Christian leaders, victims of banditry in Kaduna protest

Christian leaders and victims of kidnapping and armed banditry in Kaduna State protested yesterday against the government’s inability to secure Christian communities in the state.

Officials Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), along with leaders of the Baptist Church and Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) led some of the recent victims of kidnapping and armed banditry to express concern over insecurity of lives and property in the state, pointing out that the government remained unperturbed about the threat to safety of citizens.

Victims of the latest attack by armed bandits in Fadama Rimi community of Chukun Council, some pastors and members of their families who were kidnapped and later released after the payment of ransom were among the protesters.

During the protest at the CAN secretariat in Kaduna yesterday, the state chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, said “the Baptist Church and ECWA leadership called me and expressed concern over the unabated kidnapping and banditry in Kaduna.”

According to him, on Monday morning, there was a report that another pastor, Rev. Haggai Kwasau, and his daughter, Margaret, were kidnapped. “Then we heard that four members of the Baptist Church were kidnapped last week.”

Hayab expressed concern over the attack against the Christian communities in the state, noting that the bandits created fear and tension in the minds of the people.

“The kidnappers are everywhere. We are crying about the pains in our homes as Christians. We have here today the chairman of the Charismatic Bishops of Kaduna whose children were kidnapped, Rev. Elisha Numan. These other people are victims and they came from the communities that have suffered from the hands of kidnappers for the past few months,” he said.

Meanwhile, the acting president Of Kaduna Baptist Church Conference, Rev. Stephen Olarenwaju, and ECWA vice chairman in Kaduna, Rev. Musa Istifanus, condemned the attitude of the state government towards the growing rate of insecurity.

Olarenwaju explained, “I am here with a few of my people that have been kidnapped, beaten and tortured. We cannot bring the graves of those who are dead here. Last Saturday, the Fadama-Rimi community was attacked in the night, seven people lost their lives and several properties were destroyed.”

He urged Governor Nasir el-Rufai to ensure adequate security of lives and property in the state, as the situation was becoming unbearable.

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