Posted: 05/30/2012 at 1:23pm
Anglican Leader Criticizes President as Violence Continues in Nigeria
Christian leaders say Muslim extremists have killed more than officials know
By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
JOS, NIGERIA (ANS) -- In Nigeria's Plateau state, Christian leaders said more Christians have died at the hands of Muslim extremists than the 35 that the military reported thus far in May.
In three local government areas in Plateau state, armed Fulani herdsmen attacked 15 Christian villages, killing and maiming Christians, destroying homes and leaving more than 1,000 villagers displaced, sources said, according to Compass News Direct (CDN).
Compass reports that villagers said the attackers were Muslim Fulani herdsmen likely supplied and instigated by Islamic extremist groups.
Sources told Compass that Muslim gunmen invaded Rinyam village on May 9 at about 12:30 a.m. and shot seven Christians in their homes, though increasingly assailants are using only machetes and knives to avoid notice by soldiers charged with keeping order.
Compass says the Nigerian president on Sunday (May 27) took pointed criticism over the violence.
The news agency reports that at a special worship service in Abuja for Democracy Day with President Goodluck Jonathan in attendance, the former Anglican primate of the Church of Nigeria, Peter Akinoloa, told those gathered at the National Christian Centre Abuja that the government should not dialogue with Boko Haram.
"They want to eliminate 'infidels,' which includes you, Mr. President," Akinola said.
"You open yourself to ridicule if you open dialogue to a group that has made the country ungovernable. Don't treat them with kid gloves. You don't dialogue with criminals," he said.
Speaking later, Jonathan said he has directed security agencies to launch a complete war against Boko Haram.
"We have done a lot and committed resources to advance our security architecture in order to tackle terrorism, and, God willing, we shall overcome," he said.
He added:"My request is for you to stand by me."
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