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Christian persecution in Nigeria worsening on Daily basis

Christian persecution in Nigeria worsening on Daily basis  As warned by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Nigeria's escalating insecurity has reached an...

Christian persecution in Nigeria worsening on Daily basis 

As warned by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Nigeria's escalating insecurity has reached an alarming level in recent Months. Extrajudicial killings of innocent people, especially Christians, and indiscriminate property destruction have become commonplace. The Nigerian government professes to be in control of the situation, as always, but the reality on ground contradicts this claim. As a matter of fact, there exist witnesses confessions indicative and indicting government as aiding the perpetrators in many ways than can be imagined.

Banditry, abduction, armed robbery, cultism, communal confrontations, cattle rustling, Islamic extremism/jihadism, cattle herders' invasion of farmlands, out of control destruction of farmlands/unprecedented killing of farmers, kidnapping and daily terrorism attacks from Bokoharam and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), are now commonplace in Nigeria. Unfortunately, President Muhammadu Buhari has proven to be a bigot and only competent in pursuit of clannish and religious domination. 

Predictably, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which is only good at issuing press releases, has already spoken out against the militants' tactics of attacking Christians and their places of worship. While many Christians have been killed in cold-blood by Muslim extremists using blasphemy as a pretext, Nigerians and the civilized world were on Wednesday, May 12, 2022 treated to a harrowing incident; the video of the brutal murder, by stoning, of a Christian Girl, Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, by her fellow students was not chilling but bestial and barbaric. It was a sad manifestation of brainwashed ideology of a section of Nigeria on a daily deterioration. A decay traceable from many years of pacification, acceptance and tolerance of unprovoked violence!

The following is the timeline of unprovoked and unprotected attacks on Christians before and after the lynching of Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu:

On June 4th, another horrible incident took place at Abuja, the Nigeria capital. A 30 year old member of a local vigilante group, named Ahmad Usman, was stoned to death in Lugbe area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammed. According to an eye witness, the incident occurred at the Lugbe timber market section of Fruit Market in Federal Housing Estate. The eye witness narrated how the police caused a stampede by firing gunshots to disperse people. Continuing, the eye witness said that he (Usman) was caught buying food in the market in the afternoon, when a prearranged thugs approached him, hit a stick on his head. So he tried his best to run away while seeking help from the few people around but no one helped him out of fear of being targeted. At that point, he was being stoned but he made it to the office. Yet his colleagues abandoned him with the claim of being outnumbered by hoodlums. Having sustained various degrees of injuries, he became unconscious. Yet his savage and bloodthirsty attackers poured petrol on him and burnt him in front of the office.

On March 25, 2022, Rev. Fr. Felix Zakari of the St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Zango Tama parish, Giwa local government area of Kaduna State was among the 50 people kidnapped by Fulani bandits. These Fulani Bandits aided by Nigeria militaries had in the early hours of Friday raided villages, among them was Zango Tama where over 50 people were killed and about 100 abducted. The Catholic Church was also razed by the bandits. The nine villages affected during the attack by the bandits are Dillalai, Zango Tama, Kaya, Barebari, Bakko, Gidan Alhajin, Kida, Kadanya and Durumi.

A Catholic parish located in Chawai, in the Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State was attacked on Sunday night by gunmen on February 6. Rev Fr Joseph Shekari was kidnapped but the terrorists did not spare the life of a yet-to-be-identified cook working in the parish house who was allegedly killed during the attack.

The full statement reads: 

In a statement by Catholic Chancellor, Kafanchan Diocese, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, who confirmed the development, he said “It is with great pain that we announce to you the kidnapping of our Priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Danjuma Shekari. The sad event occurred on Sunday, February 06, 2022, at about 11.30 pm.”

“He was abducted from his residence at St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Ikulu Pari, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“While we solicit for intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands.”

“We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.

“May Jesus crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and all other kidnapped persons,” Okolo said.

On March 8, some gunmen invaded the St. John Catholic Church, Kudenda in Chikun Local Government Area of the State and abducted the Priest, Reverend Father Joseph Akete. Two persons were killed on the process while the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Joseph Akete, was abducted by terrorists at the Kudendan community in Kaduna State. It was gathered that the terrorists, who invaded the church in large number around 1am and operated till about 2:30 am, shot indiscriminately before gaining access into the church. The chancellor of the Kaduna Catholic Archdiocese, Rev Fr. Christian Emmanuel, announced on 12th May that the Rev. Fr. Bako, has died in the kidnappers’ hideout. Rev. Fr. Emmanuel said the 48-year-old priest died after battling sickness while in the kidnappers’ den. According to him, Rev. Fr. Bako was denied access to his drugs by the bandits which led to his death.

“His own brother was killed there in his presence and after his brother was killed, his condition worsened and he died. We have not recovered his corpse but we have confirmed his death. People who were kidnapped together with him saw him die,” Rev. Emmanuel said.

On May 2, 2022, the news that the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu Uche, was on Sunday 1st of May, 2022 reportedly Kidnapped along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State. It was gathered that the Fulani kidnappers took him alongside Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, the Methodist Bishop of Owerri and the Prelate’s Chaplain. They were both kidnapped in the afternoon while they were on their way from a programme in the council area.

At the height of all these barbarism, the leaders of the country are not doing anything to remedy the ugly situation. The above are just few examples in such a short period of time. However, the most annoying part is Christian leaders’ proclivity to call for more prayers without encouraging action. They are intentionally leading their members to the slaughter. Even the holy Bible says that prayers without good work is dead. It is faith in God that leads someone to pray to Him. God cannot do for you what He has given you power to do for yourself.

As it stands now, Nigeria is ranking 3rd on the world's terrorism index behind Afghanistan and Iraq and rated 9th as countries where Christians are persecuted most in the world. Yet, nobody is saying anything, and the whole world is silent.

Sadly, each time these killings occur, the reason always given is demand for Islamic caliphate or ‘red flag’ such as blasphemy (whatever that means). It is the tolerance from Church leaders that embolden the killers.

Except some forceful actions are taken urgently, Christians are indeed in trouble!

Written by Chidiebere Obulose

Edited by Chibueze Daniel

For Family Writers Press International,


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