Post-Election Riots: Kumuyi Cancels Easter Retreat

Pastor Kumuyi

Pastor Kumuyi

Pastor William Kumuyi, General Superintendent, Deeper Christian Life Ministry has cancelled the annual Easter Retreat of the church over post-election violence in Northern Nigeria.

Pastor Kumuyi

Kumuyi cancelled the annual Easter Retreat of the church, the first time in over 30 years because he wanted all members of the church to partake in the event.

While the post-election violence in the north had raised apprehension, many members of the church would be deprived the opportunity to take part in the Retreat.

At the church’s website, it was boldly written that the Easter Retreat had been postponed indefinitely.

Over 200, 000 members of the Deeper Life Bible Church from Nigeria and overseas usually attend the retreat annually. Members of the church prefer to go for the event rather than stay at home to feast on Easter day.

The Easter Retreat was scheduled to begin tomorrow and end on Sunday. Members of the church have expressed disappointment over the postponement of the event as they wanted to spend time with God during the Easter period.

But Kumuyi did not want to leave anything to chance and wants to prevent members of the Deeper Life living in the north from being killed by rampaging extremists who had so far killed scores of people, burnt churches and other properties.

The Church’s Secretary, Pastor Livinus Nnadozie told P.M.NEWS on phone yesterday that the church decided to suspend the Retreat because of the spate of violence in Northern Nigeria.

He said there was no way the church could hold the retreat only in Lagos, since worshippers nationwide and worldwide attend it.

Nnadozie added that the church could decide to hold the retreat if the violence in the north was brought under control, saying that the church was still watching to see how things.

However, P.M.NEWS had gathered from sources in Kaduna State that some Deeper Life members were allegedly killed at Kawo, Rigasa and Hayan Banki areas of the state but the names of the victims could not be ascertained because of the 24 hours curfew placed in the state.

Some Deeper Life Church leaders in Kaduna State said they were not aware of such killings.

A source in Kaduna also said a Deeper Life Bible Church at Hayan Banki was burnt while other Deeper Life churches in other areas were also set ablaze. Other churches were said to be set ablaze too by the Muslim extremists.

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Many Deeper Life Church members and their leaders were also displaced as a result of the riot, sources in Kaduna have said.

It was also gathered that the rioters were about to burn the Deeper Life Camp Ground at Marabarido area before soldiers intervened.

Several Christians in Kaduna State were said to be living in fear and had been keeping vigil all night to avoid being killed, a source in Kaduna State was quoted.

Victor Babatunde, a Masters Degree student at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said they have been indoors since the crisis started as curfew had been placed in the state, which made it difficult for people to move around.

A source said a pastor in Kaduna lost five of his children to the crisis, but it was not certain the denomination of the pastor could not be ascertained

In Jigawa State, a Youth Corps Member, Chinelo, who was formerly living in Oshodi, Lagos State was said to have been killed with her brother on their way to a Deeper Life Bible Church service by rioters.

Meanwhile, former Governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Attahiru Bafarawa has condemned the wanton killings and burning of properties in the north, saying that the orgies of violence must stop now.

Bafarawa, in a statement said “my senior brother, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, my brothers Gov. Ibrahim Shekaru and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu are men of honour, integrity and peace. This violence cannot be their legacy. The violence must stop now.

“This election was not perfect. From the party primaries, registration and election proper, there were problems. However, we must commend Prof. Attahiru Jega and his team in INEC. They made the best out of a flawed system.

“Violence will not correct the failings in our electoral system and the failures of government. Our country is better served where we employ legal and constitutional means to express our disagreements.”

According to him, the resort to violence was not only archaic, it dehumanises the people, stressing that “this is not the dream our fathers had for us. Certainly, it is not Allah’s wish that we kill, burn, and main each other anytime we have a minor disagreement. Let our ideas fight, not our base instincts.”

—Kazeem Ugbodaga


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