The Knights of St. John International, KSJI, has condemned “in the strongest terms,” what it described as “purely genocide” going on in Nigeria and demanded that such “must stop immediately.”
The Knights, in a communique issued from from its 81st International and 53rd Biennial Supreme Convention held in Philadelphia, USA, from July 15th-21st, 2018, said that the killings of thousands of predominantly Christian men, women and children in Nigeria, “without any doubt” amounts “to the sole purpose of ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.”
The communiqué, signed by Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Zdanowicz, Supreme Secretary and approved by Gen. Frank Waseleski, Sr., Supreme President, stressed that the overall view of the delegates, alternates and observers at the Convention was that what is going on in the North Central part of Nigeria “is purely genocide and must stop immediately.”
The group, which has a membership of thousands of Catholic faithful from all over the world, therefore called on the government of Nigeria, which “has the constitutional responsibility to protect its citizens irrespective of tribes, religion or ethnic persuasion,” to bring to justice, “expeditiously,” all those that bear any responsibility for the atrocities.
The communiqué, however, regretted that instead of this, those responsible for the “heinous crimes” were being allowed to go scot free, noting the group does not believe, as “being echoed and insinuated in many quarters within government circle” that the killings are a result of mere attacks and clashes among farmers and herdsmen.
The KSJI, finally called on the Nigerian government “to protect those farmers against unwarranted killings and grabbing of their inherited farmlands within the Plateau State of Nigeria.”