At the instruction of the Lord, I traveled across the backwaters of Northern Nigeria from January 29th to February 7th,2019. I started in Yola on January 29th, I drove the treacherous Nigerian Road with its multiple challenges for 9 days.
Times are bad in the Beautiful Spaces that I went through. Deeply painful experiences are covered by large volumes of Babanriga and beautiful multi colored Northern Women Robes. It is Not uncommon to hear most of the ladies begin sentences by stoically declaring: “they killed my husband…” or “they slaughtered my son… “ literal slaughter like a goat in my presence!!!😰😰😰
Cases of rape were so common that they were assumed as not so special and people don’t really talk about them again.
The very common denominator also – is the deafening silence of the government in all the areas. No action, no presence, just silence.
Brothers and Sisters, I saw the face of Jihad. It was BRUTAL, it was STRONG! It was MERCILESS, It was RELENTLESS in its search for DOMINION. It was GLOBAL in its OPERATION.
ZAMFARA STATE & ITS FULANI CHRISTIANS:
It was in Zamfara State, where the Radical Islam fired its first, open and modern shot by declaring Sharia in 1999. In this same state, a Fulani Christian Brother looked at me with the intensity that only a true, born Fulani can muster and said: “Dr Sayo, if we refuse to acknowledge that this is a reboot of 1804 Uthman Dan Fodio Jihad, then we are dangerously naive and we will all be destroyed.”
THE DEAFENING SILENCE IN THE NORTH.
In Northern Nigeria, there is a huge and a deafening SILENCE. It is a Silence imposed by FEAR. I experienced it in all the State I visited. People open up to you only at the prodding of trusted, long term leaders. Once they open up, what you are likely to hear is one horror story after the other. I am personally scared/ branded for life. I feel like a fiducially responsible custodian of these stories. They cannot and will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
I sat in the homes of the INTENSELY CLANNISH Fulani people. All homes in the city were overflowing with Cousins, aunts, brothers, Uncles etc etc who have been uprooted from their village homesteads. For the FULANI CHRISTIANS, it is a case of DOUBLE JEOPARDY!
Their Southern Christian Brethren, refuse to believe that they exist, their Northern Muslim relatives sees them as THE WORST OF INFIDELS AND TRAITORS. They are murdered, raped, properties expropriated, chased out of their traditional range and largely helpless and without friends.
I sat with my Fulani Brothers and Sisters in the House of Mourning. They are the Quintessential 2Corinthians 1:8 Christians. How they remain faithful, I don’t know. Wether I will remain faithful under such a trial, I can’t tell. All I can tell you is that I was silent… I am still silent. I am like the friends beside the sickbed of Job (I actually spent considerable amount of time at the Gusau Federal Hospital where multiple Infirms were receiving treatments from the aftermath of the insurgency) I prayed fervently and passionately that I will not say silly, soulish things like the friends of Job. I pray that you and myself will respond with the Heart of the Spirit.
How do you report on 7 days and multiple thousands of Kilometer on treacherous roads and dangerous contexts? All you can do is paint a mini picture and passionately hope that we will respond with meaningful action commitments.
My experience did not end in the small towns and villages. This time around, the Lord allowed me to experience the city. Those who are close to me know how I intensely detest staying in Lagos and Abuja and how I always escape- at the slightest opportunity – to the countryside. Well, this time around, there was a Dateline Abuja! The Lord forced my stay for three days in this great city; and what an education I got!
Without wanting to and actually actively resisting same, I got among the high stake political actors. I was divinely introduced to and intensely connected with the person I will describe as “The Godfather” of Northern Nigerian Christian political action. A very quiet man, intensely personal to the extreme; he is surrounded by highly successful young Northern Nigerian Christians, His living room is a constant hub of young people who relate with him as their ever so loving uncle who will not allow anyone to play the fool. In the two and a half days that I spent in Abuja, he made me to come and spend time with him four times! We left his house the first day at 3:30 am; we left his house the second day at 2:00 am. In all of these times,he is the most quiet but the most alert person in the room. He speaks in short busts; never long winded; his passion is very clear: How do we defeat the Islamic Jihad in Nigeria?
In one of his short bursts, he said: “you are too late in coming!” (As if he had been waiting for me!) “We no longer have the time! If we don’t do something DRASTIC NOW, there probably will be NO CHRISTIANS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA in 15 Years”
“Qatar, Kuwait, the Saudis are pouring massive amounts of money into Northern Nigeria for the specific purpose of Islamization.”
He said, “Sayo, it is only me…, I have fought this battle for more than a quarter of a century. I have been financially induced, I have been bribed with high positions, I have been threatened, squeezed, cajoled… but I have remained steadfast these many years. I consider it my calling to sponsor young Northern Christians
Into political offices. Many of them betray their calling after getting the office. But, I am not discouraged. I will fight on till my boot is removed. “
The latest iteration of political Jihadism is the most vicious. In spite of large number of Christianson the Southwest, I consider Southwest as lost. Political Jihadism has enslaved the Southwestern Nigeria people. How else can you explain that over 75% of ALL ELECTIVE OFFICES are Muslims in places where you have over 60% Christians? The remaining 25% Southern Nigerian Christians who actually get into political offices have demonstrated such an abysmally low quality of leadership that it is depressing. Two virulently committed Islamists rules the roost in the South west. Aregbesola and his boss Tinubu have laid the foundation to kill the Church. The Southern Christian Leadership looks the other way!”
