Pastor, Wife Killed in Northern Nigeria

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Lekan Otufodunrin

nigeriamassacre photo pam ayuba cropped

Pastor, Wife Killed in Northern Nigeria

Islamic extremists last week abducted and killed a Church of Christ in Nigeria
pastor and his wife in Boto village, Bauchi state in northern

The Rev. Ishaku Kadah,
48, and his 45-year-old wife Selina were buried on April 17 after
unidentified assailants reportedly whisked them from their church headquarters
home on April 13 and killed them. Their burned bodies were found hours

Photo: The couple’s murder follows attacks on Christian villages in Jos, Nigeria, in January and March.

On Jan. 22, suspected
Islamic extremists had set fire to their church building days after Christians
displaced by violence in Plateau state had taken refuge on the church

“This is yet another
case of unprovoked killing of Christians, which we condemn, and demand that the
law enforcement agents must fish out the perpetrators of this act,” Bishop Musa
Fula, state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Bauchi state,
told Compass.

Police have reportedly
arrested two suspects and have launched a man-hunt for several other
accomplices. Authorities are not releasing the names of the

Boto is located in the
predominantly Christian Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi state,
which has a history of Muslim attacks on Christians.

“Police claim they are
working on it and we want to believe them,” Fula added. “We need assurance that
our people are safe. We will soon meet later on the matter to decide our next
line of action on these kind of attacks.”

The murdered couple’s
son, Simeon Kadah, said an eyewitness who had come to the church premises to
collect some rented chairs saw men dragging the pastor and his wife out of their
Kadah said the men asked the eyewitness
if he was a Muslim, and when he told them that he was, the
y told him to
leave the area and tell no one what he had seen.

The Rev. Ladi Thompson
of the Macedonian Initiative, an organization fighting anti-Christian
persecution, decried the killing of the pastor and his wife, saying it is an
indication of the great dangers Christians are exposed to in the predominantly
Muslim north.

“This kind of mindless
killing follows the same pattern that we have been campaigning against, which
many state governments in northern Nigeria are not paying due attention to,”
Thompson said. “The government cannot afford to continue to pay lip service to
protecting Christians when some people in the name of religion can take the laws
into their hands. Unless we get to the root of cases like this, there will be no
end to it.”

Following attacks on Christians near Jos in Plateau
state in January and March, sporadic killings of Christians reportedly continue.
Previously hundreds of Christian villagers were struck with machetes and burned
to death on
March 7 in Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Rastat,
three villages in Jos South and Barkin Ladi L
ocal Government

On March 17, Muslim Fulani herdsmen assaulted two
Christian villages in Plateau state, killing 13 persons, including a pregnant
woman and children. In attacks presumably over disputed property but with a
level of violence characteristic of jihadist method and motive, men in military
camouflage and others in customary clothing also burned 20 houses in Byei and
Baten villages, in the Riyom Local Government Area of the state, about 45
kilometers (29 miles) from Jos.

On Jan. 17, two pastors and
46 other Christians were killed in an outbreak of violence in Jos triggered when
Muslim youths attacked a Catholic church. Police estimated over 300 lives were
lost in
subsequent clashes, in which 10
church buildings were burned.

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