Continuing Deadly Attacks on Missionaries Highlights Religious Persecution in Nigeria

Canon Bayo and his wife, Naomi Fomonure together with their two sons, Adua and Victor were attacked and shot by Fulani herdsmen in Ganna Ropp in Jos, Nigeria on Tuesday, 5th May 2020, during their evening family prayer time. The family of four were left with multiple gun injuries and were rushed to a nearby government hospital – Jos University Teaching Hospital – in Plateau State.

They are all stable, though Mrs. Fomonure is more critical than the rest, having undergone surgery yesterday to extract the bullet that lodged in her body during the attack.  

In a text sent to Christian leaders in Nigeria Rev. Bayo wrote, “I am very okay. Yes, shot in the head but bullet didn’t enter. It’s a miracle.  Shot in my feet but missed the bones. Just praise God. Mummy referred to JUTH. She is stable but a bullet in her back. Adua n Victor shot in the feet, but we’re all chatting. I don’t want to talk. Thanks for your love n concern.”

Rev. Canon Bayo Fomonure -affectionally known as “uncle Bayo” is one of the pioneer founders of CAPRO mission organisation and a key leader of the Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship (NEF). He was also the first Executive Secretary of the AEA Mission Commission. His wife, Dr. Naomi has also been a key leader within the NEF and has been the AEA Women’s Commission (PACWA) head in Nigeria.

Uncle Bayo, now in his 70s and Mama Naomi, are still very active from their base in Gana Ropp, running a mission outfit—Agape Mission and a school for missionary children and vulnerable children, in the area –mostly fleeing from heinous attacks from Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen militia.

The authorities are yet to uncover the motive for the senseless attacks, but the Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship believes these attacks were targeting Christian missionaries in a bid to drive them away from the area. The General Secretary of Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship, Rev. James Akinyele, in a statement to the AEA said, “It appears that the primary aim of the attack is to scare the missionaries away from the place as part of the larger Islamic terror and persecution going on in Nigeria.”

According to Rev. James, the Ganna Ropp inhabitants have suffered consistent attacks from the Fulani herdsmen. The community has played host to both CAPRO, one the largest indigenous Mission Agencies and Training School in Nigeria and Agape Missions also founded by the Fomonures.

AEA General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Aiah Foday-Khabenje was deeply saddened at the recent attacks. He said, “Shocked to hear this. Bayo and the family continue to live under an existential threat to their lives in the community just outside of Jos. They are dear servants of God and so faithful for nearly half a century.” He urged National alliance leaders and the global church to keep the family in their prayers. “Please keep them in your prayers. Thank God for saving their lives and pray for healing for the afflicted, God’s grace and comfort”, he added.

The seeming acquiescence of the Nigeria Federal Government, manifested in its indifference, to what is evidently an attack on Christianity, over a sustained period of time, is deplorable.  We condemn this posture of the Nigerian government and call on ECOWAS, the Africa Union and the International community not to turn a blind eye to this evil and murderous activities in the region.

In the meantime, we appeal to you all to join us in upholding the Fomunure family and indeed, the persecuted church, especially in Nigeria, in your prayer. Knowing the frugal nature of the Bayos and the way they have carried out their ministry over the years; meeting medical bills of could be a challenge. We would like to request any financial assistance to assist the family with medical bills and sustenance for the family, including the vulnerable children that look up to them for livelihood at this time. To give please contact us directly via email to info@localhost   

AEA will remit these contributions to the family to help settle, what we expect would be significantly high medical bills.