Nigeria Christians Concerned Amid New Deadly Clashes

By BosNewsLife Africa Service with additional reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos 

Nigerian Christians reportedly face attacks despite police in the area.
Nigerian Christians reportedly face attacks despite police in the area.


ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)-- Tensions remained high in Nigeria's Plateau State Wednesday, February 16, where up to eight people were killed and more injured in sectarian clashes sparked by the stabbing of a police officer.

Witnesses said Tuesday's violence in the city of Jos included a gang setting up a roadblock in one neighborhood, leading to up to four deaths. Others, including Christians, said up to four more people were murdered and their bodies set ablaze elsewhere, including in the Gada-Biu area.

There were also reports that tires, cars and motorcycles were burned as well.

Christians said the violence began after the police officer was stabbed to death when he argued with a butcher, a Hausa Muslim. The butcher alleged ripped open his stomach. Local police only confirmed the death of the officer.
Christians said security forces did little to intervene, although four suspects involved in the clashes were reportedly detained.

GRANDMOTHER BEHEADED

The clashes came just days after a group of Fulani attackers reportedly beheaded a grandmother, Garos Deme and her grandchildren Dauda and Meshack Timothy and another man, Monday Mwanvwang. The February 12 killings in Shekan village in Jos South area occurred less than 48 hours after the signing of a peace agreement between local tribes and the Fulani community.

The latest fighting came while Nigerian Christian leaders warned of escalating violence amid reports that Islamic militants inspired by Afghanistan’s Taliban movement are also deepening religious tensions in Africa’s top oil producer before elections in April.

A group known as Boko Haram, or “Western education is a sin,” has carried out a series of attacks, including multiple bomb blasts on Christmas Eve in the Plateau state capital, Jos, that killed 80 people, in its bid to establish Islamic rule in northern Nigeria.

Since then, more than 200 people have died in sectarian violence in Plateau state alone, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch in a statement released by Bloomberg news agency.

MORE KILLINGS ELSWERE

Elsewhere in northern Nigeria, in Bauchi State, at least two dozens and perhaps as many as 96 people were killed over a three-day period starting January 27. In published remarks, a Church of Christ in Nigeria congregation in Maryam, a suburb of Tafawa Balewa, has said Muslims have been attacking Christians with the knowledge of local authorities. "They want to exterminate the Christian communities here."

The violence in the north, coupled with a festering insurgency in the oil-rich Niger River delta, threatens to erode stability in Africa’s third-biggest economy as President Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, seeks to extend his term in office, according to analysts.

The wave of religious attacks has centered on Nigeria’s so- called middle belt region, where local communities resisted the encroachment of Islam in the 19th century before the advent of British colonial rule. After the British arrival, many villagers adopted Christianity as a defense against Islam.

However there are also many evangelical Christians among the more religious Christians, according to several church groups.
At least 14,000 people died in religious and communal clashes in Nigeria between 1999 and 2009, according to Brussels- based International Crisis Group cited by Bloomberg.

POPULATION GROWTH

Analysts say that increasing population growth and the southward drive of the Sahara desert have pushed Muslim farming and herding communities up against non-Muslims, sparking heightened competition for land and resources.

That has fueled conflict along religious lines, said Peter Egom, an analyst at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs told Bloomberg in Lagos, the commercial capital.

"The situation in Jos is now so volatile that one violent incident triggers several more, and no one in the vicinity of such an outbreak of lawlessness is safe," said Stuart Windsor, national director of advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide, in a statement to BosNewsLife.  "The fact that such an incident can occur in daylight in the heart of the state capital once again underlines the need for effective policing and improved security measures in Plateau State."

9 thoughts on “Nigeria Christians Concerned Amid New Deadly Clashes

  1. dear Stefan, who is telling some sources are saying who, what, when and why? first of all we could derive from your sources or i could give u proof evidence.

  2. There is nothing amid to Christians in Nigeria. Stefan i could understand your polite words and i appreciate, but what about those who are black sheep and has been repeatedly involved in wheel torturing Muslims in Nigeria and apart world.They are communist groups.Sir Pedro you are an example who belong among those black sheep, what you mean by terrorism you people keep only one thing at your tip. when you kill thousands in Palestinian and Iraq it is honey you people say.

  3. Let us not forget the words of Jesus: if they hated me they will hate you and if they persecuted me they will persecute you. However, pray for your enemies and for those who persecute you, for God is watching. Blessed are those that are persecutd for my name’s sake. All this evil is being observed from above and will not continue for much longer -but rejoice in the suffering as you see ancient prophecy being fulfilled before your very eyes confirming the truth of God’s Word. The more the Islamic people persecute and murder Christians, the greater the evidence of Truth.

  4. The Christians have been miserably naive, believing in some stupid dictum of the Bible NEW TESTAMENT: to always turn the other cheek. As a matter of fact, they brought it all upon themselves. For as long as they keep turning the other cheek, these senseless mullahs will always take the opportunity , and won’t stop dishing it out.
    If, on the other hand, the Christians revert to the good “Old Testament” injunction: ‘A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH; AN EYE FOR AN EYE”. those mullahs may begin to have a second thought about doing anything stupid. In fact the Christians should push it to ‘a tooth for 13 teeth or 13 eyes’ for the hard lesson to sink in.

  5. Dear Muneeb,

    We are not sure what do you mean with “they should deserve more”. We trust you are not among those militants who want more Christians to be killed. As far as the Muslim minors being killed, some facts, concrete sources, who, what, where, that sort of thing, would help.

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  6. this is all a bloody Christian policy in Nigeria as they derive powers from USA and other English speaking countries. they are very lien

  7. Muslims need not to be blamed, as Christians there are Hippocratic. they have putted tag line on muslims as terrorist while as they do more terror by observing powers from many english countries and americans, Christians have killed many Muslim minors in Nigeria. they should deserve more.

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