Christian journalist detained in Kaduna State for reporting the persecution

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Nigeria 11/15/2021 (International Christian Concern) – Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) and a Christian journalist, was arrested and detained for reporting on the persecution of Christians in South Kaduna, according to local ICC sources reported in Contact with Binniyat’s family.

Binniyat has accused Kaduna State Internal Security and Interior Commissioner Samuel Aruwan of ordering his arrest after reporting the murder of 38 Christians who were killed by Fulani militants.

Binniyat communicated via WhatsApp and discussed his predicament with an ICC contact. “They took me to Barnawa Chief Magistrate Court Kaduna and locked me in a tiny, crammed dinghy with some hardened looking criminals.

“I was smuggled here from the Gabasawa Police Department after four days without a trial. [I was held in] dehumanizing conditions. I have yet to be brought before a judge. I am afraid my life is in danger. I just managed to get this phone. “

At a press conference on Sunday, Aruwan claimed that Binniyat had quoted State Senator Danjuma Laah that Aruwan had been used to cover up a genocide of Christians in southern Kaduna.

“I would like to address you this afternoon on the recent worrying allegations that have been made against me, which amount to damaging reputation, hurtful falsehood and inciting public unrest.” said Aruwan. “My attention was drawn to an online publication written by a Luka Binniyat. In this publication, Mr. Binniyat quoted Senator Danjuma Laah of the South Kaduna Senate District as saying that I was being used to cover up a Christian genocide in South Kaduna.

Senator Danjuma Laah denies making the testimony attributed to him. The quote in question is; “The government of Kaduna state is using the Christian Samuel Aruwan to create confusion, to cover up the genocide in the Christian south of Kaduna by calling the massacre a ‘clash’.”

Steven Kefas, another journalist based in Kaduna, was jailed in Kajuru Local Government Area in Kaduna in 2019 for remarks about a local politician. He commented on the situation, spoke out in favor of Binniyat and gave a brief overview of the unstable situation in Kaduna state. “Locking up Luka means turning off a powerful voice in SOKAPU. We will miss his selflessness. A huge vacuum has been created. Who knows – maybe that’s the real intent of his prison guards.

“Lukas prison guards are in chains – they are also in prison because their conscience is locked up. They also need freedom, just like Luka and believe me, their chains are heavier and their prison tougher than Luka’s.

“After all, this is another lesson for all of us. Never trust a politician. Your integrity is like the wave of the sea. They only appreciate you when they can use you, but when the chips are down you are on your own. “

The ICC recently released a report analyzing how state governments in Nigeria are promoting the persecution. Of particular concern are the twelve central and northern states that encourage or permit the implementation of criminal Sharia law and the use of Sharia courts to enforce Islamic religious laws. The state of Kaduna is one of the states that apply Sharia law.

The report also highlights Kaduna’s troubled Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who recently cracked down on religious expressions when he revived the military-era Interfaith Sermon Regulatory Council to regulate sermon and pastor.

Although El-Rufai touted this as a measure to reduce sectarian violence, he himself has a troubling history of fueling religious tension. El-Rufai even claimed in a tweet published on September 8, 2014 that Christians were behind, funding and controlling Boko Haram “to tarnish the name of Islam”. In his tweet, he accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other Christians of being behind certain church bombings and shootings. Far from a front for CAN, Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist group with strong ties to the Islamic State.

In the days leading up to his re-election in 2019, El-Rufai fueled public anger and physical violence when he falsely claimed that 130 Fulani were killed in Kajuru, a town near the capital, Kaduna. The Fulani are an ethnic group with a Muslim majority. Many, including the National Emergency Management Agency and El Rufai’s own police commissioner, denied his allegations of an attack on the Fulani. In fact, a few days before his statements, 11 local Catholics were killed in Kajuru. Suspected Fulani militants killed 127 people in alleged retaliatory attacks in Kajuru in the month following El Rufai’s testimony.

In 2012, El-Rufai threatened anyone who could challenge the Fulani, even as part of military service. “We are going to write this for all to read. Everyone, soldier or not, who kills the Fulani is taking out a loan that will come due someday, no matter how long it takes, ”he tweeted. When he took office as governor in 2015, he said that “the Fulani have nothing to fear, being a Fulani [is] now governor of the state. “

In an upcoming report, the ICC plans to highlight the ongoing threat El-Rufai poses to the Christian community and shed light on his flamboyant, affluent lifestyle.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected]


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