Nigeria: Militant Christian group vows revenge attacks on Muslims if Boko Haram kills Christians

The militant Christian group Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC) has vowed that it will carry out reprisal attacks on Muslims and mosques in the Niger Delta region if Boko Haram fulfils a threat to kill Christians and burn down churches.

A church burned down by Boko Haram in Damasak, 24 March 2015Reuters

A spokesperson of the NDRC, W O I Izon-Ebi, said in a statement: "We want to alert Nigerians and the world that the Islamisation plot has been proven by the Boko Haram new leader Abu Masab el Barnaw that their new mission is to kill all Christians and burn down all churches."

The statement added: "But, we want to warn them that we, the Niger Delta youths, in this 21st century will not accept killing of innocent Christians or burning of churches. That if they try it in the north or any part of Nigeria, we the Niger Delta youths will not see any Muslim or mosque in the Niger Delta".

In a statement released by al Nabaa, an ISIS newspaper, al-Barnawi said that his organisation "remained a force to be reckoned with."

He also warned that they have been actively recruiting those who share like minds to fight "Christianisation of society."

The war of words comes after the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) last month condemned the Muhammadu Buhari administration over increasing violence against non-Muslims and warned Christians to defend themselves following the killing at the weekend of a female Christian preacher.

Eunice Elisha, a pastor for the Redeemed Christian Church of God, was hacked to death in the Gbazango area of Kubwa, Abuja, by suspected Muslim fanatics, while preaching on the morning on 9 July.

Premium Times reported that shocking photos of the attack show Elisha's battered body lying in a pool of blood, next to her megaphone.

No group has claimed responsibility for the murder, but police said they had arrested suspects.

CAN said the attack was "yet another religious, hatred-motivated gruesome murder" that was growing under the Buhari administration.

"The discrimination against non-Muslims in Nigeria under the Buhari Administration is assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve," the statement warned.

"Nigeria is dancing a macabre dance of death, both for the nation and for its citizens," the organisation added.

"The Christian Association of Nigeria commiserates with the families affected by these mindless orgies of death and destruction as well as with the entire Christian community in Nigeria," it went on. "We pray that God in His mercy shall comfort and strengthen the families of all the Nigerians affected in these unwarranted murders unleashed upon the nation by religious extremists. The recurring decimal of violence and murder of innocent Nigerian citizens on the basis of religious intolerance demands specific and relevant response from all concerned citizens in the country more so when the government in power seems to have adopted an attitude of lukewarm response to the evils being perpetrated in Nigeria in the name of religion."