Nigeria says Islamists behind brutal Christian church attack

Nigeria says Islamists behind brutal Christian church attack

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Nigeria confirmed that the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) was behind the barbaric attack against the St Francis Catholic Church in southwest Nigeria. Hence, Christians are alarmed by the regional expansion of Islamist terrorism to this part of the country.

Boko Haram, ISWAP, Bello Turji loyalists, Fulani Muslim massacres against Christians, and so forth are all too common in various parts of Northern Nigeria. Indeed, the array of Islamist forces killing Christians is higher now than several years ago. Therefore, the latest barbaric atrocity against Christians that was committed inside the St Francis Catholic Church in southwest Nigeria – is a sign that no part of the country is free from the Islamist menace.

The Guardian reports, “Nigeria’s National Security Council said on Thursday that the attack was the work of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, apparently reinforcing fears that the militants, who have been restricted to the north-east for many years, are looking to expand their influence and reach to other parts of the country. Ondo, in the south-west, has long been considered one of the safer parts of the country.”

The attack is different from usual ISWAP attacks. However, irrespective of ISWAP, a Fulani Muslim militia, Boko, or whoever – the religious angle is abundantly obvious. Hence, it is a reminder that various Islamist forces in Nigeria think nothing of slaughtering Christians while praying in a church – to stoning women to death for alleged blasphemy.

Modern Tokyo Times reported last month, “A young Christian woman in Nigeria was stoned to death by a Muslim mob on the grounds of blasphemy. Deborah Yakubu died at the hands of many Muslim males in northern Nigeria. They then burnt her body while declaring Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest).”

It is known that at least 40 people were brutally killed in the St Francis Catholic church attack. Hence, with 60 Christians still in hospital with various types of injuries from the terrorist attack, the death toll might increase further.

Modern Tokyo Times recently stated, “The fear in Nigeria – similar to Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Mali, and other nations – is the terrorist menace is set to spread to other parts of the country. Nigeria can wrap it up in banditry or whatever suits the agenda. However, Christians already feel abandoned in parts of northern Nigeria. Therefore, the latest massacre needs to be addressed alongside the utter failure of central forces to stem the flow of blood in Nigeria.”

Successive governments in Nigeria have failed to protect Christians. Indeed, Islamists from Nigeria have taken terrorism to regional nations in the Lake Chad region. Hence, the attack in southwest Nigeria is setting off alarm bells because successive governments have failed to protect Christians in northern Nigeria for many years.


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