Journalist Arrested after Reporting on Attacks against Christians in Nigeria
he charge carries a penalty of three years in prison
A Christian journalist has been arrested and thrown in jail for reporting on attacks on Christians in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
Epoch Times reporter Luka Binniyat was arrested by officials of Kaduna State and charged with transmitting electronic information known “to be false” under the nation’s Cybercrimes Act.
The charge carries a penalty of three years in prison.
Accordng to a local source, Binniyat’s arrest “is aimed at silencing any dissenting voice and intimidating both Luka and the southern Kaduna communities.”
Only last year, gunmen kidnapped some 140 Christian students in the Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State.
Protesters at the time blasted the civil authorities' failure to protect their children from the bandits and Muslim Fulani raiders.
“This government has abandoned the people of Kaduna,” said Mustapha Kumbe, the father of one of the kidnapped students.
“We will continue to protest until our children come back.”
“Today is a day of mourning, as we grieve over what is the most serious attack and greatest tragedy to impact the Baptist community in Nigeria,” said Elijah Brown, CEO of the Baptist World Alliance.
“I echo the words of a Baptist leader from Kaduna, ‘Our church is in serious pain.’”
The government's inaction in dealing with attacks on Christians has been noted for years.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) appealed to President Donald Trump in 2020 to stop “genocidal killings of Christians.”
Spokesmen for the group made the appeal after a series of attacks on Christians by Islamists
“Since Nigerian State and the Kaduna state government are not treating these threats as a national emergency, we have decided to let the world know the true state of things, and we are happy that some organizations have made similar findings,” said a statement jointly signed by the HURIWA National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf.
“On the last count, virtually all major Christian denominations in Kaduna State have witnessed dozens of attacks just as dozens of pastors have died in the cause of these targeted armed invasions and kidnapping,” the statement read.
“We are not accusing the Kaduna state government of involvements, but we are worried about the conspiratorial silence to these series of attacks.”
The rights group also said that Christians are not represented in Kaduna state government due to the governor, deputy governor, and State House of Assembly speaker being Muslims.
The group said, “the Kaduna state government and the office of the Nigerian President are deeply entrenched in the selective appointments of mostly Moslems as holders of virtually all strategic positions.”
The statement said the effect of this is to consign “millions of Christians to the inglorious position of second-class citizens."
It added it makes them “cannon fodder for the spiraling armed attacks by armed Islamists masquerading as herdsmen, kidnappers, and bandits.”
“This is the fuel that has ignited widespread mistreatment of Christians,” the group asserts.
“The incessant attacks by armed Islamists targeting only pastors; Christian schools and clerics of Christian denomination have become a national emergency.”