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NIGERIA: 49 killed and 27 abducted in southern Kaduna attacks

49 killed and 27 abducted in southern Kaduna attacks

CSW (28.09.2021) – https://bit.ly/3oyM7vC – At least 49 people have been killed and 27 were abducted in attacks by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity on communities in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna state, central Nigeria, that occurred on 26 and 27 September.

Eight people were killed, six were injured and several houses were burnt in an attack on Kacecere village in Zangon Kataf LGA, southern Kaduna, on 27 September.

One person died, an unknown number were injured and 27 were abducted following an attack on the Gabachuwa community in Kachia LGA, southern Kaduna, on 26 September. The victim was killed while on his way to visit the Gabachuwa community, when he encountered the assailants as they led their captives away. According to CSW’s sources, the victim and most of the abductees are members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA).

Also on 26 September, militia men attacked the Madamai and Abun communities in the Malagun District of Kaura LGA at around 6pm, killing  40 people and injuring eight in a “well coordinated attack.”  A Catholic priest who witnessed it described the two hour attack as “a massacre against the natives.” The assailants reportedly arrived in significant numbers, and initially targeted people known to coordinate security for the community, and their families, before murdering other victims and burning down 20 homes. The victims reportedly included 13 people from the same family.

Senator Danjuma La’ah, who represents Kaduna South in the National Assembly, condemned the relentless violence in southern Kaduna and insisted on the victims receiving a fitting burial, donating over N1 Million (approximately GBP £1780) for the purchase of caskets and preparation of the bodies.  He also called for increased security, adding that if the authorities fail to take proactive measures to address the issue, the people will be left with no option except self-defence.

The spokesperson for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Binniyat, also called for increased security, adding that SOKAPU “strongly condemns the lack of seriousness by the Commander, Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Sallau, who is also the GOC, 3 Division, Nigerian Army Jos… […] As of now, the most protected areas of Southern Kaduna are the Hausa and Fulani settler communities. They’ve [sic] heavy presence of Operation Safe Haven, police and related security agencies. We are therefore calling on the Nigerian Army to look into this allegation and do the needful. We’re also calling on our youths to remain vigilant, defend their communities, cooperate with security agencies and never take the law into their hands.”

Kaduna state is currently an epicentre of kidnapping and banditry activity. The predominantly Christian ethnic minority tribes who inhabit the southern part of the state have experienced relentless attacks since 2011, with a significant uptick following the advent of the current administration in 2015. The state continues to experience alarming levels of violence despite being the headquarters of 11 military installations. As one CSW source lamented: “Most communities in southern Kaduna, including some in Birnin Gwari and Igabi, have more mass graves than government projects.”

Following the attacks, the Kaduna state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs asserted that troops were sent to the area and also came under fire, but forced the assailants to retreat before allegedly rescuing six people from burning buildings and dousing three fires.  However, local sources questioned the delayed response, since the assailants had allegedly notified villagers in advance that they would be launching an attack. The Commissioner also claimed the people in Kacecere village died in a reprisal attack.

CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “Once again our hearts break for the people of southern Kaduna who continue to face relentless violence on a near daily basis. We extend our deepest condolences to all those who lost loved ones in these attacks, and pray for the swift return of all abductees. The state and federal governments must do far more to protect all vulnerable communities in an unbiased manner, and to combat the threats posed by Fulani militia and other armed non-state actors. This is also not the first time allegations have been made of inadequate protection despite warnings of an impending attack. This is concerning, and must be investigated by the Nigerian government, and failing that, by the wider international community.”

Note to Editors:

  1. The Catholic Priest of St Thomas Quasi Parish, Mallagum, Rev. Fr Cosmos Michael Magaji named33 of the victims as
  • Mrs Lami Yakubu Adakai
  • Mrs Fkorenc Yakubu Adakai
  • Danlami Adakai
  • Samaila Adakai
  • Garba Simon
  • Patrick Bala
  • Kato Achigaba
  • Andrew Lekwot
  • Lawrence Andrew
  • Victor Joseph
  • Philemon Akant Habiba
  • Sofio Bala Bwachat
  • Siman Zamani
  • Danjuma Yusuf
  • Friday Bulus
  • Eunice Ibrahim
  • Stephen Nkom
  • Yusuf Zuwahu
  • Genesis Danjuma
  • Bulus Markus
  • Ezekiel Bobai
  • Talatu Ezekiel
  • Bonat Francis
  • ThankGod Hananiya
  • Raymond La’aki
  • Musa Yashim
  • Janet Duniya
  • Paul Akwok
  • Yohanna Gagarau
  • Lucy Kambai
  • Faith Bala
  • Esther Luka
  • Philip Kamba

