(Voice of the Persecuted) NIGERIA – Francis Emmanuel, a Christian and a carpenter, was attacked by a gang of young men, believed to be Muslims,with machetes and daggers at a restaurant in Kakuri, Kaduna. They accused him for not fasting.
While eating his lunch, Emmanuel claimed the young men approached him because he was not fasting. He nearly lost his right arm trying to protect himself and sustained deep wounds from a machete on various parts of his body. He also nearly lost his eye. Relaying the ordeal to journalists from his hospital bed, Emmanuel said,
“I went to buy wood to do some work. When I came back, I bought food to eat. As I was eating, about six Hausa boys came and asked me whether I was a Muslim or a Christian. I did not answer them. They asked me why I was not fasting. I told them that I am not a Muslim. Before I knew it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives. I didn’t know them. Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of dangerous knives they were carrying. They used cutlasses, scissors, and knives. I became unconscious; I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.”
Sunny Oibe, Director of national issues of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) described the perpetrators as enemies of the people. He said,
“The attack on the carpenter for allegedly eating when Muslims were fasting goes to show the level of intolerance of some people, particularly some of our Muslims. “Even if somebody refuses to fast, nobody has the right to embark on such animalistic behavior of attempting murder.”
“We, in CAN, will ask the security agencies to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet. The perpetrators should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others because the laws of this country forbid taking the lives of another. “The government should therefore live up to its bidding and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.”
Mr. Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer said the government should have acted quickly to arrest the perpetrators to serve as a deterrent to others.
“It is already too late now. The perpetrators should have been immediately arrested and arraigned to serve as a deterrent to others.” source
Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian human rights lawyer now living in the U.S. shared on social media,
“A couple of years ago, a retired Christian general from the north said something that has haunted me. Speaking to an Igbo guy, he said, “if my people see you and I eating corn in my village during the Ramadan fast, they would kill me and leave you alone because we are not permitted to be Christians. When I read the story [of the recent attack], I realized things have gotten far worse in the last two years. Even non northerners are now being attacked for eating during the fasting even when they are not Muslim!”