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Partners of Release International sound warning at 20th anniversary celebrations

Mark Lipdo

Release international partners in Nigeria are warning that Christians displaced by terrorism and conflict may be denied the opportunity to vote in the upcoming Nigerian elections.

Stefanos Foundation, which has just celebrated 20 years of serving Christians traumatised and displaced by war, has launched a new report: Loud Silence.

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Attacks by groups such as Boko Haram, and Fulani militants have driven people from their homes to more than 50 internally displaced camps in seven states across Nigeria’s middle belt.

‘Bandits and armed herdsmen are still chasing them in their communities. When are they going to have the peace to be able to stand and vote?’ asks Release International partner Mark Lipdo. ‘They should never be able to disenfranchise these people.’

Nigeria goes to the polls in 2023 to elect a new president and members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Release International and partners are warning that unrest is likely to increase ahead of the elections, as terror groups seek to increase their influence.

Stefanos is warning that terrorists from outside the country are seeking to take over Nigeria.

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The Stefanos Foundation marked 20 years of serving Christians displaced by attacks by Islamists and others at a recent event at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

The anniversary event was attended by parliamentarians, the South African High Commissioner, and representatives of a wide range of organisations, including Release International.

In his keynote address, Professor P. L. O. Lumumba, Director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, commended the Stefanos Foundation’s urgently needed humanitarian assistance.

‘May the good Lord bless you and reward you for your continued support in rendering assistance to the vulnerable and the afflicted,’ added Mark Lipdo.