Deadly Sunday as gunmen run amok in Kaduna and killed worshippers
Yesterday, the risk map of the troubled Northwest was stretched to include worship centres after bandits attacked Haske Baptist Church in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing two persons while many worshippers were abducted.
Before yesterday’s attack, all tiers of educational institutions have been serially targeted.
An unspecified number of worshippers also sustained degrees of injuries with a medical doctor, Zakariah Dogo Yaro, of the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, among those killed during the incident.
The church, located in Manini Tasha village, Kuriga Ward of the local government area, was attacked around 9:00a.m. by the bandits. The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incident.
A member of the church told newsmen that the bandits upon their arrival surrounded the church and started shooting sporadically at worshipers who scampered for safety in different directions.
According to Mr Yakubu Bala, gunshots were heard everywhere, throwing worshipers into serious tension and panicking. “One worshipper was gunned down,” he said.
“Dr Zakariah Dogo Yaro was shot dead and an unspecified number of people were kidnapped. Many worshipers sustained injuries during the attack. As I am talking to you now, we have not seen some of the villagers who ran into the bush. Most of the villagers have fled to neighbouring villages,” he said.
In a similar development, bandits also invaded Bagoma a community located in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state and killed six indigenes. Bandits also attacked Amfu village in Kachia council area where they shot a woman to death.
While reacting to the incident, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack on a place of worship in Chikun and other parts of the state. He described them as shocking acts of depraved persons far removed from humanity.
The governor who denounced the attack on the church added that attacking innocent worshipers, who were exercising their natural and lawful rights to assembly, represented the worst kind of evil. He prayed for the repose of the souls of the slain and speedy recovery for the injured.
We could recall that earlier this month, tens of students were abducted by gunmen at Greenfield University, with three of them later confirmed dead at the weekend. This was after over 30 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in the Afaka area of the state were kidnapped.
In his reaction, the Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna, Reverend Caleb Ma’aji, said their hearts are saddened over the sorry state of the security situation in the state.
“on Sunday, innocent worshipers who went out for nothing but to worship and pray to God were attacked, a medical doctor and one other person killed, many members injured and others taken into captivity. This is happening in a nation that her constitution allows freedom of religion yet this freedom is not guaranteed.
“We are appealing to relevant agencies and praying for the safe release of the abducted members and indeed all others in captivity. The Kaduna State Government and the FG should stop making noise about insecurity and simply act now before Nigerians will have no option than to turn to self-help.”