Monday, 17 October 2011 16:20 Obed Minchakpu
Evangelist sent to northern Nigeria’s Borno state is slain after staff was evacuated.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, October 17 (Compass Direct News) – Violence-weary Christians in Borno state have been further upset to learn of the murder of a Nigerian evangelist by Boko Haram less than three months after the Islamic extremist group killed a Maiduguri pastor.
Already shell-shocked from attacks by Boko Haram, which was originally based in Borno state, Christians again took cover after the Aug. 27 shooting of Mark Ojunta, a 36-year-old evangelist from southern Nigeria who was ministering amid the Kotoko people of Nigeria’s northeastern state with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO). He was killed in Maiduguri.
CAPRO International Director Amos Aderonmu said 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 peoples were on a Boko Haram list of people to be killed and had evacuated them, Aderonmu said.
Ojunta had returned to teach a class after the evacuation of his family.
“Brother Mark took his family out on Friday (Aug. 26), but he went back to the field because he had a class with some believers on Saturday,” Aderonmu reported. “It was in the night that the sect came to where they were staying and knocked at the door, and he tried to escape but could not get away.”
In his statement, Aderonmu said that four days before his death, Ojunta had received an invitation to leave work among the Kotoko people to take a position at CAPRO’s International office in London.
“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 more years into the 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.”
Aderonmu said that Ojunta was the “first martyr in CAPRO in our 36 years of existence as a ministry.” Ojunta is survived by his wife, Ema, and two children, 3-year-old Kambe and 9-month-old Akira, besides his parents and sisters.
He was buried in his home state of Abia, in southern Nigeria, on Sept. 30.