THE chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Kaduna chapter, Joseph Hayab, has said at least 23 priests were killed in the last four years due to activities of bandits in the state.
Hayab disclosed this during a meeting with the state Commissioner of Police (CP) held at Albarka Fellowship Baptist church in Kaduna on Tuesday, September 12.
Hayab lamented the dimensions of insecurity plaguing the state during the meeting.
He stated that 200 churches were shut down, while 115 were burnt in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, and Kajuru due to terrorist attacks.
He added that many Christians have since been worshipping under trees.
“Just last month, to be precise, 8th August,2O23, one of the pastors, Adamu, was kidnapped only to find himself in Birnin Gwari and was asked to lead prayers for over 200 Christians still in captivity.
“it even came to a point that I became weak because we kept talking without results every day,” Hayab said.
The CAN leader appreciated the CP for the interface, noting that the state’s problems with insecurity would have been resolved if there had been such meetings between religious leaders and security agencies.
In his remarks, the CP, Musa Garba, argued that interaction with religious leaders would improve relations between the Nigeria Police and religious leaders.
Garba stated that as crime knows no bounds of religion or tribe, the state’s people should watch and pray. He also urged the leaders to support him and pray for his success during his term.
He pointed out that he had a mandate to ensure that the state was safe so that people could sleep with their two eyes closed, stressing that the insecurity challenges the state was facing were not unique to the state alone but to the entire world.
The commissioner encouraged citizens to contact security personnel around their communities with prompt information once they identify suspicious persons.
The ICIR reported on Sunday, September 3, that the Kaduna State governor, Uba Sani, directed the police to investigate the bandits’ attack on Saya-Saya village in Ikara Local Government Area of the state that led to the death of five worshippers in a mosque.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Shehu, Sani described the killing as wicked and barbaric.
The governor assured his government would work tirelessly until peace is restored in every part of the state.
On Saturday, September 2, The ICIR reported that seven persons, including five worshippers, were killed by suspected bandits in the village.
The Kaduna state government in April 2023 said about 1,266 persons were killed by bandits in Kaduna State in the previous 15 months.
Also, 214 people were killed, and 746 others were kidnapped in the state between January and March 2023.
Former Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, released the figures on Wednesday, April 19, at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna.
According to Aruwan, 1,052 deaths were recorded due to banditry and other attacks in the state in 2022.