Nigeria: 400 Christians killed by Jihadist herdsmen in 1 month and 2,259 since Jan 2021  

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ONITSHA (Sundiata Post) – Human Rights research group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), has said that the total number of defenceless Christians hacked to death by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen protected by the Nigerian government and its security forces in the past one month or 18th July to 18th August 2021 has risen to no fewer than 400 and at least 2,259 if counted from 1st January to 18th August 2021, a period of 231 days.

In its latest report obtained by Sundiata Post on Thursday, Intersociety said during the period too, Boko Haram, ISWAP, Fulani Bandits and others were responsible for not less than 100 Christian deaths, while the country’s  Muslim dominated and controlled security forces accounted for ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ Christian deaths of not less than 50. 

The group said “It is therefore correct to say that that a total of no fewer than 4,002 Christians were hacked to death in Nigeria in the past seven months and 18 days of 2021 or in a period of 231 days; involving Jihadist Fulani herdsmen 2,259 deaths; Boko Haram, Jihadist Fulani bandits, ISWAP and others, 1,163 and Muslim-dominated and controlled security forces, 540 Christian deaths and 40 others representing ‘dark figures’”.

The report signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche,  Obianuju Igboeli and  Chidimma Udegbunam, continues “The breakdown of over 400 Christians killed by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen in one month indicated that Plateau State, particularly Bassa, Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas accounted for the highest number of Christian deaths with at least 130, followed by Southern Kaduna especially Kaura Local Government Area with at least 110 Christian deaths. Others with high number of Christian deaths are Benue, 60 Christian deaths; Enugu, 40 Christian deaths; Niger, 40 Christian deaths (killed by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen and Jihadist Fulani bandits); Nasarawa, five Christian deaths and others, 40 Christian deaths. 

“The over 100 Christian deaths recorded in the hands of Boko Haram, ISWAP, Jihadist Fulani bandits and others were majorly recorded in Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna and Niger States.  At the state actor level, the ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ killing of no fewer than 50 Christians by Muslim-dominated and controlled security forces was also found to have majorly taken place in Imo, Abia and the ‘Abuja Abattoir or killing field’  presently manned by the Directorate of Bureau of Intelligence. It was independently found recently that  not less than 80 detained Igbo Christians, arrested unarmed in different locations in the East especially in Imo, Abia and Anambra States, unlawfully detained and falsely accused and stigmatised, were recently executed in captivity; and of this, 57 were slaughtered in a single night.”

The rest of the reports reads:

Security Forces Protecting And Aiding Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen To Kill Christians: We had on 24th March 2021, observed and warned that the Nigerian security forces particularly the Nigerian Army ‘are speedily turning into ethnic militias especially for Fulani-Hausa Muslims and cited several examples of national armies from different countries that turned themselves into such and ended up disbanded and replaced’. Today, it is no longer hidden that the Nigerian security forces are openly and discreetly shielding and protecting the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and aiding them to massacre Christians in Nigeria. The security forces of Nigeria have never been so polarised, degraded, ‘Fulanised’ and Islamised as it is presently the case. Outcries from several victim communities have ceaselessly continued to the air concerning the open and brazen partiality and lukewarm attitudes of the security forces towards the grisly and egregious massacre of Christians across Nigeria. The recent singling of the mob killing of Fulani Muslims in Plateau State for strong condemnation and indiscriminate arrests or clampdowns on Christians in the state by the Nigerian Government and its maintenance of the ‘silence of the graveyard’ on steady and systematic massacre of Christians by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen in the State, is a clear case in point and a typical instance of the Nigerian government’s exhibition of jihadist body language. 

The worst of it all is that the security forces kitted and sustained by working class and law abiding Nigerians are now brazenly turning their publicly procured weapons and services against them and channeling same towards protecting and aiding criminal citizens especially Jihadist Fulani herdsmen. As a matter of fact, the only difference between what happened in Afghanistan days ago and the goings on in Nigeria is a case of ‘open jihad revolution in the former as against secret jihad revolution in the latter’. It is also shocking and disbelieving that the mandate of the security forces especially soldiers of the Nigerian Army and their other khaki counterparts deployed in most of the strategic locations especially in Christian parts of the country and their northern counterparts is now channeled into protecting the Jihadist Herdsmen and aiding their attacks on indigenous Christian farmlands, bushes, forests and homes. For instance, the two latest hotspots hosting anti Christian butcheries in Plateau State are quartering the most fortified military and other security formations in the State including the 3 Armored Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos, yet the Jihadists invade the area anyhow and massacre Christians at will.