Photo : csw.org

Further reading about FORB in Nigeria on HRWF website





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NIGERIA: Church decries “slow genocide” of Christians in Nigeria

Church decries “slow genocide” of Christians in Nigeria

The Catholic Church in Nigeria claims that the Christians in that country are the victims of a process of ethnic cleansing at the hands of Fulani Muslims, with the complicity of the state.

By ACN International, (01.10.2021)

 

During a webinar hosted by Aid to the Church in Need International (ACN) respective speakers, among them one bishop and several priests from Nigeria, confirmed that the violence that has been plaguing the country for the past several years is not simply due to “clashes” between Muslim herdsmen and Christian farmers, over land.

 

“It is not just about issues of grazing. For me, this is a religious war”, stated Bishop Wilfred Anagbe, of the diocese of Makurdi in Benue state.

 

“They have an agenda, which is the Islamization of this country. And they are doing that by carefully eliminating all the Christians and occupying the territories. If it was about grazing, why kill people? And why burn their homes?”, he asked.

 

Johan Viljoen, director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute of South Africa currently researching on the Fulani armed militia attacks in Southeast Nigeria speaks of a “concerted, well-planned occupation. This is all happening under the cover of Miyetti Allah, of which President Buhari is the patron”, he said, referring to an organisation which claims to defend the rights of Fulani herdsmen.

 

High-level state involvement is one reason why the armed forces have proven unwilling to step in and control the violence. “I don’t think the army is trying to solve anything. If anything, they would try to promote it”, explained Mr. Viljoen, recalling a recent fact-finding mission to Nigeria during which his colleagues were stopped every five kilometres by soldiers, all Fulani, acting in a threatening manner and pointing guns. Mr. Viljoen observed that despite years of violence “not a single Fulani has been prosecuted for the violence”.

 

Bishop Wilfred stressed that the armed forces lie under the direct control of the President and, furthermore, “all the service chiefs, from the navy, army, air force and police are Muslims”.

 

Official figures point to around 3,000 dead from the wave of violence over the past few years, but those on the ground say that the number could be as high as 36,000, with many more displaced, destitute, or deeply traumatized by their experiences. With many NGOs leaving the danger zones, the Catholic Church and its institutions, with which ACN International works closely, are the only reliable alternatives to get aid to the people on the ground.

 

Church representatives ask those who are in the West to help with the provision of relief, but also through other channels. “We have to take the narrative away from the government of Nigeria”, said Fr. Remigius Ihyula, also from the diocese of Makurdi. “They have planted protégés in embassies all over the world, so that the narrative makes it seem like there is nothing happening”, he explained during the ACN hosted webinar.

 

Fr. Joseph Fidelis, from the diocese of Maiduguri, expressed frustration when he hears people refer to “clashes” or “conflicts” between opposing groups. “It is not a clash, it is a slow genocide. To displace people from their ancestral homeland, deprive them of their livelihood and butcher them is a form of genocide”.

 

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. There are no official figures, but estimates point to an even split between Muslims and Christians, with the former dominating in the north and the latter in the south. The violence has now spread throughout the country, threatening stability nationwide.

 

See some contributions of panelists to the webinar “Nigeria, a country at war?” here

 

For more information about Nigeria, see the 2021 Annual Report of Aid to the Church in Need

 

Photo: netmap.es

Further reading about FORB in Nigeria on HRWF website





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NIGERIA: Nigerian women protest alleged military complicity with terrorists

Nigerian women protest alleged military complicity with terrorists

By Masara Kim

 

The Epoch Times (19.07.2021) – https://bit.ly/3BFhLM5 – Having buried their fathers, sons, and husbands who died as a result of terrorist activity in Nigeria, along with what they claim is complicity by the military, northern Nigerian women have taken to the streets in protest.

