Nigeria | Ezinwa Alozie, Communications Director, Northern Nigeria Union Conference

The General Conference and West-Central Africa Division expressed empathy and succor to the Ungwan Bayero community in Zango Kataf, local government Area of Kaduna State. Over 250 Adventist families’ houses were burnt to ashes, some members were shot dead, and 25 members were hospitalized as a result of bullet wounds sustained during an attack from herdsmen.

The herdsmen attacked them on the night of October 12th, 2021 setting houses in the area ablaze while residents were asleep. Sleeping with two eyes closed is nothing but wishful thinking for the people of southern Kaduna after they have gone through such a traumatic experience, which they never bargained for. 

The evil-minded attack in Ungwan Bayero is one of the many horrible incidents that have characterized the landscape of Southern Kaduna and other parts of Northern Nigeria for many years now. 

However, eighteen days after the unfortunate incident, precisely on October 30th, Adventist members and other community dwellers who miraculously escaped, and are currently taking refuge within the vicinity of Zonkwa in the Zango Kataf Local Government area of Kaduna State, found a reason to smile once again.

Their happy moods were revived as the leadership for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Northern Nigeria, led by Pastor Yohanna Harry, spent one week with the people, prayed and worshipped with them.

The highlight of the visit was the distribution of palliative/relief materials sponsored by the General Conference and the West-Central Africa Division.

The palliatives provided included food items, condiments, gallons of Palm oil, bags of grains, wrappers, bundles of roofing zinc, cartons of zinc nails, sleeping mattresses and other essential items. 

Some of the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude and appreciation. Similarly, 42 non-Adventist households affected by the attack also benefited from the palliatives provided by the Church.

Some of the beneficiaries equally thanked the Seventh-Day Adventist Church for lending a helping hand to them, the non-members of the church.

Pastor Y. Musa Dangana, the local conference President of the Church in North West Nigeria Conference with headquarters in Kaduna under whose domain the attack occurred, commended the leadership of the church at the Union level for promptly mobilizing support for the affected church members in Ungwan Bayero community, Zango Kataf Local Government, in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State

Likewise, the church administration in Northern Nigeria Union Conference extolled the leadership of the church at the West-Central Africa Division and the General Conference for their fervent prayers and financial support towards the victims of bandits and herdsmen attack in Northern Nigeria.

Pastor Yohanna U. Harry challenged members from UngwanBayero, who now reside in Zonkwa, to continually trust in God during their difficult moments and to love their neighbors at all times.

Zonkwa Church Established

According to the leaders of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Northern Nigeria, the Ungwan Bayero attack has given credence to the aphorism that, "What must be, will be, at the appointed time." This is in regards to the current opening of a church in Zonkwa, the ancient community where Jacob John Hyde began his missionary service on arrival to Northern Nigeria before relocating to Jengre, Plateau State, Nigeria after all of his efforts to establish a church in Zonkwa were unsuccessful.

As a result of this unprecedented attack, the dream of J.J. Hyde is finally coming to fruition in Zonkwa after about 80 years! The leadership of the church in Northern Nigeria is determined to initiate soul winning activities in the community and a portion of land has already been acquired by the local conference. The goal is to immediately erect a befitting sanctuary where members in Zonkwa can gather to pray and worship God.