03/17/2023 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – The militants that killed 17 Christians at Agwan Wakili recently have returned this week, attacking another Christian community in Mubushi and Langsong on March 14, 2023. The fresh attacks took place about 6km from Angwa Wakili. Security has been deployed to the sites of the most recent attacks after ten Christians were found killed by the militants. Fourteen survived gunshot wounds.
An ICC contact visited the scene to record the aftermath of the attack and take photos as evidence, but his phone was siezed by military officials.
The attackers came at night in hot weather. Most of the villagers were sleeping outside while others kept watch after receiving an earlier warning. “This attack is the political massacre of Christians in places where APC is likely going to lose the gubernatorial election on 18, March 2023,” a local leader named Dereck told an ICC staffer. “Christian local farmers are facing series of attacks during the period of the election in Nigeria.”
A witness said the attack is to stop Christians from voting during the gubernatorial election. “The attack is to displace Christians who will not vote for the ruling APC,” a community leader said. The Labour Party candidate for the Kaduna State governorship is a local leader and the former head of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, a community organization.
One leader expressed frustration that the government remains silent as these attacks continue. A source said some of the militants are members of the Nigeria army. The military is busy collecting phones of Christians who came to take photos. “My phone was collected by one of the Nigeria army members,” said ICC’s contact. The community leader confirmed the same too. The military collected phones belonging to three people and they refused to give them back, claiming that the persons taking photos are not journalists and therefore could not take photos
The method of attack was rather different from the usual way. They came into the community quietly without shooting guns. Since it is a period of heat, defenseless people who sat outside telling the moonlight tales met their death. They attacked with matchetes and axes. They were macheting people quietly. Before the alarm was raised, they had already killed 5 people in the same compound. They were on their way to escaping when the alarm rose. As they fled into the bush, they killed five more.
A contact wrote to an ICC staffer: “Before they attack, a helicopter flew on a close range hovering around the community and neighborhood. Less than an hour from when it left, the attack took place.” He continued, “One would be forced to conclude that the helicopter flew for the following reasons: To survey and see populated communities. To check and analyze the security architecture of the target community so that the enemy can have a counter plan to defeat the poor indigenous people. To drop off the attackers, since the neighborhood communities have beenen vigilant and the route were blocked.”
This series of attacks in Zangon Kataf local government is aimed at depopulating the Christians and preventing them from voting considering that the area is the home local government area of the Labour Party candidate for governor as well as the PDP’s deputy governor candidate. Both are Christians.
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