Our field is reporting the execution of a 22-year-old college student from Plateau State. On Jan. 9, Daciya Ropvil Dalep, a Christian, was kidnapped by Islamic State West African Province, along with with others as he returned to northern Nigeria after the Christmas break.
ISWAP released a video of his execution shortly after news of the beheading of Nigerian church leader, Rev. Lawan Andimi, a senior leader in the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Reportedly, Daciya was executed by a young boy. The video of his death shows an armed young boy, believed to be around 10 years old, standing behind Daciya.
ISWAP, a splinter group from Boko Haram, has affiliated with Islamic State, which routinely uses young children—called “cubs of the Caliphate”—to carry out the killings of prisoners in propaganda videos.
A message to Christians
In recent months, both ISWAP and Boko Haram insurgents have notched up kidnappings and attacks. Rev. Lewan’s kidnapping and death comes only a couple weeks after Boko Haram attacked a Christian village in Borno State near Chibok on Christmas eve, killing seven believers and taking a teenage girl—the second attack on the village in 2019.
Days before that attack, ISWAP executed 11 Nigerian Christians over Christmas 2019 and released a video on December 28 reminiscent of the 2015 video of the beheadings of 21 Christians on the Libyan coast. In both videos, the martyrs wore orange jumpsuits, their killers in black.
“This message is to the Christians in the world,” ISWAP said in the 56-second propaganda video.