Nigeria in 2016 witness terrible deaths as a result of religious violence and communal clashes. These unfortunate incidents across the country has continued to cause divide over what people tag as attack on faith. Some of the victims of these appalling situation include:
1. Bridget Agbahime: Bridget Agbahime was a 74 year old Igbo market woman, originally from Imo state, who sold kitchen utensils in Kano.
On June 2, 2016, she was brutally attacked and killed at Kofar Wambai Market in Kano by a Muslim mob who accused her of blasphemy.
According to reports, she was pounced upon and murdered after she refused to allow a Muslim man perform ablution in front of her shop.
This unfortunate incident was greeted with collective outrage and call for justice The prime suspect in the murder, Dauda Ahmad was arrested, and so were four others: Abdullahi Mustapha, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi. On November 4, Chief Magistrate of Kano, Mr. Jibrin Muhammad, discharged the five suspects and terminated the case in line with the directive of the Attorney-General of Kano State.
2. Eunice Olawale: Mrs Eunice Olawale was hacked to death by suspected Muslim fanatics in Gbazango Extension area of Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja. The Ekiti state female preacher was murdered in cold blood by suspected Muslim fanatics in Gbazango Extension area of Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja. The highly populated area has a total of three mosques and over five churches.
According to sources, Late Mrs Olawale was going about her usual early morning preaching knowing as Morning Cry when she was hacked to death on Saturday, July 9, 2016. She was a 42-year-old mother of seven.
3. Methodos Chimaije Emmanuel: Religious riots broke out in Pandogari, a town in Rafi Local government area in Niger State over a Facebook post by an Igbo trader, 24-year-old Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Emmanuel was lynched on Sunday, May 29, 2016 and killed by a Muslim crowd and the religious riots spread to other parts of the town. Nigerian soldiers and other security agencies moved in quell the violence and imposed a curfew on the town. The Nigerian Army also confirmed the incident.
4. 8 Christians killed in September 2016: According to survivors, they were lying in ambush. When the Boko Haram militants on board motorbikes saw a group of Christians returning home from church service, they opened fire, killing eight of them, according to survivors. The incident, which took place in Kwamjilari village in Nigeria, was just one of three attacks launched on Sunday, September 18 and Monday by the Muslim extremists, the New York Times reports. The two other attacks killed at least 10 people, Nigerian military authorities said.
5. Over 40 Christians killed in Kaduna: Fulani herdsmen killed more than 40 Christians in an attack in this town in northern Nigeria on Saturday, October 15.
Besides the eight slain on Sept. 24-26 in Godogodo, a predominantly Christian community in Kaduna state, the Fulani herdsmen also wounded eight Christians by gunshot and machete cuts, the leaders said.
According to reports, Godogodo residents said that the second massacre began at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, barely two hours after Morning Star News left after investigating the September attack. The Rev. Thomas Akut of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Good News Church in Godogodo said the assailants burned houses and shot Christians dead in the attack over the weekend. The 41-year old pastor said: “We fled into the bushes, and some of us escaped to safer areas,” he said. “The attackers were in the hundreds and were well armed.
Some of them wore army uniforms, while others wore police uniforms. Some of them exchanged gunfire with the few soldiers stationed at the post office in the town, while others burned down houses of Christians.”
6. Zamfara 8: No fewer than eight persons were killed in August in Talata-Mafara community in Zamfara State following violence that erupted over alleged blasphemy by a student of the Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata-Mafara. The student was alleged to have made a blasphemous statement against Islam and Prophet Muhammad and was consequently attacked by a mob.
It was reported that the boy was said to have been beaten to a pulp by the mob, and the man, whose name was simply given as Tajudeen, took him in his car and drove him to a hospital. Enraged by the act of the man who rescued the student, an eye witnesses told news sources that the mob moved to his (Tajudeen’s) house, set it on fire and killed eight persons. The Northern arm of the Christian Association of Nigeria then came out to ask Christians to defend themselves whenever they came under attack.
7. Redeemed Pastor, Luka Ubangari Killed in Kaduna: Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in August reportedly killed three persons among them, one Pastor Luka Ubangari of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Unguwan Anjo, near Godogodo in the Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The cleric was said to have been ambushed, shot and killed while on his motorcycle after an evangelical visit to Golkofa, also in the area.