Showing posts with label Killing of Nigerian Christians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Killing of Nigerian Christians. Show all posts

Wednesday

Flashback: The Smoking Cellphone: A Fulani jihadist killer's phone has numbers of Nigerian police and Army arms dealers

This cell phone had the numbers of Nigeria Police/Army contacts 

CC™ Breaking News 

Witnesses said more than 100 attackers rampaged through the village, shouting “Allahu akbar” as they shot people and burned homes.

The phone was left behind after more than 100 jihadists terrorized a predominantly Christian village in Angwan Magaji, located in the center of Nigeria’s badlands.

“My house was one of the first to be reached by the Fulani terrorists Sunday around 6 p.m. when about 160 of them charged from all sides of the village firing their rifles,” said Ezekiel Isa, a 27-year old farmer, who leads a group of young men loosely called vigilantes. “They came to my community mainly to kill us and burn our houses.”

“The attackers were all Muslims. They were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’” Isa said.  “They were speaking Fulani language, which we don’t know, but we could understand their words in our Hausa language, and they were saying ‘kill 150, kill 150, they are infidels, kill them!’ This is not the first time we faced attacks by the Fulani terrorists. They had killed many of our village last year.”

The Fulani, who practice Islam, although one of Nigeria’s minority ethnic groups, have become very powerful and influential over the decades by virtue of their clout in business, politics and government, the military in particular. While many are nomads, a number of prominent Nigerians—including President Muhammadu Buhari—are Fulani.

Isa said he rushed through the village telling women and children to run into the bush as fast as they could. He then retrieved his hidden shotgun and rallied the vigilante youth to return fire.

The Fulani attackers used rifles and machetes while the handful of vigilantes fired mostly primitive shotguns. “Our youth hid behind houses and stayed close to the ground to avoid being hit,” Isa said.

Although calls were made to the Nigerian army, no soldiers arrived to help, according to the villagers.

“The district police officer of Kamaru came on Monday around 5 p.m. together with the Honorable Shuaibu Goma, chairman of the local government, to consult with us over the killings,” Isa said. “The chairman said to us that he will bring relief materials for us but due to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, it may take some time before he will come back again.”

The Fulani terrorists went from house to house, setting each on fire, until they had torched more than 50 houses in the hamlet holding approximately 600 residents. Vigilantes and terrorists exchanged shots for approximately 2 hours.

“Last year my father was killed, now they killed my mother” said Talatu Joseph, 35 as she broke into tears in front of her torched house. “My mother was telling me to go and hide, so I didn’t see their faces, I just ran save my life, and as I did my mother was killed.”

“The Fulani terrorists killed four people from my community,” Isa said. “Three were killed as a result of gun shots while one elderly man died of shock. Three older women were killed running to escape. They were the first to fall, but my vigilante group with vigilantes from neighboring communities killed one of the Fulani and injured some with shot.”

Jerry Adi, a 15-year-old vigilante, said he is the youngest on the defense team. “I am the youngest vigilante in my village, I am not afraid of Fulani herdsmen, I am ready to fight them, I have never killed any Fulani terrorists, but I will defend my community when there is no police support from the government.”

The cell phone found after the Fulani raid was not unique. A cell phone was recovered at an Irigwe village massacre in Plateau State in 2018 and was turned over to police. No arrests or prosecution followed, according to barrister Yakubu Bawa.

A series of terrorist attacks have been launched against several villages in the rural area in far western Plateau State since 2002, according to Kyle Abts, director of the International Committee on Nigeria, which tracks terrorist incidents.

“This is the fourth straight week of attacks in the area,” said Abts. “It is not a fight between ethnic groups, nor a pastoralist versus herder conflict. It is a coordinated and premeditated onslaught that has implications for government ineptitude, cover-up or involvement.”

Yet none of these attacks, taking hundreds of lives, were followed by prosecutions by Nigerian authorities, Bawa said.

Word of the killings in Kaduna State drew comment from Nigerian clergy of churches with majority expatriate members. “It is hard not to believe that the Nigerian government isn’t colluding with these attacks,” said the Rev. Sunday Bwanhot, a pastor of the Evangelical Church, Winning All. “We are pleading that the U.S. government will step into this situation to bring this colossal human abuse situation to control.”

Human rights observers called the attack evidence of an ongoing genocide. “The size of this attack by an organized, heavily armed Fulani militia numbering over 100 attackers is proof that these attacks are not “isolated incidents,” said Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, founding president of Genocide Watch, a human rights watchdog. “The attacks are not simply due to “traditional” herder-farmer ‘conflict.’  They are one-sided genocidal massacres.”

