There is a rising sense of impunity with which non-Muslims may be attacked and persecuted. Christians, like those from Middle-belt and Northern regions, as well as indigenous associations like the Biafra movement and #EndSars protestors (i.e. challenging the anti-robbery police) are treated with similar contempt. Those who harm, persecute, and enslave non-Muslims are not arrested and often released or integrated into society – even the Nigerian army. Once in the army, they continue to act for Boko Haram’s interests thwarting legitimate efforts to fight the terrorists and rescue non-Muslim slaves.
The reality of Boko Haram/ISWAP jihad slavery in Nigeria first came to Western attention with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “#BringBackOurGirls” hashtag in the wake of the abduction of 276 Christian girls from the town of Chibok on April 14, 2014. Today, many of these girls remain as slaves and the world has largely forgotten.
Yet, it continues with girls like Leah Sharibu, who remains a slave to this day for her refusal to renounce her faith in Christ. Pressure on the Nigerian government to stop these incidents and free the slaves has been insignificant. Additionally, the human rights community has failed to bring adequate attention and publicity, because it is politically incorrect.
The U.S. State Department’s 2019 human rights report on Nigeria does not give an official figure for the number of people enslaved by jihadists, but says that it could be in the thousands. One is too many, and that is the reason for this Committee’s formation. We appeal to citizens and political leaders alike, to Rally for Nigeria so that we can Free Nigerian Slaves and End Slavery Now!
Committee to Free Nigerian Slaves
Representative Ilhan Omar
In April 2021 we published and delivered a petition to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN, District 5). As the only native African serving in the U.S. Congress, we as Nigerians in the diaspora asked her to lend her political and moral power to help free our people. Some of these slaves are Muslims, and Representative Omar has the opportunity to make a stand for peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria by denouncing this violence, and the use of slavery as a weapon of jihad.
We fervently hope that her good will, and the good will of the American people, can help bring a peaceful end to the crisis in Nigeria, and to the existence of what the abolitionist Wole Soyinka called the “open sore of the continent” on African soil today.
Senator Ben Sasse
June 2021, we petitioned Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) to help end the slaughter and enslavement of Nigerian people. We understood that his role as a member of the Senate Finance and Intelligence Committees, and a Senator active on National Security, he has expressed deep concern over the funding sources of those who are wreaking havoc in Nigeria.
We appeal to his commitment to fight for religious freedom and human rights for all peoples. We appeal to him because all black lives matter.