Catholic Charity Calls on Nigeria’s New Government to Stem “new tide” of Violence

Nigeria's President-elect, Bola Tinubu. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI) of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has appealed to the newly elected Nigerian government to act first to stem what the charity research foundation describes as a new tide of violence in the West African country.

In a report shared with ACI Africa on Friday, March 31, DHPI Director, Johan Viljoen, notes that Nigeria is witnessing a rise in attacks following the February 25 presidential elections as well as the March 18 State elections.

“This week saw an increase in violence perpetrated after the recent elections, both national and gubernatorial across the different states,” Mr. Viljoen says in an update on what DHPI has previously described as “a gathering storm” in Nigeria.

He adds, “There needs to be a concerted effort by the federal government to counteract these acts of violence… State governments, and the soon to be constituted central government by President Elect Bola Tinubu must act fast to stem this new tide of violence.”

Even without the new tide of attacks, Nigeria is already struggling with rolling violence from Fulani herdsmen and other militant Islamic forces, Mr. Viljoen says.


The DHPI Director finds it regrettable that there are many “flashpoints of conflict” that the people of God in Nigeria have to contend with, including negative ethnicity, politics, religion, language, and even geography.

The DHPI official reports that levels of violence have continued to rise in the aftermath of the recent elections, particularly in the country’s Kaduna and Benue States.

In Kaduna State, Islamists have reportedly killed almost 30 Christians just over two weeks ago. Sources say 17 Christians were killed in Ungwan Wake village on March 10, and another 10 in Langson village some four days later.

A resident, Joshua Solomon, told Nigerian local media, “My family house in the village was attacked by the terrorists and armed herdsmen. The house was burned down, and no one is left alive. They killed all my family members.”

Bandits are also reportedly responsible for killing a new born baby in Janjala, Kagarko Local Government Area.

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Shamsiya Mustapha, her husband, Mustapha, and her 16-year-old daughter were abducted by bandits from their home in the area.

The bandits released the husband after collecting 2 million Naira (US$4,327.00) in ransom, as well as a new motorcycle; however, they kept Shamsiya and her daughter, and demanded an additional 2 million Naira for their release.

Shamsiya is reported to have given birth to a baby boy while in captivity, after which the woman was released.

When her relatives went to pick her up and asked to see the new-born baby, the bandits said that they had killed the child.

DHPI has blamed the increase in attacks in Nigerian States on the leadership gap in Africa’s most populous nation following the Federal government and State elections.


“It is clear that since Nigeria’s elections held on 25 February, violence has escalated across the country’s various hotspots and pressure points,” Mr. Viljoen said in a March 20 report. 

He added, “The violence and intimidation that many communities had been subjected to has not only intensified but now, with the gap in leadership until Tinubu is sworn in as president, vigilantes, herdsmen, and hoodlums feel emboldened to attack innocents.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.