Nigeria’s military executes 6 Christian soldiers framed for crime, human rights leaders say

February 9, 2021

The crisis of Christian persecution in Nigeria has grown in the face of official indifference and in some cases even complicity. In this case, the government is accused of having been actively involved in the framing and murder of these Christian soldiers. If these allegations are true, this incident illuminates the plight of Nigerian Christians as Muslim Fulani herdsmen and the terrorist group Boko Haram terrorize and kill them with impunity, knowing that in almost all cases there will be little or no significant response from the Nigerian government or military. The constant attacks against them have made the situation of Christians in Nigeria a human rights catastrophe of immense proportions.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, continues to implore the United Nations and the governments of all nations that are committed to human rights and religious freedom to make the plight of Nigeria’s Christians a top priority. The Christians of Nigeria are walking the way of the Cross. May our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ also bless them with the joy of a resurrection and new flourishing of their communities.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from, see here.

“Nigeria’s military executes 6 Christian soldiers framed for crime, human rights leaders say,” by Jackson Elliott, Christian Post, February 4, 2021:

Nigeria’s government executed six Christian soldiers in the city of Abuja based on false charges, according to a lawyer working for the families of one of the victims.

The soldiers were framed for a crime committed by one of their superior officers, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi told The Christian Post.

A Muslim colonel stole weapons from an armory, then blamed the 12 soldiers on duty for the theft. The military then accused the six Christian soldiers who were all members of Nigeria’s Igbo tribe, said Umeagbalasi.

They died on Jan. 25, not because of their actions, but because they were both Igbo and Christian, he said.

“The government of today detests Christianity and detests the Igbo tribe,” he said. “You receive serious discrimination against Igbo officers. It’s terrible. This administration is running on ethnic agenda against the Igbo population.”

The soldiers executed were: Prince Ukwuoma, Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu, Umeagbalasi said.

A lawyer working for the family of one of the men said he had petitioned Nigeria’s government to provide a defense, but the government denied his attempt, Umeagbalasi said.

The men were given a rigged trial with government lawyers and were executed in secret, he said. Nigeria’s Constitution says the military has no authority to execute people and that prisoners should be able to appeal to a higher court. They didn’t get their rights….

Nigeria’s Army has killed and arrested Christian soldiers before, said Umeagbalasi. However, it hasn’t killed six soldiers at once.

“This has never been a practice in the Army. Things got changed the moment this present administration came to power,” he said. “Things are happening before that didn’t happen. It’s not only about these six soldiers.”

Many Nigerians now believe the Army fights for Islam, not Nigeria, he said. In the country’s predominately Christian south, people call it “Boko Haram’s Army.” Muslims hold all the most important leadership positions.

The Army’s lack of action to protect Christians comes directly from its leaders in government, Umeagbalasi said. When troops go into areas controlled by radical Islamists to defend Nigerian Christians, the government orders them to retreat. Then, Islamist rebels shoot them in the back….