Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into a recent upsurge in radical Fulani attacks on Christian communities in Benue State, Nigeria. The announcement comes after a week of brutal assaults tallied reports of hundreds of deaths, including 145 killed throughout 25 villages in Agatu Local Government Area alone.
Nigerian newspapers report that the violence displaced nearly 7,000 villagers.
Agrarian Christians across Nigeria’s ‘Middle Belt’ region face what some observers are calling genocide after enduring 15 years of brutal Islamist Fulani raids with countless people being slaughtered on a near-weekly basis. Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, and parts of Kaduna, Borno, Yobe, and Gombe states make up the region most heavily under attack from these Islamist Fulani gangs.
Buhari expressed shock about the recent attacks. He also urged Nigerians to put aside their differences and live in peace.
Buhari’s comments come in a long pattern where Nigerian officials have failed to truly evaluate the root issues. They continue to constitute these ongoing horrific attacks only as historical tensions over land rights for cattle grazing versus farming.
While Boko Haram continues its terrible attacks on communities in north-eastern Nigeria, the Fulani herder onslaught in the Middle Belt continues unabated, claiming nearly as many lives and causing a similar toll of destruction on churches and Christian homes.
Sources: International Christian Concern, BBC
- Pray for the people of Nigeria; intercede for those who are grieving or in pain and those who are fearful. Pray they will draw near to God in this time of suffering.
- Pray the Lord will be the protector and provider for those who have experienced violence at the hands of Islamic militants.
- Pray the investigation will be used by the Lord to highlight ways the government can bring an end to the violence and assist those who have been victims.