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President Buhari
Photo: Flickr / U.S. Department of State

On August 21st, a Christian student of Abdu Gusau Polytechnic in Talata Mafara, Zamfara State, had allegedly made a blasphemous statement. He was then beaten almost to the point of death by some angered Muslim students. A fellow Christian was able to rush him to the hospital with the help of a compassionate Muslim who volunteered the use of his car.

The following morning, a mob of militants gathered in the community, insisting that the Christian student be killed. They went around the school, burning down the Christian fellowship secretariats. Then they proceeded to town, destroying churches and threatening to kill any Christian who ever decides to return to Talata Mafara. Unfortunately, the mob later set ablaze the house where the victimized student had taken refuge, burning him and seven others to death.

President Muhammadu Buhari describes the killings that took place as barbaric and unacceptable: "I received news of the mob killings in Zamfara with great dismay.... I assure that the law will take its course. My prayers are with the families of the victims. Under my watch we will work to ensure that there is no place for violence in the name of religion, ethnicity, or in any guise whatsoever." Other reports revealing the seriousness of Nigeria's situation may be reviewed here.

May our loving God, who promises to be close to the brokenhearted, bring greatly needed consolation to all who have suffered loss during the riots. Especially uphold the families, friends and community members of those who've tragically lost their lives, praying that His peace, strength and comfort will sustain them in the midst of their grief. Ask for the Lord's conviction to be upon the perpetrators so they will realize the seriousness of their hateful actions and their desperate need for His forgiveness and salvation. Also intercede on behalf of Nigeria's president and others in governmental authority who need wisdom, guidance and help as they strategize effective ways to combat the violence and protect their citizens.