They Killed Him Because of Envy – Eyewitnesses
…CAN Seeks Justice, Petitions KNSG
By Our Reporter
The body of the slain pastor of New Life for all Nation Church in Masu community, was buried in his hometown Gingi, in Musawa Local Government Area of Katsina State on September 30, 2021.
It would be recalled that on 23 September 2021, suspected Muslim youths attacked Rev. Shuaibu Yohanna who until his death was the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Sumaila LGA of Kano State.
Eyewitness accounts said the cleric was beaten and later died in the hospital as a result of injuries inflicted on him by the attackers.
Giving a vivid background to events that led to the dead of the cleric, his daughter Praise (not her real name) narrated thus “that day what I saw with my eyes on the 22nd of September which was Wednesday, it was around 9pm. At about 8-9pm, we usually go to Church for prayers but that day we didn’t because there were rumours of planned attacks. I didn’t believe the rumours but many people talked about it.
“That evening, I was outside with my friends discussing about the rumours. Suddenly some five men walked passed by. They had sticks and clubs walking briskly. That got us terrified and we ran into the house. My dad was in the house and he asked us what was the matter when he saw us ran inside. We told him wat we saw and he said we should have faith that nothing will happen. We then went back outside and then we saw them inspecting the Church knowing that we usually held evening prayer by that time.
“When they saw that no one was inside the Church, they went back and told the rest of the people that we were not there. Then at about 9pm, I went into sleep at my friend’s house. Before then I told my parents good night three times. I was restless and terrified. Daddy was lying down relaxing. He kept assuring us that all will be well. When I finally went to my friend’s house to sleep, but we didn’t fall asleep. We remained awake discussing until suddenly we heard disturbances. They were shouting saying “inalillahi Pastor Shuaibu you must die today.
“At first, my dad’s name wasn’t clear and I wondering who will die. But as the voices got closer and louder, I heard my father’s name clearly. Before I could run outside, they had surrounded my father’s compound. They were more than 100. I think they were more than 200.”
Praise further narrated that one of the boys who led the mob during the attack confessed that they held a meeting on Tuesday evening and that people from different places attended the meeting where the attack was hatched.
“When I saw them around the house, I wanted to go and find out what was happening because they were violent. They broke and set ablaze anything they saw in the compound.
“They tried to force my father’s room open but couldn’t succeed. Then they cut a hole through the roof. Some of them broke the wall and some broke the fence.
“That was how they got into my father’s compound. They tried to set fire in the parlour but couldn’t succeed. They tried same on our poultry farm but they failed. However, they succeeded in setting fire in my own room. My sisters were inside.
“When they saw the fire coming, they hid under the bed but when the bed started burning as everywhere else, they struggled for exit.
“The mob argued among themselves on whether to catch and push them back into the fire but they escaped but not without injuries. My sister, Lydia was wounded with a machete on the head while running.”
Despite all appeals by their father to the mob while in the room to spare them, Praise said felt on deaf ears.
“My father pleaded with the mob to spare them but they didn’t listen. He was in his room locked inside and was pleading with them while they tried to break the door.
“After they broke the roof and entered the parlour, they bludgeoned my father brutally, stabbing him with knives and machetes. They cut him like okro. My father did not attempt to fight back or escape because he wanted to take their attention away from my mum and others hiding in an opposite room.
“They dragged him outside and bludgeoned him until he stopped breathing. They went back into the house searching for my mum and siblings but they had hidden under the bed and they didn’t see them. When they did not find them, they went to the school compound, they destroyed the blocks stored for the building of our church and the borehole in the church compound. I hid in our neighbours’s house with a brother along with another church member. I was crying and pleading with our neighbours to help my parents but everyone was helpless,” she explained.
It was reliably gathered from impeccable sources that the cleric was attacked not because of an alleged conversion of a young man into the Christian faith as reported in some mainstream media as well the social media space.
But that the cleric was killed because of his faith and the transformation he brought to Massu community through the mission activities that allegedly angered the people in the area.
Speaking on some of the efforts of the deceased in the community, a missionary with Josiah Reformation Initiative, Hosle Tongnaan has this to say “I happen to work with a group of people who saw the vision my friend, Rev. Shuaibu Yohanna-the pastor of New Life Church in Kano that was killed by Muslim mob.
“He happened to be the CAN Chairman in that LGA and really did well to promote peace and development in that area. He even built a school in that village to bridge the gap in education for the Christian children who were denied access to education. They call them infidels and will never admit them into government schools there.
“These are people of the same tribe like them and are even relations but because they are Christians, they feel that they shouldn’t enjoy education and they even deny them access to safe drinking water.
“When I went there and saw the situation, I started making a case for them and some individuals started donating for us to build that school for them. We built the school and also provided water for them.
“We sank boreholes not only in Masu village but did same in surrounding villages Even the Mosque in Masu benefitted from donations. When their borehole broke down, we helped them fix it.”
Another account has it that the attack that led to the death of the cleric started with a feud that ensued between young man and his sister in-law, where the young man hit his in law with pestle leading to her death.
The young man surrendered himself to the Mobile police personnel stationed in the area and was later taken to the station for further prosecution.
It was gathered that following the killing of the woman, the place became so tensed and as people who heard the position of the Muslims in the area advised the Reverend to leave the village for fear of attack as according to him, the Muslim faithful felt the young man who killed his in law was a Christian and sensed that they may attack in retaliation hence the pastor was the main target in the whole issue especially in view of the transformation being experience in the community largely due to the missionary activities being championed by Rev. Shuaibu.
Feeling that he was not safe the very day the killing of the women happened, Rev. Shuaibu left for one of the neighboring villages called Biri where he stayed for a night, the next day he came back to vacate the school pupils to avoid any eventualities knowing that if the school activities continued, the children can easily be targeted and killed.
When he (late Reverend Shuaibu) noticed that the tension had gone down and thought he could stay with his family but the mob gathered that fateful evening, descended on him with knives and other dangerous weapons. They also set his house, the Church and the School ablaze.
Fortunately, his wife escaped with the children in the midst of the mob attack.
It was also gathered that when reports of the incident reached other believers in other villages, the CAN Vice Chairman alerted the police. But the police arrived and rushed the cleric to the hospital and all efforts save his life failed.
…CAN Seeks Justice, Petitions KNSG
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has demanded justice for the late Pastor Shuaibu.
In a statement by the Kano State CAN Chairperson, Samuel Adeyemo, demanded for the arrest and investigation of perpetrators of this “dastardly and inhuman act of culpable homicide against our Sumaila CAN Coordinator, Pastor Shuaibu Yohanna and that they be thoroughly prosecuted without any interference whatsoever, from any quarters so that the perpetrators can face the wrath of the law.
“We have petitioned The Executive Governor of Kano State, the office of the Kano State Commissioner of Police, The State Director of Directorate of State Security Services (DSS) and the Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
“Furthermore we demand that all the destroyed Church building and properties, the burnt school buildings and staff office and his destroyed and burnt house and properties be adequately rebuilt and paid for. In the same vein, there is the need for the state government to be all out to give the people living in the state adequate security to protect their lives and properties not minding their tribe, religion or status.”
While assuring the Christian community in Kano, that it would do all within it powers to ensure normalcy is returned to Masu area, the CAN leadership said it is equally determined follow the case until justice is done to all involved in the attack.
It however, called all Christians in the area to remain law abiding and not to take laws into their hands as according to the CAN leaders “the peace of the State which includes our lives is so paramount to us.”