Human Angle Ministry News

Nigeria: Another coordinated killing of Christians

In spite of government efforts, the security situation in Nigeria is deteriorating. Indeed, the lingering conflict between herders and farmers in north-central Nigeria has been rated six times deadlier than the Boko Haram insurgency.

The recent abductions of schoolboys in Kankara community, Katsina State and in Niger State are more examples of the deplorable state of security in the country. Notably, the unprecedented increase in violent attacks is defying the sustained narrative among analysts that the northwest is relatively peaceful compared to the northeast, even though the northwest is poorer; worse governed in some areas; and has lower levels of human development.

Why is Nigeria seeing an uptick in religious killings?

The rising insecurity in the northwest vicious attacks on local communities and kidnapping of people by criminal groups in the region is being described by state officials as banditry. However, further evidence suggests that the government is simplifying the dynamics.

In actuality, north-western Nigeria has become the safe haven of increasingly active terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. Jama’at Nusratal Islam wal Muslimin Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb; a splinter of Boko Haram popularly referred to as the Islamic State in West Africa Province and the Fulani herdsmen of West Africa once rated the fourth-deadliest terror group in the world.

The recent Kankara abduction bears the operational footprints of the Boko Haram group that has perfected the act through previous abductions of schoolgirls in Chibok and Dapchi in north-eastern Nigeria. This incident gives credence to the jihadists’ perpetual attempt to forge an alliance with splinter terror groups in the north-west.

While Boko Haram maintains a coordinating center in the Lake Chad Basin, ISWAP operates from southwestern Niger. These two centers of jihadism are separated by northwest Nigeria, increasing the likelihood of interaction and collaboration among these actors there.

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