Religious violence in Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria, November 26 – Church leaders said violence over local elections in the Sumaila area this month included a religious element, with Muslims killing one Christian in an attack on a Christian settlement. Eyewitnesses said violence broke out in the Gani electoral ward of Sumaila on November 17 after news reports showed that the Christian candidate for councillor for the Peoples Democratic Party, Zara Gambo, was ahead in the polls, signifying the first ever victory for a Christian candidate in the area. As a result, Muslims attacked Christians in Gani town and in Gani Mission, a Christian settlement in the area, destroying their houses and shops, injuring several of them and killing school teacher Danyaro Bala. Sani Duma, Bala’s brother, told Compass that he believes Muslims killed the church elder in order to cow area Christians into submitting to Islam. “Religion is at the center of this attack on us and the killing of my brother,” Duma said. “The selection of only houses of Christians and their shops for destruction shows clearly that Muslims were out to force us into submitting to their hold on political leadership.”

-Compass Direct News

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