Outrage is growing over the failure of the Nigerian government to stop the year-long terrorist attacks against worshippers in the country, with Muslim and Christian leaders continually calling for action to shut down Islamist group Boko Haram.
Another 25 Christians and the pastor of a church were shot gunned down Monday evening in Okene in Kogi state near the capital of Abuja, with the death toll rising after initial reports had placed that number at 19.
"Those killing innocent people are heartless people who are not fearing their God. The incessant attacks are condemnable, it's against the teaching of any religion, so those who are doing this act are criminals who will face God hereafter," warned Sheikh Ahmed Gummi, an Islamic scholar in northern Kaduna. Nigeria is largely divided among Christians and Muslims, but the terrorist attacks being carried out by extremist Islamic group Boko Haram have been causing a deeper divide in the African country.
"There is not any religion in the world that accepts killing of innocent people at their worshipping centers," added Tunde Ishaku, a senior member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). "We have to be serious now to take urgent action for the sake of our life and that of our followers."
Although Nigerians have pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan's government and the international community to put an end to the terrorist attack are happening almost on a weekly basis, Boko Haram's dominance in the region remains powerful. The fundamentalist group has made it clear that it wants to wipe out all followers of Christ in the country.
Some Nigerians, however, are ready to take things into their own hands if President Jonathan does not ensure that such violent attacks are put to an end.
"It will continue forever. We are just waiting. It is we that they [Boko Haram] are pushing. They will push us to the extent that we will tell Goodluck [Jonathan] that you are on your own. Now we want to fight and the guns will start coming out," remarked Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force.
"What will happen is unimaginable in the history of the world," Asari-Dokubo added.