Fulani Militia “bigger threat than Boko Haram” – Archbishop Kwashi
The Bishop of Jos, Anglican Communion and in-coming General Secretary , Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON, the most Rev Benjamin Argak Kwashi, has described the Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen militias who have ravaged towns and villages, killing mostly women and children, in the predominantly Christians central region of Nigeria, as “a bigger threat” than Boko Haram Islamic terrorist Jihadi sect.
“Boko Haram operates in the northeast and scantily moves into other areas, but the Fulani herdsmen are widespread. They’re everywhere now. So the Fulani are a bigger threat,” Kwashi said.
The latest Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace has reported that the Fulani killings in 2018 has surpassed the attacks carried out by the Boko Haram radical Islamic terrorist group. The report shows that while Boko Haram became the deadliest terrorist group in 2017, “data for 2018 suggests that there has been a significant increase in violence committed by Fulani extremists,” a report showed that the Fulani killings surpassed Boko Haram attacks this year.
The fact is that “the government is able to provide protection, but what’s obvious to everybody is that the government is unwilling,” to stop the killing of christians Archbishop Kwashi said. The Nigerian government’s role of the spectator in the killing fields in Nigeria has generated fears of anarchy which might eventually threatens the unity of the country.
Despite the escalating deadly attacks and terrorism of the Fulani Islamic militia in the region, the Nigerian government has refused to designate the Jihadists as a terrorist group. It merely dismissed the killings of thousands of people and destruction of towns and villages, as a “clash between farmers and herders.” Following this narrative, reports by organisations also attribute the massacres to desertification, poverty and search for pastures, ignoring the radical Islamic ideology behind the attacks.
This year alone about 6000 people were massacred by Islamic Fulani Herdsmen. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) accused the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the Fulani Islamic political pressure group in Nigeria, of backing the Fulani jihadists and called the killing of christains a genocide.
MACBAN had justified the massacre of 200 people in Plateau State, central Nigeria in June this year, as “retaliatory”, claiming the killings were a revenge for cattle rustling.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani himself and the Grand Patron of MACBAN has been accused of refusing to designate the Islamic militia sect as terrorists and said to have done very little to stop the killings and attacks on Christian villages. Analysts have observed that even when soldiers are deployed, it is usually temporary to satisfy the outcry over the killings and provide military presence but never to arrest and prosecute the killers and their sponsors.
Open Door’s latest annual World Watch List showed that Nigeria ranks among the top 15 worst countries where Christians suffer persecution.
Following Nigerian government’s refusal to stop the killings, community and religious leaders are calling on the Christian communities to rise and defend themselves lest they get wiped out by both Islamic Boko Haram Jihadists and the Islamic Fulani Herdsmen.
Hasan John is West Africa Editor GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos
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