Tina Ramirez, president of Hardwired, a human rights organization with offices in Jos, agreed. “The recent attack on Christians in Bassa, Plateau State and the newly reported massacre in Ungwan Magaji in Kaduna State expose the grave failure of Nigeria’s government to protect its citizens—and the urgent need for officials to ease gun laws and allow communities to protect themselves and their families,” she said. “The glaring trend of violent attacks on Christian communities in the north cannot be ignored, and the government must be held accountable for failing to protect its citizens and leaving them defenseless against attacks.”

Source: Zenger News

Friday

FLASHBACK: Ethno-Religious dog whistle: Pint-sized El-Rufai says Northern Christians are 'insignificant' and can't help Peter Obi win


CC™ Political News

Pint-sized human tinderbox and ever fiery Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said the Northern Christians can’t swing the pendulum of victory in the forthcoming presidential election in the direction of Labor Party candidate, Peter Obi.

Speaking during an interview on TVC on Thursday, El-Rufai said the Northern Christians don’t have the numbers to make Obi win, hence they’re inconsequential.

He also said the Labor Party presidential campaign rallies are hinged on ‘ethnic and religious bigotry’.

“The fact that you’re doing 70 percent in Anambra state does not mean somebody doing 10 percent in Kano is not better than you. Kano is four million votes that actually happen. The number of votes in Anambra is the size of one local government area in Kaduna state. So, all states are not equal.

“If you poll states and you make them equal, yes, Peter Obi will sweep the south-eastern states; he will do well in south-south; where else?

He’s not polling well in the south-west other than a drop in the ocean in Lagos. He’s polling in the Christian enclaves in the north — he’s polling well — but how many are they?

“Peter Obi cannot win the election. He doesn’t have the number of states; he doesn’t have 25 percent — the last time we checked — in more than 16 states. He can’t go anywhere

“This election is between the APC and PDP because they have the footprint; they have the spread. Ethnicity and religious bigotry will not take you anywhere and that’s what the Labor Party campaign is about.” he said.

Sunday

Buhari’s legacy of terror and bloodshed as Fulani Herdsmen terrorize communities in Plateau State


CC™ ViewPoint

Global News Desk

Intercommunal conflict has killed hundreds of people in recent years in Nigeria’s ethnically and religiously diverse Middle Belt region.

The death toll from fighting between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s north-central state of Plateau has risen above 100 with locals searching in the bush for more bodies, residents and local authorities say.

Gunmen stormed villages and burned several houses in the Mangu area on Tuesday with at least 20 people initially estimated to have died, mostly women and children.

The violence was in reprisal for farmers killing a herder and his cattle who had encroached on their land last month, local herder Bello Yahaya said on Friday.

Mangu local government chairman Minista Daniel Daput said a mass burial had been conducted for about 50 people. Residents said another 50 were to be buried on Friday and they were looking for more missing people in the surrounding bush.

Plateau is one of several ethnically and religiously diverse hinterland states known as Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where intercommunal conflict has killed hundreds of people in recent years.

The violence is often painted as an ethno-religious conflict between nomadic Muslim herders – mostly ethnic Fulani – and mainly Christian Indigenous farmers. However, experts say climate change and expanding agriculture have also exacerbated the conflict.

Makut Simon Macham, a spokesperson for Plateau’s governor, said authorities were assessing the situation and would prosecute suspects, but he could not give casualty numbers.

REUTERS

Wednesday

Holy Week attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria leave nearly 100 dead

CC™ Global News

By Douglas Burton

At least 94 people reportedly have died in a series of deadly attacks on Christian communities throughout Holy Week in Benue state in north-central Nigeria, an ominous sign of escalating violence blamed on Muslim militias in the country’s Middle Belt region.

On April 2, armed men reportedly stormed a Palm Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Akenawe-Tswarev in Logo county, Benue state, killing a young boy and kidnapping the pastor and other worshippers.

Three days later, on April 5, gunmen killed at least 50 people in the village of Umogidi, located in Utokpo county, a Catholic stronghold in western Benue, the Associated Press reported.

More recently, on the night of Good Friday, dozens were killed when Muslim gunmen raided an elementary school building in the village of Ngban that serves as a shelter for about 100 displaced Christian farmers and their families.

The April 7 attack left 43 people dead and more than 40 injured, according to Father Remigius Ihyula, who heads the Benue branch of the Justice, Development, and Peace Commission (JDPC), a Nigerian Catholic relief organization.

