Boko Haram Islamic sect has repeatedly targeted Christians during and at places of worship; and are suspected in the latest attack on the Deeper Life Church.
Gunmen have opened fire on an evangelical church during a service in central Nigeria, killing the pastor and at least 18 worshippers while injuring several others, officials said on Tuesday. The rebel group Boko Haram,
responsible for hundreds of deaths across north and central Nigeria this year, have repeatedly targeted Christians during worship in a series of gun and suicide bomb attacks.
Kogi state, southwest of the capital Abuja and the scene of the latest violence, has not been hit particularly hard by the rebels, although members of the group are believed to have come from the ethnically diverse area. In mid-July, a bomb went off near another church in Okene, but caused no casualties, while in April, the JTF said it had discovered a Boko Haram bomb making factory in Kogi, in the town of Ogaminana.
“The attack was at 8:20pm yesterday night. The attack was from unknown gunmen at the Deeper Life Church,” said Lt Col Gabriel Olorunyomi, head of a military task force in Kogi. “They were doing their normal Monday evening service. When we went there we discovered the church had been attacked. Instantly we saw 15 people dead, including the pastor,” he explained. The military has since learned that an additional four people had died from their injuries, Olorunyomi explained.
The National Emergency Management Agency’s central region chief, Ishaya Chonoko, said several people were also injured in the raid and that rescue workers were at the site. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and Kogi state police spokesman Simon Ile said there were no early indications as to the culprits. “They entered the church…they just opened fire and they went away. We don’t know their motives yet,” he said. While Muslims have often been its victims, Boko Haram, which has said it wants to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has increasingly attacked Christians, often during church services. In addition to churches, Boko Haram has also targeted Muslim figures as well as a range of others, including the United Nations building in the capital Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan said in June that Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilise the government. Jonathan described how the group had moved from targeting local rivals to government institutions and now churches. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
In a video posted to YouTube on Saturday, the suspected leader of Boko Haram criticised Jonathan as well as US President Barack Obama over Washington’s decision to label him a “global terrorist”. It was unclear when the video was made, but it marked the first time Abubakar Shekau publicly addressed the terrorist designation slapped on him by the United States in June. In addition to Shekau, the US State Department also announced the designations for Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi. Kambar and Barnawi were said to be linked to Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al-Qaeda’s north African branch. Some US lawmakers and the leader of Nigeria’s main Christian body have been pushing Obama’s administration to label Boko Haram as a whole a terrorist organisation. ref: AFP
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 http://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/ 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: http://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/
News archives related to Jos, here http://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html
USAfrica: Ikemba ODUMEGWU OJUKWU’s farewell in Aba, today February 28, 2012, reflected a fitting tribute, historically meaningful celebration, proper regard and deserving appreciation of the greatest Igbo, in my opinion, to have ever lived (like him or hate him).
I SALUTE Aba (aka Enyimba city), the robust and fearless town I was born, bred and raised, for giving the Ikemba, our Ochiagha, Gburugburu, Oka oburu uzo, dike na ndu ma n’onwu, mgbadike anyi, a hero’s farewell.
To the Ikemba, may your valiant soul rest in peace and dignity.
We will, and I, Chido Nwangwu, will never forget to continue to tell my generation and the next about your towering courage through tempest and thunder; through sorrow, pain, tears, blood…. •Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn.
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including Nigeria360 at yahoogroups and USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido and Twitter.com/Chido247