“Leadership is by elections. Elections MUST BE FOUGHT! Fighting elections in Nigeria costs a lot of money. I have spent virtually ALL THAT I HAVE FIGHTING. I will keep spending. I must however be honest, I am tired. I am spent!”
“The Islamists are squeezing me like no man’s business. In this election cycle, it is pretty bad! I even tried to sell my choice properties and NO ONE WITH MONEY WILL BUY! They know I will spend the money on strategic Christian candidates.”
At this point, around 1:00am Wednesday night; he picked up his phone and called the leading candidate in the most viciously fought gubernatorial battle of this election cycle, David Ombugadu (PDP) of Nassarawa State. A critical State with 75% Christian Population, Nassarawa state has NEVER had a Christian Governor since the creation of the state 1996 and it is by design. By patient planning and a passionate love for his people; David Ombugadu is disrupting the narratives.
David entered the House of Representative at around the age of 29 and he served two terms. What older and supposedly more matured men did not attempt, David did and he did it excellently. He facilitated and sank standard water bore holes in nearly 2000 water- challenged communities. He used his constituency allowance wisely build and staff multiple health centers. He partnered with community agencies of various faith expressions to provide strategic and often very absent but critical services. David said to me: “I serve every constituent over whom I am elected, but I know the source of my motivation: it is my faith in Christ.”
I (Sayo) understand services but to call a man who just finished an intense day of campaigning and ask him to drive 2 hours to a meeting with an unknown entity (me!)…, that is a long call! I said to myself, “Well, let’s see what comes out of Baba’s instruction!” As if reading my mind, he answered on cue: “Don’t worry Sayo, David will come now.”
Well, long story short, an hour and a half later; David walked to the room. He was groggy from sleep, driven by his immediate Junior brother. His security details forbid his traveling at that hour of the night on the dangerous road with kidnappers et al. David said to them, “that is OK.” He allowed them to go to their quarters, entered an unmarked car and told his junior brother to drive him to Abuja at 1:00 AM! Baba calls!!!
I was awed. I met a modern day TRUE DAVID! He came in, very humble, very sleepy but very present. You loved him INSTANTLY. What stood out for me was his humility. Greeted everyone with respect. Bowed very reverentially before Baba in the unique Northern Nigerian way; and said to his brother “give me chewing gum, I have to stay awake!”
Baba said to us, “David must win! But I am spent… and he is spent… who will help us?” The campaign swallows about 5 Million Naira ($13,698.63) a day. Has about 24 days more to run… David’s opponent got ($800,000) 292 Million Naira from one of the Islamic countries and 250 Million Naira that same day from an Islamic leader of government in one of the Southwestern Nigeria States. The money was transferred from the coffers of the state government!
David said to me “Sir, I need help, the next few days are the ground game days. I must put agents in every community. My advantage is that the young people from both Islam and Christian faith are solidly with me. But I must keep the ground game going till the very end.”
I felt weak… I felt like a mother hen. I wanted to protect David. I said to David, “I am not a wealthy man. But I am going to tell all my friends to help you.” I am doing it right now. Please help David Ombugadu, the brilliant, and young and Christian Gubernatorial Candidate of Nassarawa State.
Ombugadu Initiative And Support Group
Account Details :
Fidelity bank plc: 6060327186
UBA Plc : 1021383619
Zenith bank plc: : 1006014376
Thank you in Anticipation
My new great friend, Lawyer Labaran of Zamfara State said to me: “Sayo, the only way to victory over institutional Jihadism is building institutions. They have excluded our children from schools, so we must build new schools. They have severely restricted our youths from access to professional training, so we must build professional training institutions. We must work with stable communities to create new farming villages. It will be tough but we must do this or the squeeze of the python will suck out the final vestiges of life that we Northern Christians have.”
I have come back from Northern Nigeria. At each spot I stopped, we gathered Christian leaders and prayed. We interceded – intensely. But we must do more than pray, we must ENGAGE NOW OR NIGERIA IS TURKEY! All our big and beautiful churches will experience the same fate as Haggia Sofia Church in Turkey. We must ACT!
Sitting here in Heathrow, waiting for a long connection, I am crying like Moses: “who is on the Lords side? The battle is at the gate. Who will serve the King?”
Please help us to rehabilitate women victims of Boko Haram. They have been severely neglected by our leaders. Funding provided by Foreign Nations do not get to the people. I met with the most Senior Officials at African Development Bank Abuja on Friday 8th, the tales and the happenings and the incapacitation of a bank that is willing to help left me completely without strength. How can we be so wicked to ourselves? How can our government be so uncaring? Well you can understand what is happening only if you view it from the lens of Jihad. Please help us to assist these widows.
Help us as we investigate how to rebuild Christian sponsored institutions for the Christian Fulani people and their neighbors.
We must support David Ombugadu in his pursuit of the gubernatorial office. Let us crowd source this campaign. We can do something great in the Nigerian Political Space for Once.
We will continue Praying and Interceding over the Nation of Nigeria. We have mobilized over a thousand Intercessors in the North of Nigeria. Please join us to pray for Revival in the Nation of Nigeria.
THIS WICKED JIHAD MUST FAIL!