Hours before the attack, Benue’s outgoing governor, Samuel Ortom, speaking in Otukpo, warned residents to remain vigilant and criticized what he sees as a slow response on the part of police and army units to respond to his requests for help.

Ortom had demanded for four years that federal laws be changed to allow citizens to buy firearms for self-defense, without success.

A JDPC relief worker who asked to remain anonymous told CNA she arrived the next morning to care for survivors and spoke to police officers manning the checkpoint near the school.

“Some of the survivors told me that police had fought the attackers and possibly killed some of them, but the marauding band retrieved their dead on their way out of the school compound, and the police told me the same,” she said.

“I doubt that the survivors of the attack on the primary school could go to church on Easter Sunday, as they need medicine and trauma counseling,” Father Ihyula told CNA.

While visiting with survivors of the April 7 attack in Ngban, Ortom said at least 134 people were killed in attacks in Benue over five days. Included in that tally is an April 3 raid in Apa that left 47 dead, according to a report by ThisDaylive.com, a Nigerian news outlet. It was not immediately clear on Monday whether Christians were the targets in that attack.

Benue state has an estimated 2 million displaced persons who cannot live on their traditional farm lands for fear of being killed. Some farmers venture back to cultivate their fields during the day and retreat to displaced person camps at night.


Catholic News Agency

Friday

Don’t vote politicians who’ll drag Nigeria back to dark ages, Buhari tells Nigerians


CC™ Global News

“Ironic, considering that is exactly what he (Buhari) basically did…..”

As activities geared towards the 2023 general elections gathers momentum, President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Nigerians against voting politicians who would drag the country back to ‘dark ages.’

He stated this during an event organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, with the theme: “Fighting corruption in Nigeria: The past, the present and the future.”

Buhari said he made sure to leave behind a legacy of ‘zero tolerance,’ for corruption, adding that he expects the next administration to follow the same light.

He said, “I strongly believe that our anti-corruption agencies need to concentrate more on asset forfeiture regimes in addition to prosecution to deny looters the gains from the proceeds of their crime. All looted assets within and outside Nigeria must be recovered and used for the wellbeing of our citizens while the looters will be prosecuted and convicted if found culpable.

“In a matter of weeks, Nigerians will need to go to the polls again to elect their leaders in the general elections. I beseech Nigerians to reject politicians who would drag our country back to the dark ages in which corruption was made the order of the day.

“As I leave office in a matter of months, I have left behind a legacy of zero-tolerance for corruption for our teaming youths and to every citizen. For me, corruption is Evil and must be vehemently rejected in all ramifications by all Nigerians anywhere, anytime. 

“It is by integrity, respect for rule of law, due process and genuine patriotism that we will make Nigeria the nation of our dream.”

In the same vein, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, lamented that the judiciary has not shown true commitment to the war against corruption.

Sunday

Priest describes ‘horrifying’ new attack on Catholics in Nigeria that leaves at least 11 dead

Close to 500,000 Nigerians have been either killed or displaced since Buhari took office

CC™ Global News

By Jude Atemanke

At least 11 people, most of them Catholics, were killed Jan. 19 when alleged Fulani herdsmen attacked a village near a refugee camp in Nigeria’s Makurdi Diocese, a diocesan official has reported.

In an interview with ACI Africa, CNA’s sister news partner, Father Moses Aondover Iorapuu, the diocese’s vicar general, recounted the “horrifying” persecution that Catholics were subjected to during the attack.

“The images of the attack are horrifying, and I keep saying that not even ISIS is capable of such brutality,” he said. “After killing, these guys decapitated some and took the parts away as proof to whoever is the sponsor.”

Aondover said the attacks took place Thursday about 9 p.m. in a village near Makurdi, the Benue State capital, where there is a displaced persons camp.

“As of this evening 11 people were killed, including women and children, and many with life-threatening wounds in the hospital,” he reported.

“Almost all the victims” of the attack were Catholics, he said, adding: “The attackers, according to the survivors, were Fulani, who occupied some of the villages they had abandoned in earlier raids.”

Aondover criticized the delayed response from security agents, saying: “The response from the police and the military as always: normal late arrival at the scene, and the attackers remain unidentified.”

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram’s insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The situation of insecurity in the West African nation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers over grazing land.

The Jan. 19 attack on the village saw the inhabitants “forcefully driven from their homes by these herdsmen,” Aondover said, lamenting “the incessant attacks without a single arrest and meaningful reaction from the government.”

“We feel terribly frustrated and abandoned by our government and the international community,” he said.

This story originally was published by ACI Africa, CNA's sister news partner.

Source: Catholic News Agency