Very often, many of us Christians in the South do not understand first hand, what our brothers and sisters go through in the North.
Recently, precisely on the first Day of December, 2020, Gidan Namune, a Christian village in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State was attacked.
Gidan Namune falls under the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, particularly an outstation of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Latin Minisita.
In an article captioned “The attack on Gidan Namune: My heart is broken”, the Communications Director of Sokoto Diocese, Fr Chris Omotosho, and the Parish Priest of St Joseph Catholic Church, Latin Minisita, Fr Julious Bonat recount:
“On Tuesday, the 1st of December, 2020, the village was attacked by some unknown gunmen in the early hours of that day. According to eyewitnesses, marauders first attacked two of their neighbouring villages namely, Gidan Boka and Gidan Tanki that same night, grimly killing two people and shot one, who is receiving medical attention now in a hospital. The criminals rustled their cattle, kidnapping about 15 persons.
It was after the bandits left the scene and passed through Namune village that they…shot to death one Mr. Mathew Mamman who was…on his sick bed and couldn’t run for his…life. After killing him, the criminals moved from house-to-house and looted every valuable on sight.”
The article goes on to show how Gidan Namune was experiencing this kind of insecurity for the third time in two months. The first time was in October, 2020. The community was attacked and six youths were kidnapped, and later released after ransom was paid.
The second time was in the last week of November, 2020, when the community was evaded and their cattle were rustled.
The third time was on the first of December 2020. It’s sad that the State of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is not left out of the insecurity and insurgency that has ravaged the North.
In a related development, inter-religious (Christian/Muslim) crisis in Jalingo metropolis led to the burning of the Parish house, and Car belonging to the priest in St Paul’s Catholic Church, Tudun Wada, Jalingo. We thank God that the priest escaped unhurt.
What’s intriguing is that these villagers are left to the mercy of the elements. How can a community be attacked three times in two months, without any presence of security personnel? The first responsibility of government is to provide security of life and property for its citizens.
Just recently, the Sudan of Sokoto said that its most challenging to live in Northern Nigeria today, than anywhere else in the country. This statement comes as Government continues to insist that Boko Haram, the dreaded terrorist group in the North, has been technically defeated.
Catholic News Agency reports that “More than 12,000 Christians in Nigeria have been killed in Islamist attacks since June 2015, according to a 2020 report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, a Nigerian human rights organization.
The same report found that 600 Christians were killed in Nigeria in the first five months of 2020.
Christians in Nigeria have been beheaded and set on fire, farms have been set ablaze, and priests and seminarians have been targeted for kidnapping and ransom.”
I must clearly state here that the present insurgency in Nigeria must not be drawn along enthnic or religious lines. While it does seem that Christians living in the North are the worse for it, the problem is basically as a result of a total failure of government and governance.
It is no longer news that the Northern Elders Forum has called for the immediate resignation of the President, saying that the country has never been this bad under any President.
Kidnappings and killings are on the rise. Freedom of expression is thwarted, media houses are hunted down and silenced, lies and propaganda have become the new order of governance.
WHERE do we go from HERE? Please pray for Nigeria.
© Oselumhense Anetor, 2020.