ABUJA, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Gunmen in northeast Nigeria shot a pastor and killed his sons in one attack and killed a Christian engineering instructor in another this month, sources said.
In Mubi town in Islamic terrorist-plagued Adamawa state, assailants shot Daniel Umaru on July 5, leaving him for dead after killing his sons, 19-year-old Kefrey Daniel and Fanye Daniel, 23, area sources said. The gunmen kidnapped his 13-year-old daughter, Ijagla, who was released on July 8 after the kidnappers received a ransom payment.
Pastor Umaru, of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), was recovering in a hospital, said area resident Aunty Adunni.
“He was shot and left to bleed to death,” Adunni told Morning Star News in a text message. “Both the wounded pastor and his wife, who became unconscious during the attack, were taken to the hospital.”
Police in Adamawa state confirmed the attack, with spokesman Suleiman Nguroje saying the assailants stormed the pastor’s home in Mararaba Mubi, near Mubi, at about 2 a.m. on July 5.
The state governor condemned the attack in a statement and said the assailants must be brought to justice.
Area resident Peter Musa lamented the killings.
“Please pray for God’s intervention in this state over unending attacks on Christians and churches,” he told Morning Star News in a text message.
The pastor’s sons were buried on July 8 at EYN headquarters in Kwarhi Maararba, in the Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa state.
In the state capital, Yola, gunmen on July 14 killed a Christian engineering teacher, Yohanna Mbudai Bzegu at his home in the Bajabure area of the city, sources said. Bzegu taught at Adamawa State Polytechnic in Yola.
The assailants broke into his home behind the Anglican Junior Seminary at about 3 a.m. and shot him to death, area resident John Usman said in a text message.
“The Christian lecturer was shot multiple times in his chest after the terrorists forcefully gained entrance into his house,” Usman told Morning Star News. “Before this time, the terrorists had attempted breaking into his house more than four times but were unsuccessful.”
Police in Yola confirmed the attack and were searching for the suspects.
Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.
Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.
In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.