West & Central Africa

Farmers face hunger and hardship as Fulani herdsmen attacks continue

Islamic Fulani Herdsmen still killing Christians in rural areas of southern Kaduna state,  according to a leading clergyman in the area.

The Ven John Bwankwot, of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the southern Kaduna Zone, declared that Christians are still being targeted and killed in Southern Kaduna, despite the presence of soldiers deployed to stop the killing of Christians by Islamist Fulani cattle herdsmen.

Deserted village of Pasakori, Kaduna State

Fulani Herdsmen have set up watch posts in the bushes, and farmers are continuously attacked and “killed by the herdsmen as they attempt to go to their farms,” the Ven Bwankwot said.

‎Bwankwot added that now that the rainy season in Nigeria has set in, farmers are “facing serious starvation as all their farm produce and homes were destroyed during the attacks, and yet they cannot go to their farms.

Dr Luka Lobadungze, speaking on behalf of The Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF), said, “We condemn in totality these acts of terrorism that are going on in the country.”

Lobadungze decried the lip service paid by the Nigerian government in deploying soldiers to the Christian communities yet refusing to eject the Islamic Fulani Herdsmen who have killed people, destroyed communities and taken over their villages and farmlands.

“Government has not shown serious concern or taken steps to address the frequent attacks by herdsmen as it did to Boko Haram in the north-east; that is why the killings have continued. NOSCEF wants to call on the federal government to flush out these herdsmen who have continued to attack and kill people in communities across the country.

“Thousands of people have been killed, properties worth billions of naira have been destroyed by herdsmen and unless the government focuses its attention on their nefarious activities and initiate strategies to deal with the situation, Nigerians may be in for difficult times,” he said.

“As far as we are concerned, what happened in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country are acts of terrorism by herdsmen. It is very unfortunate when people refer to the killings as clashes or conflicts, it is not! It is not a quarrel about anything. People will be sleeping or they will be on the farm, then these terrorists will attack them, kill them and burn their homes, so it is wrong to say it is clashes.”

The Northern Christian forum warned that Nigerian government must urgently tackle the security problems posed by the Islamist herdsmen across the country before it degenerates into another episode of Boko Haram Islamic insurgencies where hundreds of thousands of people were killed and millions of people are starving.

The forum accused the government of not giving the victims of the Fulani attacks in Southern Kaduna assistance and attention as well the predominantly Christian communities in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria where many communities have been destroyed by herdsmen.