humanitarian crisis and advocate for peace. The campaign started in the United Kingdom last month. Additional launches and other events are planned.
“The plight of the Nigerian people unconscionable,” said Major Abdallah Baikie. “Women and children are being brutally attacked, kidnapped, killed, and displaced. Entire villages are being eradicated and repopulated by terrorists. The people of Nigeria are scared, you can see it in their eyes. They have nowhere to run and the government is failing to take action on their behalf. They need our help… we need the world to help.”
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