1. Bishop Jude Arogundade in Rome


Bishop Jude Arogundade of Ondo was in Rome this week, with Aid for the Church in Need, participating in the International Catholic Legislators Network in Frascati, near Rome. The Holy Father was also present.









2. Killings Continue in Benue State


The carnage in Benue State continues unabated. Below the latest statistics for August 2022, from Bishop Wilfred Anagbe:

Dear friends in Christ,

Greetings from the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi- Nigeria. As it has become customary, I take this moment to once again share with you the situation of continued killings and displacement of our people by Islamic militant groups on a jihad to Islamize Nigeria through brutal killings and displacement of innocent and defenseless populations in our country.

In the previous update I shared with you, I explained that these jihadists often camouflage as “HERDSMEN” but the government in power for reasons best known to it, prefers that they be called, – “UNKNOWN GUN MEN”. But regardless of whatever nomenclature employed to shield these fundamentalists, many Nigerians now know that these are FULANI TERRORISTS GROUPS OPERATING UNDER THE DIFFERENT NAMES: Boko Haram, Fulani terrorists, Bandits etc., with the main intent to Islamize the country through violence.

Albeit this update captures primarily activities in the Catholic diocese of Makurdi, there is also a record of killings from a village in Logo LGA that is included here. Naturally, having to live with such a situation has been very terrible for us but we continue to soldier on with Christian hope and resolve.


Added to the information above is the ever-worsening situation of general insecurity in Nigeria. That the government in power in Nigeria is in cahoots with those perpetrating these heinous crimes seems easy to see, because it is worrying and almost unbelievable that in spite of all these well documented incidences, perpetrators are never arrested. As you read this, the killers of Fr. Vitus Borogo of Kaduna diocese (killed 25th June) or Fr. Christopher Odia of Auchi diocese (killed 26th June) or indeed those who brutally kidnapped and murdered Fr John Mark Cheitnum of Kafachan Diocese on 15th July 2022 are yet to be arrested. Many Nigerians doubt the so-called arrest of the orchestrators of the massacre in Owo, Ondo State on Pentecost Sunday 2022.




3. InterSociety Speaks Out On Kidnapping and Killings of Priests and Nuns


InterSociety issued a report on the number of Priests and Religious kidnapped and/or killed so far this year. We reproduce it unedited below:

Security Forces’ Inaction: Partisanship, Unwillingness And Inability Fuelled Kidnap By Jihadists Of 26 Catholic Clergies And Killing Of Four Of them In The Second Quarter Or Past Eight Months Of 2022

Onitsha, Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The release of four defenseless Catholic Reverend Sisters (Nuns) abducted on Sunday, 21st August 2022 along the Okigwe-Umulolo axis of the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway in Imo by Jihadist Fulani Terrorists has continued to expose the country’s security forces’ inaction; namely: partisanship, unwillingness and inability as fuelling the abduction of no fewer than 26 Catholic Clergies and killing of four of them in the second quarter or past eight months of 2022. By ‘Catholic Clergies, they include abducted or slain Reverend Fathers, Sisters (Nuns) and Seminarians. By the Int’l Law Principle of Complementarity of the ICC Statute of 1998, ratified by Nigeria in Sept 2001, ‘a State-Party (Nigeria) becomes a violator of the Principle laying ground for the ICC to assume jurisdiction when there is a clear case of inability and unwillingness on its part including failure to investigate the atrocities perpetrated, arrest and prosecute its perpetrators and end the atrocities.

Leadership of the Catholic Church in the country including national and local Catholic Clergy dioceses and bodies have also not done enough to morally and spiritually protect their ordained subordinates from threats, dangers and harms directed at them by the country’s Islamic Jihadists. Pieces of evidence abound clearly showing the Church leaders failing to rise in strong condemnation of the conspiratorial activities of the colluding public office holders whose compromises and conspiracies have aided or abetted the sacrilegious abduction and killing of the apostles of Christ. The Catholic Bishops have continued to live in silence and prefer to be according undeserved recognitions and accept stolen or embezzled public funds from such tainted public office holders; thereby exposing the lives and safety of their ordained subordinates and undermining the growth and development of the Catholic and the entire Christian Faith.

