Killing in Nigeria “no longer serious matter, life has become so cheap”: Christian Leaders

Late Fatima and her four children. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Kaduna State have lamented the disregard for human life characterized by killings that make human life “so cheap” in the West African nation.

In a statement issued after the May 22 reported killing of an expectant woman identified as Fatima, her four children, and six others in Anambra State, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State says ethnic and religious differences have contributed to the loss of respect for human life. 

"Life in our country has become so cheap with the raising of many evil criminal groups in every part of the country," Pastor John Joseph Hayab says in a Tuesday, May 24 statement. 

The CAN Chairman in Kaduna State adds, “Killing of human beings is no longer a serious matter because the people have been divided by tribe, region, and religion which has made it impossible for us to collectively condemn the evil around us or fight the evil we are seeing as a united force."

Fatima, her four children, and the others were reportedly killed by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Isulo, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State on May 22. 


Fatima, who has also been referred to as Harira Jubril, was visiting her sister-in-law together with her children when IPOB attacked. 

IPOB is a nationalist separatist group that aims to restore the Republic of Biafra, a country which seceded from Nigeria before the 1967 to 1970 Nigerian Civil War and later rejoined Nigeria after its defeat by the Nigerian military.

In the May 24 statement, Pastor Hayab says CAN members, who include representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), have read about the Anambra killings "with sadness and disappointment about how evil activities have expanded in our country while good people are divided and silent." 

He says CAN cannot keep quiet when evil is destroying the West African nation, adding that the sufferings of some Nigerians affect the entire country.  

“We all must know that when there is an injury to one then that injury is to all and evil only triumphs when good people keep quiet and look the other way,” says the CAN Kaduna chairman. 

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The CAN official calls on the Nigerian government to investigate and act to ensure the increased criminal activities in the country come to an end. 

He says, “Until our government and our law enforcement agencies go after all criminals and murderers and justice is seen to have been done on all murderers, this evil will not stop and the murderers will not see their crime as evil."

He criticizes the government of giving a wide berth to the rampant killings in Nigeria saying, “they will smartly make us fight amongst ourselves and pay less attention to the crime." 

Pastor Hayab says CAN will continue to "preach peace, pray for peace, and speak truth to power and against every wrongdoing in Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.