Reports reaching us has it that a violent group of Muslim youths on Friday 15 July 2016 attacked St. Philip’s Catholic Parish, Baki Iku, close to Zuma Rock in Niger State. Eyewitness account has it that some Catholics had gone to the church to pray when a group of Muslim youths who claimed that Friday is their day of worship attacked them. Some parishioners who were in the church for their societal meetings and prayer ran into different directions for their dear lives. The attackers claimed that members of the Church do not have the right to worship on Friday since Sunday is the only day of worship for Christians.
The extremists destroyed Church properties which include, chairs, musical instruments, the sanctuary, chapel, church doors and the windows. According to eyewitnesses, it took the intervention of some soldiers who arrived after the harm had been done, to stop the further destruction of the Church.
Confirming the incident, the Vicar-General of the Diocese, Very Rev. Fr. Sylvester Gopep, disclosed that, “sometime around 2pm, Muslim youths in their hundreds left their Mosque after their Friday Jumat prayer and rushed to the Church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the Church: the windows, the alter, musical instruments, the chapel.” He further disclosed that “The security man who was in the church premises when the hoodlums arrived was beaten to pulp.” Fr. Gopep also noted that some women who were holding a prayer meeting were chased away and that the seminarian who is resident in the premises was also beaten up and chased away.”
This incident is coming barely a week after Mrs. Eunice Eze, a mobile preacher of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was killed in cold blood by suspected fanatical Muslim youths in Kubwa area of the Federal Capital Territory. St. Philip’s Baki Ikuh which was destroyed is not far from St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, which was attacked on Christmas day four years ago, in a bomb blast which killed several Catholics and passersby. The attacked church belongs to Minna Diocese!