JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 10 Christians in southern Kaduna state, Nigeria on Saturday (March 16), bringing the lives lost in the past five weeks to 140 with 160 houses destroyed, sources said.
“We were all asleep in our various homes when at about 4 a.m. [Saturday], we heard gunshots everywhere in my village,” Amos Samuel, 40, of Nandu Gbok village in Sanga County told Morning Star News. “Everyone ran out of their homes to escape from the Fulani herdsmen. Three hours after the herdsmen left, those of us who survived the attack returned to the village to find that our houses were destroyed and 10 of our villagers killed.”
About 30 houses were burned in the attack, Sanga chairman Charles Danladi told Morning Star News, who also said 10 people were killed.
“The attack occurred while the villagers were still sleeping,” he said. “Normalcy has now been restored in the village, and we are making efforts to assist victims.”
Shehu Nicholas Garba, a member of Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, and a resident of the area, said in a press statement that “about 10” people were killed and “about 30” houses were burned.
“Our communities are helpless and are pleading that all persons of conscience should speak out,” Garba said.
The Kaduna governor’s spokesman said Saturday night (March 16) that nine people died in the attack.
“The security agencies have so far recovered nine corpses, including children,” Samuel Aruwan said in a press statement. “Violence has left an unacceptable toll of death and injury, loss of livelihoods, pain and fear. The government condemns this attack on the life and security of citizens and appeals to our communities to resist those who do not want peace.”
Security agencies have been deployed in the area, and the State Emergency Management Agency has been directed to immediately provide relief materials to the affected community, Aruwan said.
130 Killed Previously
In Kajuru County, also in southern Kaduna state, Muslim Fulani herdsmen have killed 130 Christians since Feb. 10, sources said.
Ungwan Barde village was attacked twice, resulting in the killing of 28 people, said Luke Waziri, an area attorney and national assistant secretary of the Adara Development Association, an umbrella body of the predominantly Christian Adara ethnic group. Another 102 people were killed in attacks on Karamai, Inkirimi, Dogonnma and Ungwan Gora, he said.
“Kajuru land and by extension the Adara nation has been gripped by a fully funded and supported group of terrorists that have been wreaking havoc in our lands for long, while those saddled with the responsibility of securing us deliberately looked the other way,” Waziri said in a press statement. “First, Ungwan Barde was attacked on Feb. 10, 2019, and nobody said anything, even though those in government knew. Furthermore, the government pretended that the 11 people killed didn’t matter.”
The herdsmen next attacked Karamai on Feb. 26, killing 38 people, he said. A resident of Karamai, Paulina Irimiya, confirmed to Morning Star News that Fulani herdsmen attacked while Christians were at a church service, killed at least 32 Christians and burned down 40 houses.
“While the victims were buried in a mass grave and the injured yet to recover,” Waziri said in the press statement, “Ungwan Barde village was attacked again on Sunday, March 10. Seventeen people were killed and dozens of houses burned.”
The next day, Inkirimi and Dogonnoma villages in Maro were attacked, killing 52 people and wounding dozens, he said.
“The smoke had barely settled when an attack was launched in the evening at Ungwan Gora (Labi Village), with dozens injured and 43 houses burned down,” he said.
A total of 64 Christians were killed in the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnma and Ungwan Gora, he said.
About 100 homes were destroyed in the attacks, and thousands of people who fled are now moving from one village to the other in search of refuge, Waziri said.
“In all these, not a single person has been arrested, nor even questioned,” he said. “This is despite the fact that all the attacks took place either in the morning or in the evening – in full glare of everyone.”
Hundreds of terrorists had time to kill and leave without anyone being caught or apprehended, he said.
“However, in a strange twist of the application of justice, nine Adara elders and village chiefs were indiscriminately arrested and thrown into the Kaduna prison on allegations of complicity,” Waziri said. “The victims that have been killed and brutalized are the same ones being arrested and thrown into prison, while the real killers are being pampered, supported and allowed to freely continue their onslaught on people and our land.”
In the Inkirimi, Dogonnma and Ungwan Gora Communities, 43 houses were destroyed, Waziri said.
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.
Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.