 

From January to June, 23 attacks by Fulani terrorists in Nigeria’s Plateau State resulted in 215 deaths, according to Mark Lipdo, founder of the Stefanos Foundation in Jos.

 

That appalling loss of life was partly what drove more than 500 women and children to march in protest on July 14, following the shooting of unarmed civilians by men in camouflage fatigues, who local residents believe were regular Nigerian army soldiers. The army has denied the allegation.

 

Bitterness and anger have driven the women to demand that the army leave Riyom County, 17 miles southwest of Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

 

Tabitha Gyang, a 60-year-old farmer, led the group of shouting women and children in a 12-hour protest against what they assert was the state-assisted slaying of unarmed civilians and the despoiling of farmers’ crops as soldiers stood by silently.

 

“A day after our crops were destroyed, we saw the soldiers guarding herdsmen passing through our community to their settlements, and when we complained that they do not give us the same protection when we need it, they said they are not here for us, that they are here to protect minorities—that is, the Fulani,” Gyang told Epoch Times.

 

The Fulani tribe has been linked to thousands of incidents of banditry and sectarian attacks; it’s present throughout West Africa and the Sahel, and it claims more than 12.8 million members in Nigeria alone, according to the CIA World Factbook.

 

Two members of Gyang’s family were killed by soldiers in 2018, she said.

 

The protest was triggered by claims that two unarmed men serving as volunteer watchmen in a local hamlet were shot to death by soldiers. This latest instance of troops apparently siding with terrorists makes the soldiers a threat to the community, Gyang said.

 

“Titus John and Iliya Dalyop were killed on July 13 in Kum village, 17 miles southwest of Jos, by men in military uniforms,” eyewitness Pam John told The Epoch Times.

 

“We were in the backyard keeping vigil because we heard that attacks were being planned on the village, when two people wearing military camouflage approached. We thought they were coming to help us because we only had sticks and torch lights and whistles for alarm, but they opened fire on us, killing two of my colleagues.”

 

That was just one of more than 100 incidents of abuse allegedly involving local military, including extrajudicial killings, in the past three years, according to Yakubu Bawa, a local lawyer representing the victims.

 

“When we say 100 cases in the last three years, we are just being modest, and these cases range from extrajudicial killings to illegal arrests and unwarranted brutality by members of the armed forces,” Bawa told The Epoch Times.

 

Soldiers assigned to a peacekeeping mission in the region agreed to withdraw from the village on July 11, according to community leader Ezekiel Tengwong.

 

“The troops issued threats before evacuating, after villagers accused them of complicity,” Tengwong told The Epoch Times. “They threatened to return and deal with us since we said we don’t want them here because they are colluding with herdsmen to attack us and destroy our farm crops.”

 

In recent weeks, ripe crops of corn and maize on more than 50 local farms were mowed down by terrorists on the night of July 4 and in the following days, Tengwong said. The crops, owned by indigenous farmers and spanning more than 250 acres, have been despoiled in an effort to force local Christian farmers to evacuate the area. Photos of the destroyed crops were provided to The Epoch Times.

 

While local authorities pleaded for police to intervene, their distress calls were ignored during the destruction, Tengwong said in the Hausa language that’s spoken throughout northern Nigeria.

 

The military’s Special Task Force (STF) commander on July 15 denied taking sides, saying the troops were withdrawn following petitions from the locals.

 

“We are here to protect both Berom and Fulani and indeed every other tribe on the plateau, but if communities say they don’t want us, we have no choice,” commander Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Ali told a news conference in Jos.

 

County Chairman Mafeng Gwalson said during a meeting with peacekeeping officials in Jos: “Less than half of Riyom County feels safe with the military.

 

“I have toured all the communities in Riyom and many of them prefer the police to soldiers because of these cases of violations that have persisted for years.”

 

Many attacks in the area previously linked to “military excesses and collusion with criminals” have eroded public confidence, he said.

 

Gyang Dachollom, a native of Riyom, told The Epoch Times that he lost trust in the military after being shot by soldiers at a military checkpoint in 2013.