The same is the case with Kaduna State where several military formations and other security establishments including the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army are located.

In Enugu State where Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen have killed no fewer 40 Igbo Christians in past one month, several military and other security formations abound including 82 Division of the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian soldiers are so brazenly partisan and jihad enabling to the extent of constantly invading several Christian communities and attacking their indigenes including killing and abducting them for dislodging killer-jihadist herdsmen attacking and killing their defenseless natives at will and as if this is not enough, the Army also indiscriminately and falsely labels as “members of ESN or IPOB”. Scores of defenseless Christian communities have also been bombed by military jets, thereby clearing the areas for Jihadist Herdsmen invasion, occupation and killing spree.

A typical case in point is the Igbo Christian communities of Amengunze, Egudene-Ekpofu, Akpugo and Oruku, all in Nkanu East in Enugu State where soldiers from 82 Division led by a Northern Muslim officer invaded recently and falsely labeled them “ESN/IPOB supporters” whereas the real motive behind the invasion was attacking them for dislodging killer-jihadists back in March 2021. In a detailed statement issued few days ago by the Southeast Zone of the Civil Liberties Organisation, the Nigerian security forces especially the Nigerian Army have aided the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen to invade and operate murderously in Mgbuji, Eha-Amufu, Uzo-Uwani, Ugwuoba, Nachi, Awgu, Udi, Isi-Uzo, Opanda-Nimbo, parts of Nike; among others, all in Enugu State. The Nachi, Ugwuoba axis of the Awka-Amansea-Oji River-Enugu Old Road, it is also a double tragedies for working class and law abiding road users both in the hands of soldiers and Jihadist Fulani herdsmen.

While soldiers are busy barricading roads and in many cases blocking them completely and subjecting innocent road users to physical and psychological torture and trauma, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen are busy in the nearby bushes and farmlands, abducting passengers and raping young women and killing others at will. Abducted victims in the said Nachi-Ugwuoba and Amansea-Awka axis where several Army roadblocks are located very close to Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen hideouts include three comedians: Prince Neche, MC Two Mic and MC Apostle. While their abduction took place on 8th August 2021, the likes of Uche Abonyi, Uche Aja and Emeka Ijegara (estate agents) were abducted by same Jihadist Fulani herdsmen on 9th April 2021 at Amokpo Nike in Enugu State. The victims regained their after paying huge ransoms running into millions of naira.

Instances Of Anti Christian Killings In The Past 30 Days

Between 2nd and 14th August 2021, not less than 90 Christians were hacked to death by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen in Irigwe and Jebbu-Miango in Bassa Local Government of Plateau State, of which no fewer than 70 belonged to Irigwe Christian Community. In the reprisal killings by Muslim Jihadists following the Sat 13th August 2021 mob reprisal killing of 23 Fulani Muslims, not less than 20 more Christians have been killed and they included nine killed on Sunday, August 15 including three Christian students of the University of Jos killed same day and five killed on 17th August in Irigwe and four others abducted who have not seen since Sunday.  

On 24 June, 17 Christians were killed in the same Irigwe Christian Community. Twelve other Christians were also killed in Riyom part of the State on 1st August 2021. In Southern Kaduna, most of the 110 Christian deaths recorded in the past one month had taken place in Kaura Local Government with 68 deaths recorded as at last week. Other affected parts are Zango-Kataf, Kajuru and Jama’a, etc. 

In Benue State, among over 60 Christian deaths were eight killed in Guma on 19th July, 13 killed on 20th July in the same area and four killed in Ado on 9th August 2021. In Niger State, where over 1,000 Christians have been recently uprooted in Sakaba and Wasagu areas of the state and forced into villages in Kamala Local Government Area of Kwara State, no fewer than 40 Christians were hacked to death, cutting across other Christian areas in Rafi, Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas of the State. 

The Jihadist Fulani herdsmen had also on 17th June 2021 attacked and abducted an Igbo Christian medical doctor, Precious Emeka Chinedu in Salka Village, Magama Local Government Area in Niger State and later killed him in captivity. The Jihadist Fulani herdsmen had also in past 30 days killed no fewer than 40 Igbo Christians in Igboland including 12 killed on 23rd July in Opanda Farm Settlement in Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani, nine were killed in Eha-Amufu and eight killed on 3rd August in Okporkwu-Mgbuji Community, Eha-Amufu.