Suspected Nigerian Fulani militants attacked 21 Christian villages in the Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, and Mangu counties of Plateau State on Christmas Eve. It has been reported that 84 communities in Bokkos and Barkin Ladi have been affected, with almost 30,000 people displaced and an estimated 194 people killed. An additional 301 people have been injured and 27 houses burned. The number of deaths is expected to rise as families continue to search for missing loved ones.
Witnesses said that scant security was present to repel the attacks that lasted more than seven hours.
“More dead bodies were found in the bush today,” said Timothy, a local from Mbar village in Bokkos County. “Yes, my village was attacked on Christmas Eve, and other villages close to my community. Many houses were burnt including my church. I can’t say how many people were killed but we found more dead bodies today and we are looking for missing ones.”
Naomi, a resident of Mayong, lost four family members in the attack and fled to an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp. “My house was burnt, and I mourned on Christmas day,” she said.
Ezekiel Peter Bini Condole, president of the Irigwe Youth Development Association covering Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, and Mangu called on Nigeria President Bola Tinubu to do more to protect Christians. He said that Christians in Plateau State should be compensated by the government for their losses. Condole added that there are threats of more attacks to wipe out Christians, and he called on United States President Joe Biden to pressure Nigeria’s leaders to stop the killings.
Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places for Christians, particularly in the Middle Belt region. More than 50,000 Christians have been killed in the Middle Belt region over the past 20 years, and millions have been displaced.