West Africa: CM is in the consolidation phase of bringing our people together in West Africa. It is amazing, what God is doing there! Praise Him with us for all the tens of thousands who have come out of the darkness of Islam into the light of following Jesus Christ. The largest CM community to date is the network among Fulani in twelve states of the Sahel zone. Thousands of communities and congregations of former Muslims have joined ranks with CM. Tens of thousands have turned their backs on Boko Haram and IS Africa, many of these becoming Christians. God is working mightily among the Fulani/Fula/Fulbe people. Pray especially for B., the apostle to the Fulani people and for his network of over 1.600 communities. Pray for the whole geographical area, which is in turmoil. Whether it be Chad, North Cameroun, Niger, Mali, Nigeria or bordering parts of other states, the Islamic jihad is creating great turmoil.
The UN peace keeping mission to Mali MINUSMA is not likely to survive. France has already withdrawn, and Germany has intentions to end its participation in May. The involvement of Russian mercenary troops is disquieting. Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election, slated for 25 February, is accompanied by rising ethnic tensions. Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups, with varying languages and customs. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa (including Fulani) which are 34% of the population, Yoruba and Igbo with make up each 14% of the population. The main presidential candidates are ‘the Godfather of Lagos’ Bola Tinubu (APC), a Yoruba Muslim from the south-west; Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP), a Fulani Muslim from Kano in the north-west; Atiku Abubakar (PDP) a Fulani Muslim from Adamawa in the north-east; and Peter Obi, an Igbo Christian from the south-east who in May left the PDP to lead the Labour Party (LP). While many Yoruba Christians might be tempted to vote along tribal lines, the fact that the APC is going against convention to run a Muslim-Muslim ticket might cause many Christian voters to reconsider. Most Christians will probably vote for either the pro-business, anti-Sharia Atiku Abubakar (PDP), or the Christian political rising star Peter Obi (LP), whose popularity is soaring across the country (including in the north) to the extent that he is now leading in the polls.
How the Fulani herdsmen, Islamists and jihadists will respond to the retirement of their champion – President Muhammadu Buhari (APC), who has protected them – is one concern. How they might respond to an Obi win is another. Please pray for God to intervene in Nigeria so that righteousness, justice, peace, and security might be established; and may the Lord sustain, guide, and sanctify his imperiled Church through these challenging times - in particular our growing MBB community.