50 Baptist Church members killed in Plateau attacks, says official
• Kaduna CAN laments fate of abducted persons hours to Buhari’s exit
President of the Baptist Conference in Plateau, Rev. Keoleh Saleh, has said 50 members of the church, including a pastor, were killed in recent attacks in Mangu and Barkin Ladi Local Councils of the state.
Saleh disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos, yesterday, adding that over 500 members were also displaced.
“This unfortunate carnage affected the Baptist Church seriously. In Kantoma, where we have a big church, we lost over 31 members, including a Moderator.
“Twenty-three women were made widows on account of the attack. We lost nine members in Jwak Maitumbi, and a member in Kombili. Most of our members displaced in over 10 local churches are taking refuge in different places.
“We have located four centres in Jos metropolis, where a family is hosting between 10 to 20 people, and we have over 200 displaced persons in Jos.
“We have 50 in Barkin Ladi, over 200 in Salama Baptist Church in Mangu and 78 others that include 44 little children at Bwarak, Pankshin,” he said.
Saleh explained that in the last week, the church spent over N3 million to cater for the needs of its displaced members taking refuge in its various local churches.
He said: “Within one week, we spent about N2 million to get relief materials. But this was not enough, and our Baptist partners assisted us with N1million to make it N3 million. But it was still not enough. We provided foodstuffs, clothing, shoes, mats, blankets and other items.”
Also, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna, yesterday, lamented that with hours to the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari, 15 worshippers abducted in the state were still in captivity.
“CAN is worried. CAN is disturbed. I can say CAN is in a mood of mourning. Instead of us to be thinking of what would happen in the next 24 hours…sincerely, as an association, we are worried about our people, which is the most important thing,” said Rev. John Joseph Hayab, CAN Chairman, Kaduna State chapter.
Speaking with journalists in Kaduna, Hayab said: “This is third Sunday. That is three weeks, 21 days.
“Over 40 worshippers were abducted at Bege Baptist Church, Madallah, near Buruku, in Chikun Local Council. Fifteen of them are still with the bandits.”
“All efforts to get the bandits to release them have not yielded any fruit. As I speak to you now, the bandits are still making huge demands.
“These poor villagers don’t have the money to get these people out. The bandits are demanding bikes, demanding cash. Where would these people have such money to give? These are poor farmers that couldn’t even get to farms in a year, yet you keep their wives, their children, their parents in the bush. Nobody is saying anything.
“Those in power are just thinking of what to grab. Nobody has even shown concern on how to get these people delivered to their respective families.”