Religion, Religious Persecution — October 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

Boko Haram Militants Execute Two Christian Aid Workers, Release Video Footage

Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria in a video produced by the group. (Image by AFP)
Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria in a video produced by the group. (Image by AFP)

Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has released a video in which its militants executed two Christian aid workers in Nigeria and vow to kill every believer they capture in the future.

According to Morning Star News, the terrorist group released the video last week on its official news agency site Amaq. In the video, Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both members of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Plateau state, are shown kneeling while three masked, armed men stand behind them.

The two young men, who had gone to Maiduguri to help build shelters for people displaced by Islamic extremist violence, are then shot from behind. Speaking in the Hausa language, one terrorist states the group has vowed to kill every Christian they capture in revenge for Muslims killed in past religious conflicts in Nigeria.

Pastor Pofi, a cousin of the two executed Christians, told Morning Star News that the two men were captured by Boko Haram, now called the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), as they carried out their work in a displaced persons camps.

“Lawrence and Godfrey left Abuja for Maiduguri in search of opportunities to utilize their skills for the betterment of humanity and paid with their lives,” Pofi said. “We will never get their corpses to bury. The community will have to make do with a makeshift memorial to these young lives cut short so horrifically.”

Pastor Pofi argued that if the federal government had created economic opportunities for those tempted to join extremist groups and had returned security to the country, the two Christian men would not be dead.

“We must ask ourselves if this is the kind of country we want where young men who are earning an honest living are brutally killed while those who abduct and kill others are invited to dialogue with government and paid handsomely,” he said.

In a letter to the United Nations secretary-general, Emmanuel Ogebe of the U.S.-Nigeria Law Group, a legal consulting firm with an emphasis on human rights, said the recent spate of murders amount to “ethnic cleansing.”

“More executions of humanitarian workers could yet occur,” Ogebe wrote to the U.N.

Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution. Boko Haram is one of the most violent terrorist groups in the world, wreaking havoc in Nigeria’s northeast and Lake Chad region. Over the last decade, the group has killed an estimated 35,000 civilians and displaced thousands more.

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