 

“With what happened on Feb. 13, 2013, in Fang village of Bachi District here in Riyom County, each time I see anything relating to the military, I get frightened,” Dachollom told the meeting of local officials with the STF, a combined force of military and police set up to curb ethnic and religious violence in Plateau State.

 

“Five of us were shot at a military checkpoint. I survived with a bullet wound in my stomach, but while crawling to safety, one of [the soldiers] came close to me wearing khaki and a helmet and still shot at me. I rolled on the ground as he fired his gun on rapid, and when I got a cover, I ran, staggering before I called for help.”

 

Ali on July 15 conceded that there were “bad eggs” within the task force in Plateau State, although he denied that the military had fired on unarmed civilians. He countered that civilians could have used military identities to cover crimes.

 

“There are criminals in every organization. But is it not possible for a civilian to get a military uniform and ID card, to go and attack, and put the uniform there? Is it not possible?” Ali said. “It is very possible, so that he will bury his tracks. So that nobody will ever suspect him. People do that. So that is the reason why you should not just conclude that it is the military that did that.”

 

Ali publicly apologized to Dachollom during a news briefing on July 15 at the STF headquarters in Jos. Ali had denied violations by the military until Dachollam appeared at the meeting along with Gwalson.

 

Chris Kwaja, an adviser to the United States Institute for Peace, said: “Militarization of civilian communities is increasing the tendency for crimes. Soldiers are now taking over the work of the police whose duty it is to handle internal security affairs.

 

“The consistent flooding of civilian communities with military personnel, like in the case of Plateau State, for over two decades now, is militarizing the psyche of the civilian populations.

 

“Even little children now know an AK-47 rifle. Civilians now keep and use these weapons unchallenged. In other [regions], you don’t see a soldier in uniform likely. You could see a sidearm but certainly not assault rifles.

 

“But what is happening today is redefining the society and that is giving room for criminality to thrive. In the first place, when these things happen and are not investigated, whether it is the soldiers or criminals that are behind it, the failure of law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice puts them at fault.”

 

In 2018, former Nigerian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma told the Premium Times that the military was “colluding” with herdsmen to attack communities.

 

“[The military] collude with the armed bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians,” said Danjuma, whose home state of Taraba was the scene of a series of armed attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

 

A cellphone believed to belong to a Fulani terrorist found at the scene of a massacre in Kaduna State, which adjoins Plateau State, on April 26, 2020, gave credence to Danjuma’s claims. Among the 26 phone numbers saved to the phone were direct cellphone numbers for Nigerian army and police officers—the very people who should be hunting terrorists, Zenger news reported.

 

Photo credits: The Epoch Times





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NIGERIA: 3,462 Christians hacked to death by Nigerian jihadists in 200 days

3,462 Christians hacked to death by Nigerian jihadists in 200 days,

3000 abducted, 300 churches and ten priests attacked

By International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety)

The Nigerian Voice (18.07.2021) – https://bit.ly/3x0QXCp – The number of defenseless Christians hacked to death by Nigeria’s Islamic Jihadists and their collaborators in the security forces in the past 200 days or 1stJanuary to 18th July 2021 has risen to no fewer than 3, 462 and this is just sixty-eight deaths less than the total deaths of Nigerian Christians in 2020 which the Open Doors’ World Watch List of Persecuted Christians put at ‘3,530’.

This number further represents daily average Christian deaths of seventeen and second highest since 2014 when over 5000 Christian deaths were recorded in the hands of Boko Haram and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. While Boko Haram killed over 4000 Christians in 2014, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 1,229 Christian deaths. In our last report issued on 11th May 2021, covering January to April 2021, we found that no fewer than 1,470 Christians were hacked to death and in the past 80 days or 1st May to 18th July 2021, not less than 1, 992 Christian lives have been lost. We also found that no fewer than 780 additional Christians were abducted in 80 days or 1st May to 18thJuly whereas between 1st January and 30th April, 2200 were abducted. This brings the total number of the abducted Christians since January to 3000, out of which at least three out of every abducted thirty Christians were most likely to have died in captivity; thereby indicating additional secret death in jihadists’ captivity of 300 Christians. Additional deaths of 150 is also added to represent ‘dark figures’ or deaths that occurred but not reported or recorded.

