Three brothers killed in two communities attacked in northeastern Nigeria, Nigerian church mourns loss of EYN president’s father

By Zakariya Musa

Two Borno and Adamawa communities were attacked in northeastern Nigeria in late December, as prayers were intensifying for the release of Andrawus Indawa, coordinator of Pastoral Enhancement Ministry for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

The clergyman was kidnapped on Dec. 27 in the middle of the night at his residence at Mararaban Mubi, Hong Local Government Area (LGA), Adamawa State. He was released just a few days later, before the end of the year.

In more news from EYN, the denomination is mourning the loss of Stephen Billi, 86, who died Jan. 2 after a prolonged illness. He was a minister in the church and the father of EYN president Joel S. Billi. His burial was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 7, at his home town of Hildi, Hong LGA. Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele has sent a letter of condolence on behalf of the American church.

Nigerian church continues to suffer violent attacks

In a continued attacks on the church, two reports were received of attacks on Vengo in Madagali LGA in Adamawa State and Koraghuma in Chibok LGA in Borno State. The Vengo attack, which is believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram, left three brothers–Dauda Amos, Ibrahim Amos, and Filibus Amos–killed at a location around the Mandara Mountains, where they sought refuge for fear of attack.

“We have just conducted their burial today, Dec. 30,” said Ishaya Ndirmbula, the pastor in charge of the Vengo congregation of EYN, who also pled for prayers for three more youths who were kidnapped from the village.

At Koraghuma, 18 houses, 9 shops, a church auditorium, and a parsonage were burned down and a car was forcefully taken away in the Dec. 30 night attack. Three teenage girls, all below the age of 12, and a housewife were kidnapped. Military jet fighters were commended for their intervention during the attack, which left the community in devastation.

Two EYN members who were kidnapped in Kwaransa, where a new EYN congregation was organized recently, have gained their freedom according to the district secretary for Giima, Yohanna Dama.

Kidnapping for ransom and killings of innocent citizens by bandits, ISWAP, or Boko Haram are on the increase in all regions of the country of Nigeria, which is considered the giant of Africa. Twenty police personnel were rescued, for example, following a counter operation by troops of the Nigerian army against invading Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists who stormed the police station in Buni Yadi in Yobe State. A total of 91 terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers met their waterloo during several offensives against them at Kala Balge, Rann, Dikwa, and Biu in Borno State, Gombi in Adamawa State, and Zamfara State. Acting director of Defense Media Operations, Brigadier-General Bernard Onyeuko, however regretted that some officers and soldiers were killed during the offensives.

— Zakariya Musa is head of media for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

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