Statistically speaking, it must be recalled that Nigeria has between January and this ending August 2022 recorded abduction of at least 50 Christian Clergies of different Christian denominations, out of this, no fewer than 26 are Catholic Clergies (Reverend Fathers, Nuns and Seminarians), strictly abducted or killed on the grounds of their religious beliefs or affiliations. According to a data compiled by the Aid to the Church in Need Int’l (ACN), released on 11th July 2022, “Eighteen Catholic Priests have been abducted in Nigeria between January and first week of July 2022 and five of them abducted in the first week of July 2022 alone”. This number of abducted Catholic Priests has since risen to 22. On 15th July 2022, for instance, two more Catholic Priests (Reverend Fathers John Mark Cheitnum and Donatus Cleopas of Christ the King Catholic Church in Kafanchan, Kaduna State) were abducted and shortly thereafter on 19th July, Father Cheitnum was killed. On Friday, 12th August 2022, Reverend Father Chinedu Nwadike (Cssp) and a young Seminarian, Emmanuel Nwafor (Pre Prostulant) were abducted by Jihadist Fulani terrorists at Umunneochi, along same Enugu-Okigwe-Port-Harcourt Expressway. The four Catholic Priests so far killed this year by the Islamic Jihadists are Reverend Fathers Bako, Borogo, Odia and Cheitnum. The abducted four Reverend Sisters who have regained freedom are: Johannes Nwodo, Christabel Echemazu, Liberata Mbamalu and Benita Agu.

Intersociety hereby makes bold to say that incompetence, partisanship, unwillingness and inability of the country’s security forces to respond to the threats by the Jihadists particularly those laying siege along Umunneochi-Okigwe-

Umulolo-Lokpanta of the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway are no longer a hidden fact. The collusion or conspiracy of the security forces in the perpetration and perpetuation of the sacrilegious and dastardly acts is also no longer hidden. While the number of abducted victims in the area since the beginning of January 2022 is unaccountable, over sixty defenseless Igbo Christians and non Muslim others have also been killed since January 2022. The worst is that the same security forces apart from refusing to act have brazenly been protecting the Jihadists and seized nooks and crannies of the Southeast terrorizing innocent and law abiding citizens of the peace loving Region. This is to the extent that several funerals, meetings and festivals have been threatened or disrupted. It is also nearing a stage whereby what critics called “MACBAN security approvals” will be mandatory for important Igbo seasonal events such as New Yam Festivals, August Meetings, etc to be allowed.


Emeka Umeagbalasi and Chidinma Udegbunam Esquire

For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law

Contacts: +2348174090052, info@intersociety-ng.org



4. Journalist who reported on massacre of Nigerian Christians to stand trial for “cyberstalking”


On 18 August 2022, Douglas Burton reported for Catholic News Agency as follows:

A journalist who wrote an article accusing the Nigerian government of failing to protect Christians threatened by armed militants was arrested and will be tried on charges of “cyberstalking.” Luka Binniyat, a Catholic human rights reporter, is facing prison after writing an article in which the Nigerian government was criticized for its inaction in the face of an ongoing threat to Christian communities.

In the article, Binniyat reported on charges that Kaduna State’s Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had mischaracterized the massacre of unarmed Christians as a “clash” between villagers and herdsmen.

Binniyat is set to stand trial before a Nigerian magistrate on Sept. 6 on charges of cyberstalking, aiding, and abetting the offenses of cybercrime, charges which he denies.

Binniyat told CNA that his arrest was based on a complaint filed by Aruwan, over an article titled, “In Nigeria, Police Decry Massacres as ‘Wicked’ but Make No Arrest,” that was published Oct. 29, 2021, in the Epoch Times.

In the article, Binniyat reported on the mass killings of Christians in two Southern Kaduna villages. In the community of Madamai, 38 Christians were massacred Sept. 28, 2021, by armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen. A month later, in the Christian village of Jankassa, about three miles south of Madamai, armed herdsmen killed four villagers, according to Binniyat’s report.

The Nigerian official, Aruwan, issued a press statement the following day saying that the violence was the result of “clashes” between local villagers and herdsmen. The statement stirred resentment among Christians both in Southern Kaduna and in other Christian areas in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.

Binniyat quoted a Nigerian senator who disagreed with Aruwan’s assessment that the massacre was a “clash” between villagers and herdsmen.

“The government of Kaduna state is using Samuel Aruwan, a Christian, to cause confusion to cover up the genocide going on in Christian Southern Kaduna by describing the massacre as a ‘clash,’” Senator Danjuma Laah, who represents Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone in the Nigerian Senate, told Binniyat.

The arrest and upcoming trial of Binniyat, are an attempt to silence journalists who speak out about attacks on Christians in Nigeria, says Robert Destro, a law professor at Catholic University and a former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor during the Trump administration.

