The Church of the Brethren, also called Tarayar Ekklisiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria)TEKAN) reported that Islamist Fulani herdsmen’s killings in the Middle Belt of Nigeria has created over 10,000 widows in its continuing massacres.
“I can put it that we have recorded over 10,000 widows because of the activities of Fulani terrorists and for orphans, the figure is also well above 10,000. I know that the Middle Belt is the home of missions and has been subjected to all kinds of crises, which created these orphans and widows. But the whole thing has been heightened by the daily killing of people,” said the President of the denomination, Dr. Caleb Ehima.
“I think that churches have been managing their widows and orphans until these killings by Fulani herdsmen. You can agree with me that the killing is on a daily basis now. That has increased the number of widows and orphans everywhere, especially in the Middle Belt,” Ehima added.
The church has been working to care for victims of the attack on christian communities, he said.
“We may not be able to meet all the needs of the widows but we must give them a sense of belonging in their crises and difficult experiences. We have to help them and work hard in order not to leave them idle. We want to lift them up, according to biblical injunctions.” Ehima said.
“There are schools for widows and orphans, skill acquisition institutions owned by churches and other programmes that are meant to equip them with skills and get them the tools they need to be self-employed.”
The TEKAN president said the denomination supported a call by a former Minister of Defense, Lt Gen Theophilus Danjuma, for Christians to rise in self-defence since the army has proved that it can’t protect Christian communities.
He declared: “If these killings by Fulani herdsmen do not stop, it will be tempting defenseless citizens to find a way to defend themselves, even if it means throwing stones at the people who attack them.”
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos
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