Nigeria’s Religious Leaders Blame Church Attack on Move to Shut Communication Services

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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has blamed the reported killing and kidnappings in a church in Kaduna State on the government’s closure of telecommunication services in some parts of the Nigerian State.

The chairman of CAN in Kaduna State noted that the shutdown of the telecommunication network enabled bandits to have “a field day” at the Kaduna Baptist Church on Sunday, November 7, killing one worshipper and kidnapping over 100 others.

“Abducted church worshippers would have cried out on Sunday to facilitate their rescue and for people to know that they were endangered, but they could not cry out,” Rev. John Joseph Hayab was quoted as saying in a November 4 report, adding that scores of other worshippers sustained severe injuries.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, through the state commissioner for Internal security and Home Affairs, shut down telecommunication services in parts of Kaduna, noting that the move was to pave way for the “commencement of a military onslaught against bandits.”

“The relevant federal agencies have today informed the Kaduna State Government that the processes for telecoms shutdown in parts of the state have commenced,” Mr. Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, said in a September 29 press briefing.


In the November 4 report, Rev. Hayab made reference to the message that was left behind by the kidnappers to the family members of the victims.

“A victim’s family said the kidnappers told them that they had to pay more on ransom because the gunmen had to go the extra mile for network service before getting the victims’ relations,” the chairman of CAN in Kaduna State said.

The report further indicates that Rev. Hayab explained, “The truth about the shutdown of the network of telecommunication services is that people who are making policies are not fair to the citizens.”

The CAN official expressed regret that the government is doing trial and error in managing the security situation in the Nigerian State, and added, “this has not worked to curb insecurity in the State.”

He further expressed dismay that the security situation keeps on deteriorating, against the State government’s claims that it was on top of the situation while citizens are at the receiving end on a daily basis.

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“We are seriously worried now. Gunmen are gradually approaching the township. Emmanuel Baptist Church, which is in Kakau Daji, is just less than three kilometres to Sabon Tashan, yet the kidnappers operated at will without any resistance,” the Church leader lamented.

He added, “Unless appropriate measures are taken against insecurity in the State, the security challenges would continue to worsen and the citizens will continue suffering in the hands of the kidnappers.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.