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NFL Star Benjamin Watson, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Say We be Silent About Christian Persecution, Genocide in Nigeria

We must act now to move toward a peaceful, unified Nigeria and prevent another African genocide. We need a special envoy, and the terrorists committing these crimes need to be held accountable.”
— Stephen Enada, co-founder of ICON
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, September 17, 2020 / -- At an awareness event hosted by the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON) yesterday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and NFL star Benjamin Watson said we cannot continue to be silent about the Christian persecution and genocide taking place in Nigeria. Gabbard and Watson joined fellow speakers former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA); Jonathan Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center; and Piero Tozzi of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in urging President Trump to send a special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. A special envoy would hold the Nigerian government accountable in addressing the humanitarian crisis that has claimed more than 90,000 lives since 2000.

Watson, who co-founded a nonprofit dedicated to impacting lives of those in need with his wife in 2008, has spoken out against Nigeria’s silent slaughter before, informing his vast social media following of the tragedies taking place and urging people to get involved.

“Islamic extremists are continuing to slaughter and enslave christians and other minorities around the world,” said Rep. Gabbard.

“Scripture talks a lot about the persecuted. It’s an analysis of our own body being in pain,” said Watson. “I played football for a long time and felt plenty of pain. When part of my body hurt the rest of my body hurt. I rehabbed that body part and I protected that body part. It’s the same with the body of Christ. We have people in pain right now and we must protect them. As Christians, we are one and the same.”

The awareness event follows recent allegations that a serving northern Nigerian governor is commanding Boko Haram—allegations the Northern Governor’s Forum has said are “too weighty to be ignored” and must be probed.

“If there’s any chance the government is involved in the systematic killing of innocent Nigerian people, it’s more important than ever that the U.S. government act to resolve this crisis,” said Stephen Enada, co-founder of ICON. “A special envoy, with the full backing of our federal government, would have the power to hold perpetrators accountable.”

“Instead of doing the right thing and protecting the Nigerian people, President Buhari has turned a blind eye to the violence—or worse, if these allegations are true,” said Kyle Abts, co-founder of ICON. “Meanwhile, the country has been transformed into an epicenter of terrorism and a ticking time bomb. After years of inaction, a catastrophic emergency is unfolding in Nigeria, but the worst is not inevitable. If we act quickly, we can still stop this crisis.”

Despite the Nigerian government’s claims to be “on top of the situation,” according to ICON’s incidence tracker nearly 3,000 people, including women and children, have been brutally killed already this year, and these terrorists show no signs of letting up.

“We must act now to move toward a peaceful, unified Nigeria and prevent another African genocide,” Enada continued. “We need a special envoy, and the terrorists committing these crimes need to be held accountable.”

Click here to view video from ICON's awareness event.


About International Committee on Nigeria (ICON)
International Committee on Nigeria is a consortium of Nigerians and other nationalities who have combined efforts to help Nigeria. Our mission is to create a community where rule of law guides every facet of societal interactions in Nigeria. ICON promotes human dignity, the right to live, religious freedom, and the protection of the vulnerable against all forms of persecution.

Elizabeth Heaton
EAH Strategies, LLC
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