Rev. Keoleh Saleh, the President of the Baptist Conference in Plateau State, says that 50 members of the church, including a pastor, were killed in recent attacks in Mangu and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
Saleh disclosed this on Sunday in Jos, adding that over 500 of its members were also displaced.
”This unfortunate carnage affected the Baptist Church seriously. In Kantoma where we have a big church, we lost over 31 members, including a Moderator.
”Twenty three women were made widows on account of the attack. We lost nine members in Jwak Maitumbi, and a member in Kombili.
”Most of our members displaced in over 10 local churches are taking refuge in different places.
”We have located four centres in Jos metropolis where a family is hosting between 10 to 20 people, and we have over 200 displaced persons in Jos.
”We have 50 in Barkin Ladi, over 200 in Salama Baptist Church in Mangu and 78 others that included 44 little children at Bwarak, Pankshin,” he said.
Saleh explained that in the last one week, the church spent over N3 million to cater for the needs of its displaced members taking refuge in its various local churches.
”Within one week, we have spent about N2m to get relief materials, but this is not enough, and our Baptist partners assisted us with N1m to make it N3m. But it is still not enough. We provided foodstuffs, clothing, shoes, mats, blankets and other items,” he said.
Rev. Israel Akanji, the National President of the Nigeria Baptist Convention, who visited the displaced members, offered prayers and financial assistance to the victims of the attacks.
He called on government and security agencies to intensify efforts toward bringing succour to the victims and finding lasting solution to the spate of killings in the state and nation at large.
”This is a farming season, and the government should think of returning these people to go to their farms.
”Whatever we are doing now will not be forever, government should wake up to its responsibility and ensure a safe place for these people to return to their farms,” he said.