No fewer than 75 corpses have been recovered following a string of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on the predominantly Christian community of Miango, in the Bassa local government area of Plateau state, central Nigeria.
Jerry Datim, a religious leader from the area, told World Watch Monitor that the first attack took place on 24 January: “It was about 12 noon, when some Fulani men laid and ambush around Rafiki, a place well close to the 3rd Army Division Cantonment. They killed three people, before moving on to another village, Jebbu Bassa, where they also killed three people. They also burned down a lot of properties.” He said the assailants continued their killing spree, unchallenged, throughout the next week.
In all, 14 villages have been targeted, with 89 houses set on fire and vast swathes of farmland also destroyed by the assailants, who vowed to dislodge the natives.
Datim expressed his disappointment that the state government has not spoken out against the killings.
“Political leaders in the state have failed to protect the people from the Fulani attackers because they fear that President Muhammadu Buhari may move against any politician that goes against the Fulani, who are Buhari’s kinsmen,” he said, adding that some of the affected communities had just finished fixing the roofs of their houses, burned down in a previous attack in October 2017. But now the houses have been burnt again.
Up to 3000 villagers are now taking refuge with their relatives in the neighbouring communities of Kabon and Tudun Wada, both in Jos North local government area. Not only have they been displaced from their ancestral homes; their means of livelihood has also been destroyed.
A local pastor, Rev Jacob Gidado, who visited the affected villages to sympathise with the people, called on President Buhari to protect Christians against the “incessant killings,” saying Christians, especially in northern Nigeria, have been “persecuted beyond measure.”
Source: World Watch Monitor