‘Your Vote for Your Religion’
The Rev. Auta Jinta, deputy chairman of the Kano district of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), agreed that religion was a catalyst for violence. Muslims looted the property of the Dan Wuye family, he said, with one of his sons, Jarmai, losing two motorcycles, 30 goats and six bicycles.“There is no doubt that religious sentiments were involved in this,” Rev. Jinta said. “Today in Kano, there is no separation between religion and politics. It is your vote for your religion, and your life for your religion.”The Rev. Nathan Tella, pastor of a local ECWA congregation in Gani Mission, said Bala was a member of the board of elders at the church and a key leader in the church’s development.“I knew Danyaro Bala very well, and he has never been involved in partisan politics,” Rev. Tella said. He added that Bala was working at home during the voting. Later Bala went to visit a friend in Gani town, Rev. Tella said, and that night, after the election violence had subsided, Bala was ambushed and killed as he returned home.“The violence that broke out when it was getting clear that the Christian candidate would win is an indication that Muslims who control political power in Kano do not want Christians to be part of the government,” Rev. Tella said.Duma, noting that his brother did not vote, said Bala spent that day working with his Guinea corn.“My brother on that Saturday did not go to the polling station, as he has no interest in politics,” Duma said. After the Muslims killed him as he returned home on his motorcycle, he said, they set his corpse and bike on fire.“Because he was ambushed and killed on Saturday night, we did not know about this, not until Bilkisu [Bala’s daughter], who resides in Kano, received a phone call from a Muslim in Gani town informing her that her dad had been killed,” Duma said. “Since it was already late, we could not find the corpse until the morning of Sunday, November 18.” Duma said Bala, a teacher at the Gani elementary school, had never been a member of any political party.“We knew him to be a peace-loving person,” he said.