Unlike before when worship centres were sacred to everybody – even to evil doers, things have drastically change. Worship centres are no longer sacred. And clerics are no longer special. They are now subjects to be kidnapped or murdered indiscriminately.
Report by Punch Newspaper indicated that at least 139 clerics and worshipers have been killed in various attacks across the country between January 1, 2021, and July 4, 2022.
Also, no fewer than 394 religious faithful were kidnapped during the period under review.
Here is a breakdown of those attacked within this period.
- 53 Islamic clerics and worshipers were killed and 165 abducted
- 229 Christians were kidnapped and 86 were murdered.
- Bandits kidnapped 50 Muslims on a Maulud procession in Katsina on March 11.
- On May 10, gunmen stormed a Katsina Mosque and reportedly abducted 40 worshipers.
- In September, one person was killed and three parishioners were abducted from a Church in Kogi.
- Armed hoodlums also reportedly shot 17 people dead and abducted 18 others from a Mosque in Niger state on October 25.
- Bandits attacked a mosque in Kaduna where they abducted 24 persons on March 10, 2022.
- A police inspector and two others were kidnapped from an Ogun mosque on April 3.
- On June 4, armed herdsmen abducted a pastor and his wife and also stabbed another person in Abia.
- 40 persons were killed during the attack on St Xavier Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo state, on June 6.
- On June 19, gunmen were said to have attacked Catholic and Baptist churches, killed four and abducted 44
- 21 Muslim pilgrims were abducted in Sokoto on June 22.
- Gunmen abducted two Catholic priests in Edo on July 3 On July 4, suspected bandits kidnapped another Catholic priest in Kaduna.