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A seminarian in the Diocese of Kafanchan was killed last month when a rectory was set on fire in a botched kidnapping attempt. (photo ACI Africa/CNA)
Boko Haram May Wipe Nigeria Off The Map, Zulum Raises Alarm About Insurgency By Wim Bitrus ABUJA FCT - The Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Zulum has raised the alarm that the Boko Haram insurgency is threatening to consume the nation if the humanitarian crisis in the North-East is not contained. Professor Zulum says the continuous existence of IDP camps in Local Government Areas of Borno State is a potential time bomb as they serve as a recruitment ground for Boko Haram and ISWAP. “The position of Borno State on the map of Nigeria is very important to all of us. Borno State is bordering Chad, Cameroon, and Niger Republic. Our borders are so porous and therefore maintaining security in the North-Eastern subregion entails maintaining the security of the entire country,” he saidwhile hosting the reconstituted management board of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) at the council chambers of the Borno State Government House in Maiduguri on Monday. “While North-West and North-Central and others are speaking about banditry, kidnapping, and others, ours is Boko Haram and ISWAP. It’s better for us to control it, not for the sake of Borno State. The hub of Boko Haram and ISWAP is Borno State. We have to control them. “We have to stop the younger ones from being recruited into Boko Haram and ISWAP, otherwise, in the near future, the entire Nigeria will be wiped off the map.” While lamenting the number of people in IDPs, Zulum said the development has worsened the plight of the people. “And then in Borno State, in the year 2012, about 3.5 million people were displaced. We returned many but still, we have over one million people: internally displaced people living in IDPS camps – that is increasing prostitution in IDP camps, that is increasing procreation without care in the IDP camps. There is drug abuse in the IDP camps,” Zulum added. ....... READ MORE Boko Haram Kills Chief Imam, Sets Islamic Books Ablaze in Borno By Ndahi Marama Maiduguri BORNO - Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists on Monday morning invaded Beneshiekh town, the headquarters of Kaga Local Government Area of Borno state and killed the Chief Imam, Sheihk Baba Goni Muktar Malumti. The terrorists also set ablaze some Islamic Books belonging to the deceased. The deceased before his untimely death was a renowned Islamic Scholar and Chief Imam of Jumaat Mosque, Beneshiekh. This is as another group of terrorists invaded Makinta Kururi village of Beneshiekh and abducted two hunters in a separate renewed attacks. Recall that last month, the younger brother of the Chief Imam was also killed by insurgents. Beneshiekh is about 70 km drive from Maiduguri and located along the major Kano-Damaturu-Maiduguri highway. Confirming the incident, the Caretaker Chairman of Kaga council area, Hon Mustapha Bukar Baima in an exclusive interview with our Correspondent in Maiduguri on Monday expressed shock over the renewed attacks by terrorists which claimed many lives, especially the killing of the Chief Imam of Beneshiekh, his brother and abduction of two hunters in the area. “Yes, we received a distress call that Boko Haram terrorists gunned down our Chief Imam of Beneshiekh Jummat Mosque in his house at about 1:15 am on Monday. “The terrorists first invaded the house of one Islamic Scholar (names withheld), but when they realized the picture they were carrying for execution did not resemble that of the Chief Imam as a target, they asked him to go back to the house and remain quiet. “Thereafter, they went to another house where the Chief Imam was praying. The terrorists then opened fire on him after realizing that the picture they were carrying had resembled their target. ...... READ MORE UN Rapporteur Demands Release of Christian Mother Jailed for Blasphemy in Nigeria’s Bauchi State By Masara Kim ABUJA FCT - A United Nations Special Rapporteur has expressed “deep concern” over the criminalization of blasphemy in Nigeria contrary to international human rights law and standards. A recent joint report by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Nazila Ghanea and others queried the rising cases of violence relating to accusations of blasphemy targeting religious minorities in Nigeria by mob attacks and killings under democratic regimes. “We would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning the killing of Ms. Deborah Emmanuel, following accusations of blasphemy in relation to insult of the Prophet Mohammed, at the hands of a mob,” according to the report. “We have also received information regarding the arrest and alleged prolonged arbitrary detention of Ms. Rhoda Ya’u Jatau on the allegation that she had shared a WhatsApp video condemning the lynching of Ms. Emmanuel,” says the report, jointly issued by Nazila Ghanea and four others. “Both cases appear to be related to the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and of freedom of opinion and expression. Both are members of a religious minority,” the report stated. Judge Fatima Jibrin on October 16 scheduled November 27 to continue trial for Mrs. Rhoda Ya’u Jatau following a compelling application by defense attorneys seeking to void all charges against her. The mother of five was arrested from her hometown in the Warji county of Bauchi State on May 20, 2022 after she shared a video of a man criticizing the mob lynching of a Christian college student 470 miles away in Sokoto state the week prior. .........READ MORE
Clergy are ‘Soft Targets’ in Nigeria’s Kidnapping Industry by Ellen Teague LONDON - Nigeria’s Catholic bishops warned in September that Nigeria has effectively been taken over by insurgents, militia and criminal gangs, with Catholic priests among the most frequent victims – insurgents describe them as “soft targets”. The Catholic Diocese of Ilorin appealed for prayers for the safety of three men kidnapped from their monastery by Fulani bandits on 17 October. Novice brother Godwin Eze and two postulants – Anthony Eze and Peter Olarewaju – were taken from the Benedictine Monastery at Eruku in the early hours of the morning. The diocese notified security agencies and asked for prayers and for their release. While Anthony Eze and Olarewaju were set free on 21 October, the 31-year-old Godwin Eze was shot and his body thrown into a river a day after his kidnapping. Fr Joseph Ekesiobi, a former novice director at the monastery, confirmed the news of the murder of Eze, whom he described as “very jovial”. “Brother Godwin lived a contemplative life. I remember him as a very easy-going young man. He was very jovial and very prayerful,” Ekesiobi said. The Diocese of Ilorin serves Kwara State in North Central Nigeria, which is bordered by states including Kogi and Niger which regularly experience attacks by Fulani herdsmen. This was the latest in a series of kidnappings and murders in Africa’s most populous nation involving clergy, seminarians, religious and other Christians. In 2022, 30 priests were kidnapped in Nigeria and 39 killed. At least 13 clergy have been taken captive this year and later freed, including two Missionaries of Africa in August, who were left traumatised after 20 days in captivity....……. READ MORE
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