Christian leaders in Kaduna, Nigeria, Implore “God’s comfort” for Victims of Train Attack

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Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Kaduna State under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have offered their prayers for the victims of the Monday, March 28 train attack.

Gunmen reportedly attacked a train traveling from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, to Kaduna and opened fire leading to the deaths of seven passengers; 22 people were reportedly injured during the incident.

Our hearts and prayers are with the bereaved families as we pray for God’s comfort. And to those who sustained injuries, we pray for quick recovery,’’ CAN Chairman in Kaduna State has been quoted as saying in a Wednesday, March 30 report. 

Pastor John Joseph Hayab has also called on Christians and all people of goodwill in Kaduna State “to continue to pray and to do the needful for peace to reign.”

“Even while banditry is a heinous crime, the bandits appear to have evolved an extended network for intelligence gathering and planning to fulfil their mission,” the Nigerian Pastor says, speaking on behalf of CAN members who include representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).


He calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria “to deploy everything at its disposal to crush the bandits who have had a field day in Kaduna State and elsewhere in Nigeria.”

Pastor Hayab further says that security agencies need “to employ innovative and professional strategies to deal with the situation and repudiate any political interference in security matters.”

He emphasizes on the need for peace in Africa’s most populous nation saying, “A nation where mourning has become an everyday ordeal cannot be productive as the heart that mourns becomes fragile, unable to think, plan or organize well.”

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the Wewst African nation into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

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The insecurity situation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers.

Abductions for ransom have also become common in the country. 

Last week, the Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese expressed concern about the incessant insecurity in the Southern part of Kaduna State. 

Bishop Julius Yakubu Kundi said the nature of the attacks in the Nigerian State have triggered the thinking that that Christians in the region “are gradually becoming an endangered species that are earmarked for extermination.” 

Bishop Kundi also decried the laxity in the government and international community’s response to the attacks saying, “It is quite scandalous that while the pogrom against Christians from Southern Kaduna and the Middle Belt is metamorphosing into genocide, the Government and the International Community’s narratives present it as an ethnic clash that can be comfortably tamed by the Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies.” 


The Local Ordinary of Kafanchan called on Nigerians to unite beyond religious and ethnic differences. 

He also encouraged the people of God in the country to remain optimistic about a more peaceful future. 

He said, “We are facing some real challenges, but we won’t give up. Many are our trials, but we won’t turn back. We may be temporarily down, but we are certainly not out."

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.