Morning Star News | April 5, 2020
Weeks after human rights group Christian Solidarity International warned of impending genocide in Nigeria, Muslim Fulani herdsmen since March 1 have killed more than 60 Christians, including at least 13 Christians last week in Plateau state, sources said.
Following a rash of attacks by herdsmen and Islamic extremist groups in Nigeria the first three months of the year, Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday (April 1) killed seven Christians in Bassa County’s Hukke village, Miango District at about 7 p.m., area resident Patience Moses said.
“Those killed in Hukke village are mostly elderly Christians who were unable to escape as members of the community ran into surrounding bushes during the attack,” Moses told Morning Star News.
Killed were Izinpa Muntu, 72; Madah Imeh, 80; Jummai Geye, 78; Gado Muntu, 67; Mary Alhassan, 70; Gado Nguni, 90; and Rigwe Muntu, 84, according to Moses.
She said the assailants burned 24 houses in the village.
“On the same day and time, Nkiedoro village too was attacked by the herdsmen,” she said. “The Christian villagers escaped unhurt, but 15 houses were burned by the herdsmen.”
The herdsmen also attacked Ancha village on Wednesday (April 1), killing three Christians, and on Tuesday night (March 31) attacked Rosu village in the same area, where another three Christians lost their lives, Moses said. All those slain in the villages were members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) or Baptist churches, she said.
Herdsmen also wounded three others in Rosu village and destroyed 11 houses, Moses said.
Christian community leader Sunday Abdu confirmed the killing of the three Christians in Ancha village. Abdu, president of the Irigwe Development Association, said in a press statement from Jos that Fulani herdsmen killed them.
“While our people have continued to remain indoors and law-abiding in the wake of the national outcry over the coronavirus, the assailant Fulani herdsmen have continued each day within the last two weeks to visit us with mayhem,” Abdu said. “On Wednesday, April 1, in Ancha, one of our troubled communities was visited once more in an attack that left three people dead and various houses razed. On Thursday, April 2, we woke up to bury seven people burnt to death in Hukke from an overnight attack.”
Ancha had been attacked by Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Sept. 7, 2017, when 27 Christians were killed, he said.
Christian community leaders say more than 500 Christians have been killed in the area in the past five years. Istifanus Gyang, a member of Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, expressed sadness over last week’s attacks.
“It is sad and disturbing that while all nations, Nigeria inclusive, are battling to overcome the plague of coronavirus, killer herdsmen are still in the habit of attacking helpless communities of Plateau North Senatorial District,” Gyang, deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense, said in a statement. “At a time when the entire human race is sober and seeking God in prayers against COVID-19, killer herdsmen are showing no sense of fear of God nor value for human life.”