The market price for a Christian’s life in Northern Nigeria

It is a sad commentary of where things are now when screaming headlines in Nigeria’s dailies this week say “Bomb-free Sunday.” When bombings are the new normal and peace is the abnormal, there is indeed trouble in the land.

Ironically it was incorrect. A TV viewing center where the poor go to watch soccer matches (since they have no electricity at home) was blown up Sunday night after most papers had gone to press. A resilient terror group, wart of stepped up security at churches during the morning, tactically switched to a night time attack. The current attack is disturbingly reminiscent of the Uganda terror bombings at a TV viewing center during the World cup soccer tournament a couple of years ago. Yet some maintain this is not tied in to global theology of terror…

A story out of Nigeria indicates that some suspects were arrested in the earliest church attacks of the month in Maiduguri.

Seven suspected Boko Haram men alleged to have masterminded the attack on Ekklizivar Yan’uwa A Nigeria (EYN) Church in Biu, Borno State recently said they were paid N7, 000 each to carry out the attack which left no fewer than three worshipers dead.

One of the seven suspects, Ibrahim Mohammed Babangida, who spoke with journalists from his custody said one Magaji Bala, a butcher paid N7, 500 to him as his engagement fee to carry out the dastardly act.

“I was sleeping in my house when Magaji called me and handed over N7,000 to me for the operation,” he said, even as one of the suspects also corroborated the claim. The suspects, Alhassan Inuwa, Ibrahim Mohammed Babangida, Magaji Bala, Nuhu Zakari, Dahiru Sa’adu, Mohammadu Nurah and Mohammed Sani told newsmen at the 21 Armoured Brigade in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday that they were butchers by profession in Biu Market and were picked up in their different houses in Biu by the JTF operatives.

The suspects also claimed to hail from Jigawa and Katsina states, adding that they came to Biu, about 187 kilometres to Maiduguri and South of Borno, to eke a living. Some gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect had stormed a local branch of the Ekklizivar Yan’uwa A Nigeria (EYN) in Borno on June 10 in a bloody shoot out, leading to the death of three worshipers. Many others were also wounded.

Sources said the gunmen, numbering about three had invaded the EYN Church (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) while the Sunday service was going on, killing three, including a woman while many of the members sustained various degrees of injuries from gunshot.

So how much is 7000 naira in real money? It is about $45. That is how much the life of a Christian in Nigeria is worth these days.