In a three day killing spree by Islamist Fulani herdsmen in the predominantly Christian central region of Nigeria, Fulani cattle herdsmen, eight have died.
Friday Emmanuel 12, a primary school students in Hukke village and Godiya Abbas, 23, were shot and killed by the herdsmen on Saturday 16 June, at about 11 am in their farm. Godiya was carrying her baby when she fell.
“The baby was found alive laying in a ditch with minor injuries when the bodies were found after we heard the gunshots in the distance from the village,” a resident of the village told Global Christian News.
“From Sunday 17 June, till today (20th June) we have had no peace in the villages around here. From Huke, Nkedownro to Taagbe, all these villages have been attacked one after the other in three days. We called the police and the army but these attacks have continued,” said another resident who does not want his name mentioned said.
“It is annoying when politicians say this is a clash between herdsmen and farmers, I ask, how does a woman farming in her own farm clashed with Fulanis carrying AK 47?”
The Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, who has taken custody of Godiya’s baby questioned whether the “the Plateau Government is aware of the retail killings in Bassa LGA.”
“I am in tears because I have taken a child whose mother was shot dead. A family of four killed, Another two young men shot dead and so on… are there no people of conscience who fear God? Where are those who will protect the poor? Where is the leadership NOT the votes?” said the Archbishop.
“It is a week and three days now with daily killings of poor unarmed and unprotected citizen of Plateau State. This comes under the heals of early warning systems with assurances that seem to be failing woefully now.”
When Global Christian news went to the village more than 300 people, were on the road fleeing to other nearby villages and some walking over 10 miles to Jos, the capital city.
Baddis, 21, from Bazongo near Vashuru (Kwall village), told Global Christian News that when the Fulani Herdsmen came to his home, at about 11 pm on monday 11th June, there were four of them, they came to his door and broke it down, “on hearing the commotion outside and the hammering down of doors in the compound, I knew there was no way out so i jumped on the bed and went up into the ceiling of my room, there were three Fulani but one was them was a soldier.i could see them through an opening in the ceiling.”
He said: “They asked my parents and my elder brother and his wife ‘where are the guns you have?’ My parents said we have no guns. Then they opened fire from their guns and killed all four of them. They killed my parents and my brother and his wife.”
Baddies said that something fell from his pocket from where he was hiding in the ceiling while the gunmen were killing his parents. “I was afraid they would see me and shoot me too but God saved me. They didn’t notice what fell from my pocket.”
Earlier that night at about 9pm a boy from another village, Jebu-miango, not too far from the attack on Badis’ village, a boy was ambushed and killed on his way home.
“It has been hell since morning for the Irigwe Christian community who live in the local council in Bassa,” said the Rev Ejike Nathaniel a pastor in the community. “Yesterday night, the fulani herdsmen entered Ruwenku and destroyed crops in the farms. I mean hectares of Irish potatoes and of other crops.”
The Plateau state government has not yet made any statement about the killings.
hassan John is West Africa editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos
Image Credits:Author/Rev Ejike Nathaniel