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Photo Credit: World Watch Monitor
Photo Credit: World Watch Monitor
Photo Credit: World Watch Monitor
Photo Credit: World Watch Monitor
UK News

More than half of Brits want foreign aid to Nigeria to be dependent on protecting Christians

by Tola Mbakwe

A new poll has revealed 53 per cent of UK adults want foreign aid to Nigeria to be made conditional on measures protecting Christians.

The study was commissioned by humanitarian organisation PSJ UK, which promotes peace building and social justice in Nigeria.

The results follow a new spate of attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna, mostly targeting Christian communities.

Last month five aid workers, most of them Christian, and a local security company were kidnapped and executed by terrorists who posted the video of the execution online to serve as a warning to others.

According to PSJ UK, in the past 20 years more than 100,000 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram, Islamic State and Fulani militants which has resulted in the internal and external displacement of 2-3 million victims.

Chief executive of PSJ UK Ayo Adedoyin told Premier Christian News violent persecution in the country is running rampant.

"This is a problem that is spreading even beyond Nigeria, it's stretching out across West Africa. The entire Sahel has now become the latest frontier for global terrorism. All the terrorist groups that have been pushed out of Syria and Iraq are gathering and amassing themselves in the region and it is extremely worrying, 

"The Nigerian government is either unwilling or incapable of dealing with this issue, which is why it's carrying on.  The response of the government on ground is certainly not adequate. This is not just a Nigerian problem. It really is an international problem and it would be really great for the British government to lead the way in making a change."

The poll carried about by Savanta ComRes interviewed more than 2000 UK adults and also found that 58 per cent of respondents support imposing sanctions on individuals who have been held responsible for human rights abuses. 

Meanwhile, 47 per cent support withholding all foreign aid to Nigeria until the persecution of Christians comes to an end. 

Ayodoyin said the UK's aid plans for Nigeria need to be urgently reviewed. 

"The truth of the matter is that if we go ahead and pump whatever aid we have sent across to Nigeria… taxpayers money, into building schools and a whole bunch of other facilities which are under threat of only been burned down a little while after, then we've pretty much wasted the money, we've wasted the efforts.

"I think security needs to be critically high. I know we will hear from both the Nigerian government and indeed from the British government that they are working to try and tackle what's going on in Nigeria. But the evidence on the ground is suggesting that not enough is happening. If a good chunk of our aid budget can be targeted towards protecting vulnerable communities many of whom are Christian, I think that would be a very good thing."

Since the Bishop of Truro's report on Christian persecution around the world, commissioned by former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the FCO, interest in the cause is rising fast among UK political actors.

The UK's parliament's APPG on International Freedom of Religion or Belief recently published a report highlighting the growing atrocities taking place in Nigeria on a daily basis raising the question of whether there is an 'Unfolding Genocide' in Nigeria against Christians and non-agreeable Muslims.

Nigeria ranks twelfth on Open Doors World Watch List 2020 of the countries in which Christians are most persecuted. By comparison, Syria ranks 11th and Saudi Arabia ranks 13th, with Iraq 15th and Egypt 16th

Listen to Premier's full interview with Ayo Adedoyin here: 

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