She died of suffocation. “Christian witnesses did not take the law into their hands”, the president of a Christian organization said.
The Baptist Church at Gidan Maso village in Rogo Local Government Area of Kano State, was attacked by arsonists, and the residence of the Pastor, Rev Habila Garba, was destroyed.
As a result of the fire, one of the Pastor’s daughters died of suffocation when two young men set fire to the home as well as to the church.
Retired General Ishaku Ahmed Dikko, president of Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nigeriya, an organisation that represents Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Christians, told journalists on Tuesday in Abuja that the arsonists intention was to kill one youth, Yahaya Joshua, who converted to Islam but later reverted to Christianity.
In a statement, General Dikko said: "The Church and all the properties were burnt down in the presence of the Christian community despite all pleadings for them to stop the destruction.” “The arsonists gathered cornstalks and put inside the church in order to cause greater damage", Dikko explained.
Two people, Bawa Adamu and Aminu Dauda, were wounded in a machete attack and suffered cuts and broken arms. Others also received similar wounds, but of lesser degrees.
FREEDOM TO BELIEVE
The incidence was immediately reported to the Police. The Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nigeriya pleaded for action to stop the persecution: “We call on the authorities to take the necessary steps to stem or stop all these harassments and molestations of innocent Christians for whatever reasons.”
“We have the right to belong to any religion of our choice and live anywhere in this country”, they added.
Talking about the reactions of other Christians after the attack, Dikko said: "The Christians present exhibited great Christian qualities by not taking the law into their hands by trying to stop them by force.”
All the wounded know and can identify their attackers by name since they all belong to the same village."
BOKO HARAM VICTIM
Almost a year ago more than 250 girls were captured by Boko Haram from a school in Chibok village, in north-eastern Nigeria, and just two weeks ago, they kidnapped 400 women, killing 50 of them.
The #BringBackOurGirls campaign has been viral worldwide, but most of the girls have still not been found, although 50 girls managed to escape.
One of them is Deborah, a 19 year old. She now has called for forgiveness for the militants, claiming that their lack of education is partly to blame for their behaviour.
FORGIVENESS FOR THE TERRORISTS
"Even though they have done so much destruction, to me, punishing them will not be the best answer”, Deborah said in an interview with the British newspaper Times.
She believed education is the key to make terrorist understand their mistakes: "Most of them are illiterate, and they are in these gangs because of poverty. So by giving them a job, making them realise that these things are not good, this is the best way, I think, to help them."
Since her escape, Deborah has returned to the American University of Nigeria, in Yola, along with 20 other girls who also escaped. They have received scholarships for their University’s fees and living costs from a charitable trust was set up after their escape.
Together with some of the other girls, Deborah said they had coped since their escape by staying together and praying that the other girls captured with them would one day be released.
NIGERIA, DANGEROUS PLACE FOR CHRISTIANS
Newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to overcome the militants, and succeed where President Goodluck Jonathan is seen to have failed – despite making promises before last week's election that the group could be suppressed within a month.
According to the latest Open Doors watch list, Nigeria is at tenth place among the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
Open Doors describes these as the places where followers of Christ must keep their beliefs hidden and where living the gospel means facing beatings, imprisonment, discrimination and abuse.