Appeal for prayers for Nigeria after deadly attacks

Christians are being asked to pray for Nigeria after a weekend of deadly attacks.

Six people died when gunmen attacked the predominantly Christian village of Aduwan Gida in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna on 23 February.

The victims were villagers who had gathered to mourn the death of an elderly member of the community.

The gunmen attacked the group at around 10pm. Victims reportedly included a mother and her six month old baby.

The injured are being treated in hospitals in Kaduna and Plateau States.

The gunmen were unknown but the Reverend Yunusa Nmadu, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide-Nigeria, said the attack resembled those carried out by militant Islamist group Boko Haram in recent years.

"It is unfortunate that after the announcement of a ceasefire by elements of Boko Haram, we are still experiencing attacks resembling their style of operations," he said.

"We ask for continuing prayers for Nigeria, and urge churches to be vigilant with regard to security, particularly as the Easter period approaches."

In a separate attack in Plateau State the day before, 10 members of the same family were hacked to death by unknown attackers in Kogwom Village, Vom district in Jos South LGA.

According to local reports, the family members were attacked while attending a gathering to mourn a grandmother who had died a few days earlier.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports anger among locals at the lack of protection from security forces.

CSW's Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said he was "saddened" by the attacks and called upon security forces to take the necessary action to prevent more attacks.

"Given the long-standing nature of the threats against both areas, the security services should by now have formulated an effective means of defending villages and apprehending assailants," he said.

"We urge those responsible for security in these areas to formulate effective arrangements to secure the lives and properties of innocent citizens and to forestall the very real possibility of people taking the law into their own hands."