by Marshall Ramsey II, Worthy News US Correspondent
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Worthy News)-- Already shell-shocked by attacks from Boko Haram, a hard-line Muslim group that seeks to impose Shariah (Muslim) law in the northern states of Nigeria, Christians again had to take cover after the August 27 shooting of Mark Ojunta, a 36-year-old evangelist from southern Nigeria ministering to the Kotoko people in one of Nigeria's northeastern states. This murder comes less that three months after Boko Haram killed a Maiduguri pastor, the same city as Mr. Ojunta.
Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) International Director Amos Aderonmu said Mr. Ojunta died "as a martyr on his field among the Kotokos." CAPRO had learned that all its staff members working among the shuwa Arab, Kotoko and Kanuri peoles were on a Boko Haram list of people to be killed and had evacuated them, Aderonmu said.
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
According to Mr. Aderonmu, Mr. Ojunta had received an invitation to leave work among the Kotoko people to take a position at CAPRO's International office in London four days before his death.
"On Wednesday of that week, brother Kola Kehinde, our national coordinator in the U.K., spoke with him about the possibility of him coming to join the U.K. team," Aderonmu reported. "His response was that he wanted to invest mroe years intot he work among the Kotokos and hand it over to believers before he can consider leaving. What a passion and commitment! Four days later, he was translated into the presence of his Master."
Boko Haram leaders have openly declared that they want to establish an Islamic theocratic state in Nigeria, and they reject democratic institutions, which they associate with Christianity. Boko Haram, formally known as Jama'atu ahlus Sunnah lid da'awati wal Jihad, has claimed responsibility for several church bombings and other attacks. Many Christians have left Maiduguri, and some churches have shut down as many of their members have lost thier lives.
Mr. Ojunta will go down in CAPRO history as being the first martyr in the 36-year existence of the ministry.
Mr. Ojunta was buried in his home state of Abia, in southern Nigeria, on Sept. 30. He is survived by his wife, Ema, and their two children, 3-year-old Kambe and 9-month-old Akira, his parents and sisters.