It’s clear what side the Nigerian government is on. It’s clear what side the international political and media establishment is on. What chance do Nigeria’s Christians have?
“Herdsmen Attacks Kill 37 Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria,” Morning Star News, May 26, 2021:
JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen on Sunday (May 23) killed 14 Christians in a village near Jos, Plateau state and eight others in another village, sources said.
Herdsmen attacked Kwi village, Riyom County, near Jos, at about 11 p.m., said area resident Solomon Mandiks, a Christian rights activist.
“Fourteen Christians were butchered to death, including children,” Mandiks told Morning Star News in a text message. “Eight members of one family have all been killed. This is beside an additional six other Christians killed by the herdsmen in the village.”
Earlier that night in Dong village, Jos North County, armed herdsmen attacking at 8 p.m. killed eight Christians, area residents said. Asabe Samuel, 60-year-old member of the local Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) congregation, said in an interview at her home that a large number of herdsmen invaded as residents were about to go to sleep.
“I was by the central area of the village, which has shops and serves as a market, when I heard Fulani gunmen shooting around my house,” Samuel told Morning Star News. “This forced us to run to hide.”
As the sounds of gunshot were coming from the direction of her house, others advised her not to return home, she said.
“I still rushed to my house, and just as I was getting closer to my house, I found that one Istifanus Shehu, 40, a member of COCIN [Church of Christ in Nations] who has had mental health challenges, was shot dead, and his corpse was lying beside my house,” Samuel said. “We heard the attackers retreating and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is greater].’ The herdsmen were also communicating with themselves in the Fulani language.”
After they retreated, residents found eight Christians were killed in attacks on four houses, she said. Besides Shehu, she identified those slain as Ruth Adamu, 20, an ECWA member; Naomi Adamu, 40, of the ECWA; Friday Danladi Riya, 22, of the ECWA; Awuki Matthew, 28, Catholic; Gospel Matthew, 4, Catholic; PraiseGod Matthew, 2, Catholic; and one identified only as Chinyere of St. Jude’s Anglican Church….
The late Shehu’s sister, Jummai Shehu, a 32-year-old COCIN member, said her brother was visiting the house of Samuel, where they once lived.
“The armed Fulani herdsmen spotted him and shot him dead,” she said, weeping. “I feel very sad about the way my brother was killed in cold blood. Why must we live in fear every day, not knowing the evil that awaits us as Christians in this country?”
The pastor of the ECWA church in Dong, Jonathan Kyoomnom Bala, said police did not show up until 10 a.m. the next day.
“Some government officials came also this morning only at 10 a.m.,” Pastor Bala told Morning Star News. “These herdsmen carried out the attack on us for about 40 minutes and left without intervention from soldiers or the police.”
Security agencies’ lack of action was concerning, he said.
“While the attack was going on, I phoned one of the security agents, and he told me they were doing something about it, but they did nothing,” Pastor Bala said. “It’s traumatic to witness such deadly incidents of this nature.
“Last week the herdsmen were here in the community roaming around without restraint by security agents stationed around the community, and yet, even in the presence of soldiers and police personnel, the attackers invaded the community and embarked on a killing spree. And some of the attackers are known to be terrorists who have been brought in from other countries to collaborate with the herdsmen to attack Christians.”
As a pastor, he said, he has wondered why the violence goes unchecked.
“Throughout last night I couldn’t sleep because members I minister to were killed in gruesome manner, and for not committing any crimes except being Christians,” Pastor Bala told Morning Star News. “Has it now become a crime to profess Jesus Christ?”…
Prior attacks in Plateau state in April took the lives of at least 15 other Christians.
Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.
“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.
Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds….
“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria,” the group reported. “He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.”…