Some bandits in Zamfara State have ordered Christians in the state to close their churches or face attacks.
This was contained in a letter addressed to the Christian community in the state, warning of ferocious attacks, if they fail to do so.
The same letter was also copied to the Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies.
When contacted, spokesperson for the Zamfara State Police Command, DSP Mohammed Shehu confirmed receipt of the threat letter.
Shehu said: “Yes, I can confirm that it’s true, a threat letter was sent to the Christians in Zamfara State to stop worship and to close churches.
“Actually the police informed the Christian leaders about the threat.
“Accordingly the CP has invited the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to discuss security measures around the churches.
“In that regard, a special squad has been created by the CP to patrol and protect worshippers, especially on Sundays.
“Additionally, plain-clothes personnel have been deployed for intelligence gathering and to unravel those behind the threat letter,” he said.
The police, meanwhile, have directed Christians in the state to intensify security in all places of worship, pastors’ houses, and other Christian centres.
The Zamfara State chapter of CAN has also directed all churches not to hold church activities beyond 5pm for the next three months.
Some Christians, in the meantime, are reportedly leaving the state in droves for safer regions.