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Nigeria: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL2730, tabled on 15 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent events in Kaduna State, Nigeria, including (1) the reported killing of Reverend Silas Yakubu Ali and at least 11 others, (2) the reported kidnap of Reverend Benson Yakusak, and (3) the role of Jihadist ideology in violence in the area.

Answered on

29 September 2021

We condemn all violence across Nigeria, the devastating effects of which are felt by communities of different faiths. We condemn the killing of Reverend Silas Yakubu Ali in Southern Kaduna, an area that has a long history of intercommunal violence. We welcome reports that Reverend Benson Yakusak was released. Jihadist ideology is a driver of the conflict involving terrorist groups in the North East. The drivers of intercommunal violence elsewhere in Nigeria are complex and frequently relate to competition over resources and criminality.

The former Minister for Africa visited Nigeria in April where he discussed insecurity, including kidnaps, with the Foreign Minister and the President's Chief of Staff, and raised the importance of protecting all communities. We regularly visit states affected by intercommunal violence to engage with state governments, civil society, faith and community leaders and affected communities. We continue to encourage the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to protect all those at risk of violence, to bring perpetrators to justice and to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence.