Armed militants in Nigeria have murdered 27 Christians in the lead-up to elections there.
The same radicals who recently murdered 17 Christians in Agwan Wakili attacked another Christian community in Mubushi and Langsong, killing 10 more people and wounding 14 others.
Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) reports the militants attacked during the night on March 14 during hot weather. Most of the villagers were sleeping outside while others kept watch after receiving an earlier warning. Instead of using firearms, the militants quietly slipped inside one compound using machetes and axes. They reportedly killed five people before an alarm could be sounded. As they fled, they killed five more people.
“This attack is the political massacre of Christians in places where APC (All Progressives Congress) is likely going to lose the gubernatorial election on 18, March 2023,” a local leader named Dereck told an ICC staffer. “Christian local farmers are facing series of attacks during the period of the election in Nigeria.”
A witness explained the attack is to stop Christians from voting in the gubernatorial race.
“The attack is to displace Christians who will not vote for the ruling APC,” a community leader said.
Their candidate for governor and the deputy governor candidates are both Christians, according to the ICC.
One leader expressed frustration that the government remains silent as these attacks continue. A source said some of the militants are members of the Nigerian army.
“Before they attack, a helicopter flew on a close range hovering around the community and neighborhood. Less than an hour from when it left, the attack took place,” a contact wrote to an ICC staffer: “One would be forced to conclude that the helicopter flew for the following reasons: To survey and see populated communities. To check and analyze the security architecture of the target community so that the enemy can have a counter plan to defeat the poor indigenous people. To drop off the attackers, since the neighborhood communities have been vigilant and the routes were blocked.”
Nigeria ranks number 6 on the Open Doors 2023 World Watch List of the most dangerous countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.