Report: 16,000 Christians have been killed in violence in Nigeria in less than 3 years

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. | Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

A report has claimed that as many as 16,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since June 2015, including numerous victims of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.

The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law has submitted a petition calling on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to "wake up from [his] slumber" and protect the millions of Christians in the country.

The organization has denounced the president for his lack of action on the matter and accused him of aiding and abetting Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram militants through his "inactions and body language."

The letter, which was also sent to U.S. President Donald Trump United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, claimed that 16,000 people, mostly Christians, have died since Buhari took office in 2015. The figure included the 5,800 victims of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, according to the organization's investigation.

"The estimated 16,000 deaths are specifically composed of 2,050 victims of direct State violence, 7,950 victims of police custody or captivity killings through racial profiling and unprofessional crime detection management, 2,050 victims of Boko Haram insurgency and 3,750 victims of terror Fulani Herdsmen killings," the group stated, adding that hundreds of churches have also been destroyed.

Buhari had vowed to defeat Boko Haram while the authorities have repeatedly stated last year that the group is being successfully driven out of the country, but despite these claims, bombing and kidnapping attacks continue.

The group had noted that the attacks against Christians have increased by 62 percent since June 2015, despite Buhari's promises, and it denounced the government for doing "little to nothing" in terms of bringing the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.

The report pointed out that at least 350 people, mostly Christians, have been killed by Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram in several Nigerian states during the months of December 2017 and January 2018.

"Mr. President must wake up from his slumber and discharge his sworn constitutional duties and functions courageously and impartially, so as to prevent a situation where millions of the threatened and endangered Christians in Nigeria would be forced to take recourse to self defence and other self-help mechanisms," the group said, according to The Guardian Nigeria.

The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) has also expressed their disappointment with Buhari's inactions regarding the violence perpetrated against Christians.

Last week, the group warned in a statement that the country is fast becoming "rudderless" and outlines several grievances it has with the Buhari administration.

CANAN had also accused the authorities of inaction and refusing to provide necessary support to protect Christian communities. The group had contended that the conflict should not be viewed as one between regular Muslims and Christians, noting that the latest incident of violence had been orchestrated by "criminal herdsmen."