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03/06/2023 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – A clergyman with the Church of Christ in Nations, Reverend Musa Hyok, was killed on on Saturday, March 4 at night alongside two of his sons. The attackers are reported to have been Muslim Fulani militants in the Ganawuri community of Riyom Local Government Area in the Middle Belt’s fractious Plateau State.

Reverend Hyok preached publicly before the February 25 general election in which Bola Amed Tinubu emerged victorious in the race for the presidency. He told his church and community to vote wisely and advised them to not vote for tickets, like Tinubu’s, in which the candidates were both Muslim. Nigerian political convention dictates that the major parties run tickets in which the presidential and vice presidential candidates are of different religions in order to calm religious tensions around the presidency.

“The militant came when we were sleeping,” a community leader told an ICC staffer.  “They targeted the pastor for preaching to the community not to vote for Muslims as the country’s presidents but couldn’t say who he was supporting. The militant promised to attack the Christian communities that failed to vote Muslim during the election.”

On election day, four Christians were killed by Fulani militants in Benue State. Militants attacked them on their way home after voting. They were buried in a mass grave, and the community is bracing for promised attack after the election says a witness who narrowly escaped.

One local ICC staffer recorded seven Christian minority communities in Borno State which were denied the right to vote for Peter Obi, their preferred choice for the presidential election.  Obi is a Christian and ran on the Labour Party ticket with a Muslim runningmate. In the incidents in Borno, Boko Haram came in significant numbers to stop Christians from voting during the election. Two Christians were reportedly killed for supporting the Obi candidacy.

International election observers reported scattered incidents of violence and other voter-intimidation tactics all over the country, though they stopped short of questioning the overall results of the election. Gubernatorial elections in the majority of Nigeria’s thirty-six states are coming up this weekend.

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