January 6, 2014
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General
New York, NY 10017
Dear Secretary-General Ban,
On behalf of the Washington Working Group on Nigeria, we would like to thank you
for your service to the global community in promoting international cooperation,
peace and security. The Working Group on Nigeria is a coalition of U.S. organizations
working in the U.S., the U.N., I.C.C. and other fora advocating for peace, justice and
humanitarian assistance in response to the insurgency in northern Nigeria.
Pursuant to our efforts, on November 13th, 2013, the U.S. government designated
the Nigerian jihadists group Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The
United Kingdom, Canada, and Nigeria have also designated Boko Haram a Terrorist
Organization. By designating Boko Haram a Terrorist Organization, these nations
have placed financial sanction on Boko Haram and their affiliates.
Boko Haram’s 200+ body count in the January 20, 2012 massacre was the highest
single death toll in any conflict worldwide exceeding Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan,
Pakistan and tied only with Syria. The National Consortium for the Study of
Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) reported that Boko Haram was
the second most deadly terrorist group for the year 2012 ranking only behind the
Taliban – and ahead of Al Qaeda.
• As you are well aware, thousands of lives have been lost in this largely silent
slaughter in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram including members of your
own staff in the 2011 U.N. bombing.
• Nearly one-third of the religious institutions targeted globally in 2012 were
located in Nigeria, where Boko Haram overwhelmingly attacked churches.
• There were more attacks on religious institutions in Nigeria than there were
attacks on diplomatic embassies around the world combined (diplomatic
institutions including the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank,
the World Health Organization and the UN as well as consulates, embassies, and
The time has indeed come to help bring an end to what you have described as
“senseless violence” and to aid those that have lost so much especially as it has now
assumed international humanitarian dimensions with thousands of refugees in
Cameroun, Chad and Niger.
Regrettably, there is currently no victim compensation fund for the victims of
these massacres as Nigeria’s President announced that he would not provide
compensation. Apart from the limited relief efforts some of our members are
undertaking, we are not aware of any support by multilateral or international
donors to victims in Nigeria.
However, the Nigerian government is reportedly spending over 30 million dollars to
repair the U.N. building in Abuja after it was bombed in 2011. Over 100 churches
have been destroyed since the U.N. bombing in 2011, about 3 mosques attacked and
thousands of homes, farms and businesses as well, yet the Nigerian government has
offered no restitution for the victims.
These victims are desperate. Desperation and destitution in the face of impunity are
potential drivers for retaliation and escalation. This needs to be urgently mitigated.
On this 2nd anniversary of the Mubi Massacre of January, 6, 2012, we the
undersigned organizations join Ike Nzeribe, the sole survivor of that attack, and
urge the U.N. to repay at a minimum the equivalent amount of the renovation costs
towards a Victim Compensation Fund. We consider it unfair for the world’s top
diplomatic institution, which is funded by national governments to derive a benefit
from the Nigerian government when Nigeria’s own indigent citizens who lack the
social welfare safety net and perquisites of diplomats are deprived of the same.
Our data shows that in 2011 attacks around Nigeria’s capital city, Boko Haram first
bombed the Police HQ in June, ACFM church in July, the U.N. building in August and
St. Theresa’s Catholic church on Christmas day – all fatally. Recently, our fact-finders
visited St Theresa’s and found a mother who lost her husband and three children
in the bombing, struggling to care for a 13-year old son who survived but still has
shrapnel in his skull – 2 years after. People like this would benefit from a VCF.
We also urge that the UN Security Council impose global terror finance sanctions on
Boko Haram as an AlQaida affiliate.
Finally, we would like to formally request a meeting with you to discuss these
We thank you for your repeated statements on the situation and ask you to take
actions reflective of the concern you have expressed.
We look forward to your prompt attention to this letter.
African Christian Fellowship USA
Christian Association of Nigerian Americans (CANAN)
The Institute on Religion and Democracy
The Igbo League
Justice for Jos
Red Eagle Enterprises
Religious Freedom Coalition
The Westminister Institute
Andrew E. Harrod, Ph.D
Independent Researcher and Writer
Victim and Sole Survivor of Boko Haram’s Mubi Massacre (January 6, 2012)