Fulani Militants – Over a dozen Christians, including children, were slaughtered by Fulani Militants. This happened in an infant dedication service in the Nigerian state of Nasarawa.
Morning Star News reports that the attack took place on Palm Sunday. Just as Christians in the predominantly Christian community are together to eat that morning at Ruhaniya Baptist Church in the village.
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Fulani Militants, who have increasingly targeted Christians, stormed the party and opened fire indiscriminately killing 17. The Fulani Militants attack claimed the life of the baby’s mother, Safaratu John Kabiru Ali, along with several others. Those who died were mainly children as young as 10. The baby’s father, John Kabiru Ali, is currently in critical condition after suffering gunshot wounds.
A local resident told Morning Star News that among those killed was “10 members of the Ruhaniya Baptist Church. Among the dead are five members of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ. Also, one member of the Evangelical Church Winning All and a musician playing for guests.”
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Fulani Militants Attack Casualties:
Samuel Meshi, chairman of the Akwanga Local Government Council, said that the group of Christians did nothing to provoke the horrific attack.
“They just started shooting sporadically on a community that was just having a feast of the dedication of a child after a church service earlier in the day on Sunday (April 14) at a Baptist church in the area,” Meshi said.
“The killings occurred in the evening of that day. Unfortunately, these persons were killed in cold blood for just no reason,” he noted.
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Pastor Samson Gamu Yare, community leader of the Mada ethnic group in Nasarawa state, described the killings as “barbaric”. And he called on the federal government to urgently take measures toward curtailing the menace of extremist Fulani Militants attacks.
Nigerian outlet The Punch notes that the governor of Narasawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has demanded that the perpetrators be apprehended immediately.
“This is something we are going to take seriously. We are going to have a Security Council meeting and I have already directed security operatives to ensure that they fish out these people and bring them to book,” Al-Makura said, according to Channels TV.
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Major General Adeyemi Yekini subsequently announced his strategy to track and arrest those involved in the attack.
“I have directed my troops to move to Akwanga and join other security forces to track down the perpetrators. Let us apprehend them so that justice can be done,” he said.
Fulani Militants – Global Terror Index:
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution. This is according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.
The Fulani Militants are an ethnic group of over 20 million in West and Central Africa. Fulani Militants do travel hundreds of miles while carrying weapons to protect their livestock. While they have clashed with indigenous tribes and Christians for centuries, only small subsets are extremists and engage in attacks. This is according to the Global Terror Index.
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However, Open Doors notes that the clashes have intensified in recent years and led to the destruction of houses and churches. This as well includes the seizure of land and properties belonging to Christian owners. Open Doors concluded that the Nigerian government has historically failed to protect Christians, particularly women and children, from extremist Fulani Militants violence.
Last Easter, Fulani Militants carried out an attack on morning Mass at Saint Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom, central Nigeria. This attack left two priests and at least 17 parishioners dead. About 30 attackers also ransacked a burial ceremony and burned dozens of homes in the community, according to reports.
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On March 4, Fulani Militants militants in the Benue state reportedly attacked three villages. And this attack resulted in killing of 23 people with bullets and machetes, according to International Christian Concern.
Also in March, 52 people were killed, dozens injured and around 143 homes were destroyed in attacks on the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnoma and Ungwan Gora in the Maro district of the Kajuru Local Government Area.
Talking Christianity View:
It is disheartening to know that upon all the cries from different quarters as regards to this menace the government has not come with a lasting solution. How long will this continue and how long will it take the government to do something reasonable? The Christian communities in Nigeria will continue to be law abiding citizens as the biblical injunctions demand from them. We urge all Christians in Nigeria not to relent in their prayers as regards to this menace. As we do not walk by sight but by faith, therefore, we see in the future a peaceful coexistence.
The type that will allow all tribe and race to live together as one peaceful entity in one country. Also, we pray for the kind of leadership that will be an inclusive leadership. That kind of leadership that will recognize every Nigerian irrespective of his or her culture and religion a Nigerian. This is the dream of all well-meaning Christians in this country and they hope to see it come true soon! However, the only tool we have to fight this fight against evil is not but our commitment to prayer. And surely, no weapon is as strong as prayer for this reason we must continue and never relent.
We therefore, advise that retaliation is not the best option and will never bring this menace to an end. This is the true everyone should swallow. Acceptance to this reality will help to avert the reoccurring situation of this kind of conflicts. On the other hand we pray for quick healing of the injury afflicted on people, so that many who are in this situation will get over it quickly. Also we pray for those who lost their beloved one to receive the fortitude to bear the loss.
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