World must wake up to jihadist ideology fuelling attacks against Nigeria's Christians, says peer

The situation in Kaduna "warrants a state of emergency", CSW has said.(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Politicians "need to be more honest" about what is driving the "carnage" against Christians in Nigeria, Lord Alton has said.

The Christian crossbench peer has been critical of political leaders and the media in the wake of the Pentecost Sunday attack on a Nigerian church in which 50 people were killed.

Writing on his website, Lord Alton said it was wrong of politicians to blame the violence on climate change and a fight over natural resources.

Instead, he said they need to recognise the jihadist ideology fuelling the violence against Christians and other minorities in Nigeria.

"It is striking how quickly politicians and commentators trot out the same discredited banal narrative that the drivers for such carnage are climate change and lack of resources," he said. 

"They say that the causes are 'complicated', with hardly a mention of the Jihadist ideology that is behind the endless atrocities of ISIS and Boko Haram.

"And then they say that everyone suffers and there is a sort of equivalence with victims coming from varied religious backgrounds.

"They should tell that to the families whose loved ones are targeted, day in and day out, and see what sort of response they receive." 

Lord Alton said it was also "striking how little interest" there has been from the mainstream media in covering the attack.

"Individual lives lost in Nigeria should be no less newsworthy than in any other part of the world," he said. 

The peer called for change to prevent extremists carrying out further attacks "with impunity".

"Ordinary people living ordinary lives were the victims in Nigeria's church murder," he said.

"Impunity, insecurity, instability, intolerance and indifference must be replaced by justice, protection, and accountability.

"And politicians need to be more honest about what drives the carnage." 

He added, "It's high time the world woke up to the unpalatable truth that the same malign force that has murdered and maimed it's way through community after community continues to brutally murder Nigerian people and has been able to do so with impunity."