“No politician likes criticism, but most understand that a reporter’s job is to find the facts and report them honestly,” Destro wrote in an email to Catholic News Agency.

The arrest and upcoming trial of Binniyat, are an attempt to silence journalists who speak out about attacks on Christians in Nigeria, says Robert Destro, a law professor at Catholic University and a former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor during the Trump administration.

“No politician likes criticism, but most understand that a reporter’s job is to find the facts and report them honestly,” Destro wrote in an email to Catholic News Agency.

“The stakes go up exponentially when a government is determined to hide the truth about official corruption by crafting an official political narrative or story that refuses even to acknowledge that certain problems exist. Poking holes in such official narratives can get you arrested — or worse,” he said.

Reporters such as Binniyat are challenging the government’s dominant narrative, Destro said.

“In Nigeria, the official ‘narrative’ is that the massacres of Christians in their homes and churches are the result of ‘clashes’ between peaceful cattle-herders who have been displaced from their traditional grazing lands by climate change, and farmers who object to their farms, villages, and towns being overrun by cattle,” Destro said.

“The reality is that Christians and other religious groups are attacked, without provocation or warning, by armed militants who kidnap, rape, plunder and kill. By calling these attacks clashes caused by climate change, the government simultaneously blames the victims, absolves the attackers, and has an internationally recognized excuse for doing nothing,” Destro added.

The Nigerian government, he said, rather than simply not protecting Christians, seems to be aiding and abetting the Muslim militant groups attacking them.

“Even a little digging into the facts on the ground shows that the government doesn’t simply turn a blind eye to the violence, it actively favors the attackers, many of whom are from favored religious (Muslim) and ethnic groups (Fulani),” Destro told CNA.

“When viewed from an ethnic and religious perspective, those murderous rampages through the countryside begin to look a lot like more like an organized land-grab which is designed to push local ethnic and religious groups off their land so that the invaders can control both the land itself and the resources it contains,” Destro added.

“Nigeria’s official narrative – which is parroted by gullible foreign governments like the United States, the UK, and the EU, is that there is nothing to see here but peaceful herders and farmers who are clashing because of climate change,” Destro wrote.

Binniyat and other members of the press need to be able to ask “who is supporting, financing, and protecting these criminals?” he said.

Speaking to the press in August after his trial was stayed until Sept. 6, Binniyat said he feared for his life.

“I am clearly a marked man, by the implication of my trial and I want the Kaduna state government to be held responsible should any harm come to me,” Binniyat said.

Human rights lawyer and Hudson Institute scholar Nina Shea says Binniyat’s arrest reveals the dire state of affairs in Nigeria.

“Kaduna’s Governor [Nasir El Rufai] has abjectly failed in his primary responsibility to protect every citizen in his state, and consequently we are now seeing a complete breakdown in the rule of law there,” Shea told CNA.

“Instead, he presides over a situation where journalists, like Luca, reporting on lethal violence, are themselves threatened and dragged into court under a cyberstalking law wielded as a weapon by a state official who claims to feel threatened by the news report. Meanwhile, President Buhari stands idly by as large regions of what should be Africa’s most important country are taken over by terrorists, jihadists, and criminals,” she said.



5. Kidnapped Sisters Released


Four Catholic Nuns, members of the Sisters of Jesus the Saviour, who were kidnapped by insurgents while on their way to Mass on Sunday 21 August 2022 in Imo State, were released unharmed two days later. The incident further highlights the ongoing attacks on Christians (and particularly on Catholic Clergy and Religious) in the South East of the country and has increased fear amongst them.











6. Houses Burned Down In Imo Attack


Gunmen on Thursday set ablaze houses, shops in some parts of Izombe in the Ogutal local government area of Imo state. The incident started happening from 4:30 pm till 7:30 pm in Izombe. Some of the locations where the attacks took place include; Central market, Amamuruegede, Eziama, Umuakpa, and Eke-well among others.

But a source said: “We saw men in a security uniform. They came in with about eight security vehicles fully armed. They drove in at about 4:30 pm.

“When we saw them people were afraid. As it was getting dark, all of a sudden they shot in the air and people started running. They went straight to some selected houses and shops and put fa ire on the buildings. They burnt more than ten houses.”

He continued: “As I am talking to you now, many people have abandoned their houses and fled into the bushes. Some of us don’t know the whereabouts of our children and wives. By tomorrow, we will come out and know the level of damage they have done. Till now, we don’t know the sins we have committed that we deserve this kind of attack.”



Stay Up-To-Date!