By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA, NIGERIA (Worthy News) – Suspected Islamic gunmen have killed a pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) denomination in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna state, where they also kidnapped his wife, Christians told Worthy News on Sunday.
Musa Mairimi, shot dead Thursday, led the ECWA Church in the Buda Two area of Kasuwa Magani, a town in Kaduna’s Kajuru Local Government Area, Worthy News learned.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), representing several churches, including ECWA, confirmed the attack and said it was part of a broader crackdown on Christians.
John Joseph Hayab, CAN’s Kaduna state chairman, recalled that the gunmen “stormed” the area Thursday “and killed the clergyman in his residence” before abducting his wife.
He said the attack came after over 100 people, including church leaders, were abducted from the same region and other local government areas, with many being held “for over six months now in terrorist camps.”
Christian sources said those involved in the kidnappings are Fulani herdsmen and other Islamic armed groups, also referred to locally as “terrorists” and “bandits.”
There was no official claim of responsibility for Thursday’s violence.
Hayab said among those kidnapped since recent presidential elections were at least three church leaders, with one remaining in the “terrorists’” custody for a ransom.
He said the negotiation that started from 50 million Nigerian nairas ($109,000) has now come down to 5 million nairas ($10,900). “That’s the kind of situation we have found ourselves in Kaduna state,” he added.
Hayub and other Christian leaders have criticized Nigerian authorities for “not doing enough” to protect Christian communities against ongoing attacks.
Thousands of Christians are known to have been killed in Nigeria in recent years.
“Who will you cry to, and who will you run to? After all, since the carnage of kidnapping started in Kaduna, no concrete arrests have been made,” Hayab added.
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