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Islamic Fulani Herdsmen terrorize Christian communities in Nigeria

West & Central Africa

Islamic Fulani Herdsmen terrorize Christian communities in Nigeria

Fulani Islamic cattle herdsmen have attacked Mai Farin Mota, a predominantly Christian community, west of Jos, Plateau state, and destroyed the village killing four people.

House attacked in Farin Mota

Eye witness accounts said the attack, which started at about 9 pm lasted till about 3 amwithout any response from the army or police despite frantic phone calls for help.

This attack follows a wave of deadly attacks by the Islamic terror group which has killed over 30 people in four weeks, local reports said.

On Wednesday, the Fulani Islamists attacked Jebu Miango, a village, about 10 kilometres from Jos, destroyed several houses and killed three people.

Speaking to Global Christian News, Victoria Ayuba, 20, who lost three members of her family, said, “My cousin, Jerry, who was just 17, went to visit his girlfriend in the next village, a walking distance from our house on Tuesday evening. He was on his way back when four men, two were wearing military uniform, attacked them. His girlfriend ran into the bush and the men attacked her, beating her up with a stick. My cousin was shot and then butchered with a machete.”

Jerry’s girlfriend was able to run back to Jebu Miango, to report the. The villagers went to a military outpost to report to the soldiers what happened and asked for help.

“One of the soldiers took the villagers to the exact spot where Jerry’s butchered body laid. The villager got suspicious and started asking questions how the soldier at the military check point knew where to find the body.” Victoria said. The villager, who had since suspected that the soldiers have, at some point been conniving with the Fulani to attack communities, then started a protest.

By afternoon on Wednesday, women, dressed in black and carrying leaves, in the village, mobilised and staged a protest. “The women accused the soldiers of complacency in the attacks in the communities in the villages in Miango in recent weeks,” Victoria said.

Victoria Ayuba

“The women asked for Jerry’s body for burial but the soldiers insisted on taking the body to Jos for examination to determine if he was killed by a military type weapon.”

This decision heightened the tension and broke out into a physical confrontation between the soldiers and the women. The angry women tore down the military check point and demanded the soldiers must leave.

Gindau James, a resident in Miango said the women “insisted they didn’t need the soldiers who never protected any village from an attack but will always appear hours later.” The soldiers were forced to abandoned their outpost and they all left. James said.

The departure of the soldiers in the villages seemed to have triggered a series of attacks by Fulani herdsmen.

“On Wednesday, after the soldiers left, there was information that the village, Jebu Miango, was going to be attacked by Fulani herdsmen. Nobody seemed to know the source of the information, but it threw the village into a panic,” said Victoria.

“Late Wednesday evening, there were sounds of heavy gunshots everywhere. Our parents sent us all out of the village. Women and children were sent out to Josh.

“Men sent their wives and children from Kwachidu, Tafigana and Lakke to Jebu Miango, while they stayed to protect their villages.”

The soldier would always tell us, “we are not your angels to guard you. You just sleep like dead bodies and expect us, human beings to guard you. Why don’t you ask your God to guard you.’ The soldiers would usually taunt us in the village.

“On my father’s orders, I, and many women fled to Jebu Miango, where we stayed on Wednesday. At night We could not sleep as we kept hearing gunshots in the distance. By morning, Tachidu, Tafi Gana and Nzhwierevhi, were attacked and many houses burnt.”

Victoria continued: “I called my father and he told me that two members of my family were killed, in Ariri. My uncle, Chohu, who lived in Kwachidu, was burnt in his room.

Farin Mota

“When the Fulani attacked the village, he was told to run but he refused and said he has buried many of his children and grandchildren and to burying people and would not leave. He preferred to be killed. Jerry my cousin was his son,” said Victoria. These attacks come about a week after similar attack in Wereh village, Barkin Ladi LGA, South of Jos, which killed a former Head of Service in the State, Moses Gwom, prompting a call by the national assemblyfor an investigation into the upsurge in Fulani Terrorist attacks in Plateau state.

The House said Plateau State was “under grave threat following violent attacks capable of precipitating another round of crisis, the most recent being the attack on Ancha village of Miango District in Bassa Local Government, which claimed 22 lives on 7th September. This is in addition to cases of isolated attacks, ambush and raping of unsuspecting women as well as malicious destruction of farm crops to deprive the farmers of their hard-earned harvest.” The house mandated “the House Committees on Human Rights and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the attack and report back to the House in 21 days.”

Senator Jonah David Jang, former governor of plateau state advice the current governor “to do more in the area of security, in order to safeguard the lives and properties of all people who live in the State. For it is instructive noting that there is no peace to celebrate when innocent people are killed indiscriminately and chased away from their ancestral lands and homes.”

 

Hassan John Is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of Anglican Diocese of Jos.

Image Credits: Hassan John