Muslim rioters in Nigeria protesting the just concluded presidential elections have killed more than 100 Christians and burned down more than 40 churches in an attack that began yesterday.
This revelation is contained in a report by the Regional Manager for Africa, International Christian Concern (ICC) (www.persecution.org), Jonathan Racho noting that this latest demonstration is in response to the election of Jonathan Goodluck, a Christian, as president of Nigeria.
He pointed out that the rioters even destroyed the homes of many Muslims who supported President Jonathan Goodluck adding that the Muslim attackers allege that the election was rigged and General Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim presidential candidate, is the rightful winner.
He said that the Commonwealth observers’ report judged that election as “this election the fairest in decades. The elections for the National Assembly and the Presidency were both credible and creditable and reflected the will of the Nigerian people."
According Racho, it is difficult to know the full extent of the damage. The casualties could be much higher as the attacks took place over many of the 12 Muslim majority states in northern Nigeria.
He noted that the situation is beginning to calm since security forces were deployed and enforced a 24 hour curfew. Christian minorities living in northern Nigeria have faced repeated bouts of violence and discrimination at the hands of the Muslim majority.
He said that since the introduction of Sharia law in northern Nigeria in 2001, tens and thousands of Christians have been killed.
A Christian leader in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna stated: “Christians in northern Nigeria are being killed and their churches and property destroyed for voting for the candidate of their choice. Why should churches be burned when just it’s an issue of politics?
He also queried: “Why should Christians be killed just because someone won an election? Goodluck is not the president just for Christians; he is the president for every Nigerian. Why should Christians suffer because Jonathan won the election?
Racho stated: “We are very saddened by the violence against Christians and their property in northern Nigeria. Disputes over elections shouldn’t have been allowed to lead to religious violence against Christians.”
He continued: “We have repeatedly seen Muslims attack and kill those of other faiths at the slightest provocation. We urge Nigeria to fully investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. As long as these attackers operate with impunity, the attacks will continue.”