The number of Churches threatened or attacked and closed or destroyed or burnt since January 2021 is also estimated to be around 300 with at least ten priests or pastors abducted or killed by the jihadists. Taraba State was discovered to be the most affected with at least seventy churches threatened or attacked and closed or burnt or destroyed. For purpose of setting the record straight, therefore, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law is a research and investigative rights group which has been monitoring and investigating religious persecution and other forms of religious violence by state and non state actors across Nigeria since 2010. This, we do through the use of direct contacts with the victims, eyewitnesses, media tracking, review of credible local and international reports, interviews and closed sources and so on.

Impunity and complicity of Nigerian Security Forces

It is deeply saddening that till date those responsible for the anti Christian butcheries in the country have continued to evade justice and remained unchecked, untracked, uninvestigated and untried; leading to impunity and repeat-atrocities. The surviving victims and families of the dead victims are also totally abandoned by the Government of Nigeria. The Nigerian Government has continued to face sharp criticisms and strong accusations of culpability and complicity in the killings and supervision of same. The country’s security forces have so fumbled and compromised that they hardly intervene when the vulnerable Christians are in danger of threats or attacks, but only emerge after such attacks to arrest and frame up the same population threatened or attacked. In the North, the jihadists operate freely under the cover and protection of the security forces; abducting, killing, looting, destroying or burning and forcefully converting their captive and unprotected Christians and their homes and sacred places of worship and learning. But the same security forces hatefully and brutally respond with utter ferocity against Southern and Northern Christians are accused of infraction or offending the law.

Herdsmen killings most widespread, accounting for 1,909 deaths 

The Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen are responsible for majority of the killings with at least 1,909 Christian deaths in 200 days, followed by Boko Haram, ISWAP and Muslim Fulani Bandits who jointly killed 1,063 Christians, while Nigerian Army, joined by the Nigeria Police Force and other branches of the Armed Forces accounted for 490 Christian deaths. The 3,462 Christian deaths include additional 300 deaths representing Christian deaths arising from deaths in the captivity of the jihadists, on average of three deaths out of every 30 Christians abducted and disappeared and another additional deaths of 150 technically representing ‘dark figures of crime’. The killings by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen are also the most widespread cutting across the entire six geopolitical regions of Nigeria targeting Christian areas of Taraba, Adamawa and Gombe in the Northeast; Southern Kaduna (Northwest) and other Christian settlements in the State; Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kogi in the North-Central; Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun in the Southwest; Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra and Abia in the Southeast; and Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers in the South-south.

The Muslim Fulani Bandits, originally formed in Zamfara State in 2011, are jointly responsible for terrors going on in Christian parts of Southern Kaduna, Niger, FCT, Nasarawa and Kogi States. They are also responsible for attacks on indigenous Hausa Muslims in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi. In Kebbi State, for instance, the Muslim Fulani Bandits target and kill or abduct both Christians and Muslims; holding against their fellow Muslims a jihadist belief that the “indigenous Hausa Muslims are not pure Muslims”; same reasons used in the ferocious jihadist attacks against their fellow Muslims in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, and Muslim areas of Kaduna and Niger States. Boko Haram and ISWAP, on their part, are majorly responsible for attacks in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba; and have through their recent alliances with other jihadists, made jihadist inroads and stepped up ferocious and unchecked attacks in Niger, FCT, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kaduna, etc.

