By Cece Hang’andu —
As Nigeria’s president continues to turn a blind eye on the horrors of his fellow Fulani Muslims, Fulani herdsmen are waging a war on Christians to take possession of their lands.
A smattering of attacks in August, as reported by Morning Star News, demonstrate the unrelenting slaughter.
A 48-year-old father of nine was gunned down as he confronted the killers, attempting to buy time for his wife and three little ones to escape on Aug. 17 in Kajuru County.
“Bulus Joseph was murdered gruesomely on his farm at Sabon Gida Idon, along the Kaduna-Kachia road, by armed Fulani militia,” says Luka Binniyat of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU). “He stood up to the killers so that his wife and three children could escape, which they did. But he paid the price with his life, as he was sub-humanly butchered by the cold-blooded murderers.”
The next day, a 16-year-old girl, Takama Paul, was killed in the southern Kaduna state, along with 30-yeaer-old Kefas Malachy Bobai, a father of three.
Barnabus Fund documented 171 deaths in the space of a little over three weeks, a staggering death toll that Nigerian Christian leaders qualified as a “pernicious genocide” before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
A recent attack on a Christian wedding left 21 believers dead, prompting one Christian Nigerian to say “it is as if the lives of Christians no longer matter.”
Not all of the Fulani herdsman have stylized themselves after the infamous Boko Haram and other Islamic terrorists who believe killing “infidels” fulfills Allah’s will in the world. But those who have traded their shepherd’s staff for AK-47s are creating such havoc that more than 50,000 Christians have fled their 109 villages as refugees in southern Kaduna state, Morning Star reports.
“Indigenous rural, Christian communities of southern Kaduna have been sacked by rampaging armed Fulani militia and displaced to various communities and Internally Displaced Persons camps,” SOKAPU’s Binnayat said. “These villages are now under the full occupation of Fulani, some for over a year.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, who is Fulani just like the killers, has “done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.” says a report prepared by United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG). He has characterized the pogrom as a matter of dispute over resources between farmers and shepherds and rules out any religious factor.
“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?” wrote The Christian Association of Nigeria, International Centre for Investigative Reporting, in January of this year, as reported on Coptic Christian.
Buhari’s 2015 presidential campaign was assisted by then-U.S. President Obama.
“What Obama, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton did to Nigeria by funding and supporting Buhari in the 2015 presidential election and helping Boko Haram in 2014/2015 was sheer wickedness and the blood of all those killed by the Buhari administration, his Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram over the last 5 years are on their hands,” wrote Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigeria’s former Minister of Culture and Tourism, on Facebook of Feb. 12, 2020.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest nation, whose population of 206 million — seventh largest population in the world — is roughly divided between Christian and Muslims. With 42% of the population under age 14, Nigeria stands to explosively surpass many other nations and could become an international powerhouse. It has the strongest economy in Africa and 24th largest economy in the world.
The Nigerian church is vibrant. In a reversal of roles, it is even sending missionaries to Europe, and especially Britain. But its members back home are under assault.
A tragic fate met Pastor Adlachi, 39, when he boarded a commercial vehicle with some associates. Gunmen jumped from behind bushes and opened fire at the car. The car’s driver, Danlami Dariva survived the hail of bullets but was kidnapped by the attackers, and his whereabouts remains unknown, Moring Star reports.
After being kidnapped July 29, the corpse of Godwin Jonathan Bakoshi, 23, was recovered in the Abashiya village, according to Enoch Barde, a resident.
Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning in January for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action to stem the “rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.”
Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most violence for their faith, coming in second after Pakistan, Morningstar reports.
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Cece Hang’adu studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica. She lived in Nigeria for many years.