‘Your Choir Must Be Silent As You Shut Down Churches Or Risk Attacks’, Zamfara Bandits Order Christians

The Oasis Reporters

November 29, 2021

Irate northern Nigerian extremists often set churches on fire for flimsy reasons.

Coming on the heels of the United States government’s decision to delist Nigeria from the charge of egregious religious discrimination, a group of suspected islamist bandits have written to the minority Christian community in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria to close churches or risk ferocious attacks.

The Zamfara State police command has confirmed the threat, saying, “We are on top of the threat”.

Spokesperson for the command, DSP Mohammed Shehu, told the media that the police were aware of the threat letter.
He said, “Yes, I can confirm that it’s true, a threat letter was sent to the Christians in Zamfara State to stop worship and to close churches.

“Actually it was the police who informed the Christian leaders about the threat.

“Accordingly the CP has invited the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to discuss security measures around the churches.

“In that regard, a special squad has been created by the CP to patrol and protect worshippers, especially on Sundays.

“Additionally, plain-clothes personnel have been deployed for intelligence gathering and to unravel those behind the threat letter,” he said.

On Sunday, a Christian leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, had requested prayers from Christians around the world in respect to their plight in Zamfara and other parts of northern Nigeria.

He said, “Let’s pray for Christians in Northern Nigeria, especially in Zamfara State as we are issued a three-year ultimatum to close all churches in the state.

“Some churches were listed for attack between now and the end of December, though the churches that would be attacked according to the Fulani group that wrote the letter are located on the outskirts of the town, but we believe it’s just a trick.

“Same letter was also copied to the Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies and they all confirmed receipt of the letter.

“The police in the state have directed Christians to intensify security in all places of worship, pastors’ houses, other Christian centres.

“Christian Association Nigeria (CAN) in Zamfara State has also directed all churches not to hold church activities beyond 5pm for the next three months,” he said.

As things stand, some Christians are contemplating leaving Zamfara State for safer areas.

It should be noted that apart from non indigenous Christians who live and work in the largely Islamic state, there are also indigenous natives who are Christians. And this includes several Hausa and Fulani citizens.

In an interview on TrustTV monitored this afternoon in The Oasis Reporters newsroom, Governor Bello Masari of neighboring Katsina State, Zamfara was named as the home of over 80% of Fulani islamist bandits who are tormenting the entire north west region of Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger States, etc. “Solve the banditry problem in Zamfara, and you have solved 80% of the insecurity issues in the north west zone”, he practically said.

Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari.

Governor Masari is himself a Fulani Muslim, but completely frustrated by the activities of his fellow tribesmen who have made life a living hell for the largely Hausa tribesmen and women in the region.

Christmas is less than a month away, and Christmas carols may not chime in Zamfara churches where great fears pervade, even when there were no open threats in Nigeria’s most populous region with nearly the worst indices of poverty compared to other regions.

The north west is home to millions of out of school children who live and sleep rough on the streets where they beg for food from dawn to dusk. Majority of the poor parents pay scant attention to personal responsibility when it comes to childcare and divorce rates are high, thus neglecting the role of synergy in family bonding, peace and love.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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