Nigeria: New Attacks in Central Nigeria Worry Church Leaders

Tensions have heightened in central Nigeria following the killing on 8 August of four people near a mosque, a day after 20 worshippers in a church in the Okene area of Kogi state, were shot dead.

In the mosque attack, news reports said the armed men came in a van chanting Islamic songs before they attacked some Muslims who were holding tafsir (a Ramadan lecture) at the Central Mosque in Okene. Two of the dead were soldiers who were on surveillance duty.

In the church incident, armed men entered Deeper Life Bible Church on 7 August and fired at worshippers. Church leaders have pleaded for increased security in places of worship.

Anglican Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria urged the government to protection all Nigerians. He condemned the attacks, called for improved strategies to fight the violence and urged Christians to desist from acts that would worsen the situation.

"At the rate we are going, the country is drifting fast into anarchy," the Nigerian newspaper Punch quoted Okoh as saying on 8 August. It is the government's responsibility to provide defense for the people, he added.

Following the attacks, the government ordered a dusk to dawn curfew in the state, while the country's inspector general has also ordered a 24 hour surveillance of all places of worship, according to reports.

No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, although the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for attacks on churches and government installations in northern states. The latest attacks have occurred south of the areas that have experienced violence previously.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 Anglican Communion News Service. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.