Family of the deceased 

Pastor Luka Ubangari was returning home from an evangelistic visit to Golfoka village in north-west Nigeria last Sunday (21 August) when he was ambushed and shot dead.

The killers are suspected to be ethnic Fulani herdsmen, who are mainly Muslim and have been carrying out a spate of anti-Christian violence. 

The murder of the church leader is all the more shocking, coming as it does after local governor Nasir El-Rufai chaired a meeting of the state’s security council in Kafanchan (seat of the local government) on 16 August, promising that the perpetrators of the recent violence would be arrested and punished. Addressing the council, he said, “These cycles of killings are unjustifiable and senseless”, adding, “We condemn lawless conduct and the disregard for human life that the killers have shown.”

And yet the violence continues. “We were happy that the Governor [Nasir El-Rufai] had visited and assured us of improved security and that the killers would be found and punished,” an anonymous source said, “To our shock, Pastor Luka Ubangari was ambushed, shot and killed as he was riding his motorcycle home.”

A local pastor is clear about the motives behind the ongoing violence. “They clearly have an agenda: to wipe out [the] Christian presence and take over the land,” says the pastor.

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