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Pastor and family killed in another attack in Nigeria

West & Central Africa

Pastor and family killed in another attack in Nigeria

Rev. Adamu Gyang Wurim, his wife’s and three children have been killed in another targeted attack in Abonong, Barkin Ladi, about 30 miles from Jos the Plateau state capital, central Nigeria, where over 200 people were killed by Islamic Fulani herdsmen in July.

Residents of the community said Fulani herdsmen attacked the village on Tuesday, 28 August, at about 8pm. There was heavy gunfire as they headed straight to the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) where the pastor lives, set the Church and house on fire and shot the pastor’s wife who had taken refuge in the bathroom. Rev Gyang, and his three children were burnt in the bedroom beyond recognition witness accounts said.

“They first shot at two young men walking out of the village where they had gone to charge their cell phones at the deceased Pastor’s house, killing one and wounding the other,” Thomas Tsok, Chairman of the Berom Youth Movement, Foron said.

Refugees who fled Fulani Herdsmen attacks/photo author

Thomas Tsok said four other people, who had come out as vigilantes after the herdsmen, were however shot and killed “in the morning of Wednesday in Fan and Bek villages by Military Special Task Force operatives” who were supposed to have provided protection for the communities in the first place.

Deputy superintendent of Police, Tyopev Matthias Terna, Plateau State Police command, in a statement, said “as a result of the attack, eight persons lost their lives, three people were injured, 95 houses were burnt down and 310 Cattle were stolen. Property and food stuff  were looted and destroyed.” The police confirmed.

Istifanus Gyang, the member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives said it is unfortunate that “these attacks are coming at a time when the people are yet to recover from the massacre of over 200 persons in the same Barkin Ladi Local Council with thousands of the displaced victims still languishing in IDP camps.”

The Jihadi Fulani herdsmen, Gyang said, have “sustained malicious destruction and mowing down of crops on farms in many villages aimed at strangulating the communities economically as farming is their main economic activity.” The Legislator accused the government of “complicity for which the government shall one day, be held accountable for crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing  and genocide.”

Gyang added that “until decisive action is taken by the Nigerian government against the killer herdsmen to stop the ethnic cleansing and land grabbing, the presumption  is simply that of connivance.” And pleaded with the youths in the communities to be law abiding and not go on any reprisal.

Women had come out, a day after the killings on a street protest against the killings and the sustained attack in the villages and the destruction of farm crops by the Islamic Fulani herdsmen.

The federal and state governments, that had promised to stop the killings after the uproar in the killing of over 200 people earlier this year, are yet to comment on the recent killings and destruction in the villages around Jos.  

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

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