3, 642 Christian deaths: state by state breakdown 

Benue State recorded the highest number of Christian deaths in the past 200 days with 450 and had recorded 200 deaths in Jan to April and 250 from May to 18thJuly; Kaduna State came second with 410 Christian deaths and had recorded 300 deaths in Jan to April and 110 from May to 18th July; Taraba State came third with 240 deaths; Plateau 170 deaths and had recorded 90 deaths in Jan to April and 80 from May to 18th July, Igbo States of Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra and Abia 200 deaths and had recorded 80 deaths in Jan to April and 120 from May to 18th July. Others are Christian part of Niger State (i.e. Shiroro, Munya and Rafi, etc) 200 Christian deaths (out of over 400 deaths) and had recorded 70 deaths in Jan to April and 130 from May to 18thJuly; Adamawa 80 Christian deaths, Ogun/Ondo/Oyo/Ekiti 162 Christian deaths; Kebbi 100 Christian deaths (out of 200 deaths); Borno 400 Christian deaths (out of over 800 total deaths excluding battle-field combat deaths); Nasarawa 50 Christian deaths, Igbo part of Delta 30 Christian deaths, Edo State 30 Christian deaths, non Igbo part of Delta 20 Christian deaths, Gombe/Bauchi 40 Christian deaths, Christian part of Geidam in Yobe State 25 Christian deaths, Kogi State 14 Christian deaths, Katsina ten Christian deaths including a Reverend Father; and Nigerian Army, Police, Navy, Air Force and DSS 490 Christian deaths (Imo 150, Abia 80 plus, Benue 70, Akwa Ibom 40, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Cross River 150 others). The total of 3, 462 Christian deaths are established when 300 additional captivity fatalities and another 150 ‘dark figures of crime’ are added.

3000 Christians abducted in 200 days 

The number of abducted Christians in Nigeria increased from 2,200 between 1st January and 30th April 2021 to 3000 in 200 days of 2021 or 1stJanuary to 18th July 2021 and it involved 1,350 abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Bandits in Kaduna State, 620 abducted and disappeared by Muslim dominated and controlled soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Eastern Nigeria, 100 (out of over 150 abductees) abducted by BH, ISWAP and Ansaru in Borno and 120 abducted by the same Jihadist groups in Adamawa and Taraba; 420 abducted by Fulani Bandits and BH/ISWAP in Christian areas of Niger State, 100 abducted by Fulani Bandits and BH in Christian areas of Kebbi, 68 abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun, 40 abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Nasarawa, 50 abducted in Abuja and Kogi and not less than 30 abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia and 100 others abducted on Lagos, Abuja and other Northern and non Northern routes by Fulani Herdsmen and Muslim Fulani Bandits; totaling 3000 abductions in the past 200 days or 1stJanuary to 18thJuly 2021.

240 Christians hacked to death in Taraba in 200 days 

Attacks on Christians in Taraba State since January 2021 have intensified with ferocity and are barely reported in the media. In the past 200 days or 1st January to 18th July 2021, not less than 240 Christians have been hacked to death by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and hundreds of others have been terminally injured. The number of churches burnt or razed across the State particularly in Bali District has risen to no fewer than 70, with Bali District being the worst hit. In recent months’ attacks, Bali recorded 66 Christian deaths with scores of churches burnt; Gassol 56 Christian deaths and 15 churches burnt; Takum 20 Christian deaths and seven churches burnt, Wukari five Christian deaths, Dunga five Christian deaths, Gashaka four Christian deaths and one church burnt and Karimo-Lamido twelve Christian deaths. Sixteen Christians were also killed in Bali on 16th May 2021 and five were killed in Takum on 23rdMay 2021. On 27th May 2021, twelve were killed in Gassol and two in Bali. The recent attacks by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen have also been extended to Adamawa State where at least twelve Christians were hacked to death in Milibi and at least one church burnt. In Gombe State, at least six Christians have been killed in Bililri and in Bauchi State; at least two Christians have been hacked to death.

300 churches threatened or attacked and ten priests abducted or killed 

No fewer than 300 Churches have received threats of attack or attacked and closed or burnt or destroyed by Nigeria’s Government protected Islamic Jihadists in the past 200 days and over 17,500 of such cases have been reported mostly in Northern Nigeria since 2009. In June 2020, the authorities of the Church of Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) announced that they have since 2009 lost 8,370 members to BH and other Jihadists in Adamawa, Taraba, Borno and Yobe and that out of 276 abducted Chibok Girls, 217 are their Faith members. The Church also disclosed that 300 of its churches have been burnt or razed, in addition to loss of eight of its pastors. Since June 2020 till date, dozens of its members and scores of its pastors have also been killed by the Islamic Jihadists. Also since January 2021, at least 300 churches have received threats of attack or attacked and closed or burnt or destroyed and the States mostly affected are Taraba, Southern Kaduna and others located in Muslim held areas of the State, as well as Plateau and Benue.

