The chair of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Sumaila Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano state, Nigeria, has been killed.
Rev Yohanna Shuaibu of New Life Church was attacked by a mob in the early hours of 23rd September and succumbed to his injuries the following day.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Rev Shuaibu was targeted after a young local man, who had left Islam and who attended neither the local church nor mosque, killed his sister-in-law on 21st September by hitting her with a piston.
The man subsequently surrendered himself to the Mobile Police Force (Mopol). However, Rev Shuaibu was advised to leave the area, as he was likely to be targeted because members of the local Muslim community believed the man had converted to Christianity.
Rev Shuaibu suffered multiple machete wounds over the course of the attack. He was rushed to hospital by police for emergency treatment, but died the next day.
The mob went on to burn down the Shuaibu's family home, the church and the school, CSW reported. Rev Shuaibu was instrumental in securing funds for the school for local children and oversaw the raising of funds for boreholes for Christian communities who were denied access to government-provided water sources. During Shuaibu's tenure, a faulty water source at the local mosque was refurbished by the Christian community in an effort to foster peace and unity.
Rev Shuaibu was a popular and influential figure in the Sumalia LGA.
CSW's Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “Our hearts and prayers are with Rev Shuaibu’s wife, children, church and community as they mourn the loss of their husband, father and leader. Rev Shuaibu will be sorely missed in his community and beyond. We urge the police to spare no effort in locating and prosecuting those responsible for his death.
"More must be done to tackle the societal tensions that facilitate regular outbreaks of religiously-motivated violence. We call on the federal and state authorities to develop civic education programmes that promote interreligious harmony and equal citizenship, and to model these qualities consistently both in word and in deed.”