LAGOS, Nigeria, May 3 (CDN) — Christian leaders have called for an investigation into political violence that targeted churches and Christian homes, with at least one clergyman saying yesterday that Islamic attacks following the election of a Christian president were premeditated.
Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure of Throneroom Trust Ministry based in Kafanchan in Kaduna state, reportedly said at a press briefing that the religious component of the political violence should not be discounted.
“How would you explain a spontaneous call to prayer on most of the loudspeakers of the mosques across the city at the same time, at 9 p.m. or thereabout in the night, with a shout of ‘Allah Akbar’ as Muslims began to troop towards the mosques and designated areas, to be followed at 10 p.m. with another call on loudspeakers — this time with a spontaneous shout of “Allah Akbar” from the mosques and most of the streets occupied by Muslims and the burst of gunfire sound that shook the whole city?” Pastor Kure said. “This was repeated a few times, and the killings and burnings began.”
Christians suffered many casualties in the north-central state of Kaduna after supporters of Muslim presidential candidate Muhammudu Buhari lost the April 16 federal election to Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian. Primarily Muslim rioters claimed vote fraud, although international observers praised the polls as the fairest since 1999.
“How come the Muslim fighters . . . were neatly surrounding the walls of the Anglican Cathedral and the Yoruba Baptist pastor’s house and setting them on fire while shooting, without any resistance, if it was not premeditated and planned?” Pastor Kure reportedly said.
As many as 300 Christians were reportedly slain in Kaduna, with 14,000 fleeing their homes after Islamic attacks.