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03/16/2023 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Based on conversations with community leaders, an ICC staffer reports that fifty-seven communities in northern Nigeria could not come out to vote at their polling unit because of their Christian faith. Over 20,000 Christians are reported to have been displaced by Boko Haram and bandits in Kaduna, Borno,  Yola, and Adamawa States. Other sources report that wenty-two individuals were killed for supporting Christian candidate Peter Obi of the Labour Party in Borno State.

A pastor told ICC that government officials prevented Christians from voting for the candidate of their choice during the presidential election in which Bola Amed Tinubu was declared the winner. “They forced us to vote APC or leave the state and Boko Haram promised to attack our villages after the governorship election,” he said. The gubernatorial election was later shifted from March 11 to March 18, 2023 due to technical difficulties experienced during the presidential election.

Moses David, a Christian rights activist who supported Peter Obi’s candidacy, spoke with ICC. He told ICC that the election was not free and fair, saying he is worried that Christians will not have a voice in Nigeria again. He predicted Christians will suffer more if nothing is done.

Some on social media are threatening the lives of Christians. Shirk Sani Yahaya Jingir, an Islamic scholar living in Plateau State and the National Chairman of Ulama Jama’atu Izalatul Bid’ah Wa’Ikamatis Sunnah, said “A Muslim and Muslim ticket is the best. This is the time to promote the Islamic agenda.” Tinubu, a Muslim, chose a Muslim running mate in contravention of a lonstanding political convention in Nigeria dictating 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.

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