Twenty Pastors Killed in Kaduna Riots in Nigeria

Friday, July 21, 2000

by Obed Minchakpu

KADUNA, Nigeria (Compass) -- Twenty pastors from various church denominations were among the hundreds of Christians killed during the two religious crises that occurred in northern Nigeria's Kaduna city in February and May.

Elder Saidu Dogo, the secretary general of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Northern Nigeria Chapter, said some of the pastors were killed in their churches while others were killed in various parts of the city.

Among the pastors killed were Rev. Fr. Clement Ozi Bello, 26, a Catholic priest with the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna; Rev. Aniya Bobai of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA); and Rev. Bako Kabuk, along with Pastors Paul Chikira, David Maigari and Adamu Seko, of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.

Rev. Fr. Peter Dama, director of social communications of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, told Compass that Father Bello "was ordained last year, just barely a year old in the priesthood. We know that he was attacked by a mob. He was in his sultan-like priestly dress. They dragged him, killed him, tied a rope round his neck and dragged him into a culvert and left him there."

Father Bello came from a Muslim family. His father is a Muslim, and his mother had converted (to Christianity) shortly before the priest's ordination. Fr. Bello was the only male Christian in his family, Dama said.

Rev. Aniya Bobai was killed in the church's pastorium at Unguwar Dosa Ward of Kaduna city. He was attacked by a Muslim mob, killed, and his church, the ECWA Unguwar Dosa, was set ablaze.

The pastors with the Nigerian Baptist Convention were killed at the Kaduna campus of the Baptist Theological Seminary as they attempted to defend the school. All have been buried at the school's cemetery.

Copyright © 2000 Compass Direct News Service. Used with permission.