At least, ten priests of Catholic Church and Pastors of Pentecostal Churches have been abducted or killed in captivity by the Islamic Jihadists. On 20thMay 2021, Reverend Father Alphonsus Bello was abducted by the Jihadists along with Father John Keke and ten other worshippers in Malumfashi, Katsina State. He was killed days after along with eight of the ten abducted Christians. On 30thMarch 2021, Reverend Father Ferdinand Ngugban and six other Christians were killed by the Jihadists in Katsina-Ala, Benue State. Reverend Father John Gbakaan of the Diocese of Minna was also killed by the Jihadists in January 2021. In May 2021, Pastor Leviticus Makpa Marcus was killed by the Jihadists in Niger State and on 13th July 2021, Pastor Timothy Damisa of CRCN Church was gruesomely murdered by the Jihadists in Kurmi, Taraba State. Among the Priests and Pastors abducted in the past 200 days are Reverend Father John Keke, abducted in May 2021 in Malumfashi, Katsina State, Reverend Father Elijah Juma Wada, abducted in June 2021 by BH in Adamawa, Reverend Father Marcel Onyeocha, abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Irube, Okigwe, Imo State in April 2021, Reverend Father Harrison, Parish Priest of St. John’s Catholic Church, Obinomba in Ukwuani, Delta State, abducted along Abraka Road by Jihadist Herdsmen in March 2021 and Pastor Bulus Yikura of the EYN Church, abducted by BH near Chibok in Borno State in March 2021.

Photo : Slain Rev. Father Bello – The Nigerian Voice

Further reading about FORB in Nigeria on HRWF website





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NIGERIA: 8 Christians killed, church burned down during attack

By Anugrah Kumar

 

The Christian Post (24.05.2021) – https://bit.ly/3wMLq2T – Eight Christians were killed, and a church building was burned down along with a few homes during an attack last week by bandits in northwestern Nigeria’s Kaduna state amid what some advocates say is an attempt by some to “cleanse” the country of its Christians.

 

Armed “bandits” shot eight Christians to death and set fire to a church and houses in Ungwan Gaida in Kaduna state’s Chikun area last Wednesday, according to the United States-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern.

 

The death toll was confirmed by Kaduna Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan in a statement shared with the media.

 

The victims were identified as Bitrus Baba, Umaru Baba, Gideon Bitrus, Bawa Gajere, Samaila Gajere, Sambo Kasuwa, Samuila Kasuwa and Solomon Samaila.

 

According to Aruwan, the church building razed belonged to the Assemblies of God denomination.

 

In a separate incident on Wednesday, the Nigerian Navy troops in the Kujama General Area killed three “bandits” and arrested two accomplices after repelling an attack on the Wakwodna community near Kasso village in the Chikun local government area, Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper reported.

 

In the 2021 annual report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Commissioner Gary Bauer called Nigeria a “killing field” of Christians.

 

“All too often this violence is attributed to mere ‘bandits’ or explained away as hostility between farmers and herdsmen,” Bauer said in the report. “While there is some truth in these assertions, they ignore the main truth: radical Islamists are committing violence inspired by what they believe is a religious imperative to ‘cleanse’ Nigeria of its Christians. They must be stopped.”

 

The Anambra-based civil society group International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law estimates that at least 1,470 Christians have been killed in the first four months of 2021 in Nigeria. The group also estimates that about 2,200 have been abducted in Nigeria during that period.

 

Kaduna state recorded the highest number of Christian deaths, at 300, according to the organization. The state also recorded the highest number of abductions. Of the 800 kidnappings recorded in Kaduna, 600 were indigenous Christians, “including those abducted in Muslim-held areas of Birnin-Gwari, Igabi and Giwa Local Government Areas.”

The Global Terrorism Index ranked Nigeria as the third-most affected country by terrorism and reported over 22,000 deaths by acts of terror from 2001 to 2019.

USCIRF’s 2021 report warned that Nigeria “will move relentlessly toward a Christian genocide” if action is not taken.

 

Islamic extremism, particularly in northeast Nigeria, has led to thousands of deaths and millions displaced in recent years.

 

Nigeria was the first democratic nation to be added to the U.S. State Department’s list of “countries of particular concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for engaging in “tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

 

Photo : LUIS TATO/AFP via Getty Images

Further reading about FORB in Nigeria on HRWF website


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