JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed two Christians in separate attacks in Plateau state this month, in addition to the 13 Christians from the same denomination killed on Jan. 8, sources said.
Herdsmen invaded Torok village in Riyom County on Jan. 20, killing Reuben Bulus, a 25-year-old member of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), according to Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, a human rights activist with the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria.
“Bulus was killed at about 7:10 p.m. on Jan. 20 when herdsmen invaded his village,” Mwantiri told Morning Star News.
In Gako village, near Rim in Riyom County, another COCIN member, Ngam Stephen Dachung, was killed by herdsmen on Jan. 1, Mwantiri said.
“He was shot dead at a point at Gako-Diyan junction where many lives were previously lost to herdsmen ambushes in the area,” he said.
On Jan. 8, 13 COCIN were members slain in Plateau state’s Kulben village, Mangu County, in an attack by about 20 herdsmen that also wounded three others.
In addition, Mwantiri said, herdsmen killed a Christian woman, Mary Machief, and her baby daughter in Plateau state’s Bokkos County on Dec. 16. The herdsmen attacked them in Machief’s father’s home in Kunnet village that night, relatives told Morning Star News.
“It’s still a shock to me, I wish it were a dream,” said one relative.
Another relative said Machief was not killed instantly but died later from wounds.
“We all prayed for God to give her quick healing, but God deemed it fit to take her to eternal home,” he said.
On Dec. 22 in Tanjol near Jol in Riyom County, another COCIN member, Ayuba Lanjo, was wounded in an attack by herdsmen, said Mwantiri, who is also an attorney.
“Ayuba Lanjo was ambushed by some herdsmen; he was shot at and injured,” Mwantiri said.
Near Bukuru in Jos South County, herdsmen on Jan. 21 kidnapped Christie Peter Mwankon in Kwata village.
The 26-year-old COCIN member, daughter of a former Plateau state tourism official, was abducted after the herdsmen shot their way into the village and broke into her sister’s house, sources said.
“Christie Peter was kidnapped at about 2 a.m. in her sister’s house when the herdsmen broke into the house and kidnapped the graduate of Ahmadu Bello University-Zaria,” said area resident Solomon Kogi. “The herdsmen are demanding a ransom of 5 million naira [$US13,735] from her family.”
A spokesman for the Plateau State Police Command, Mathias Tyopev, told reporters that police are making all efforts to rescue her following the attack on the community.
“We are working with the family to secure the release of the girl that was taken away during the attack,” Tyopev reportedly said.
In northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, a student of the University of Maiduguri kidnapped on Jan. 9 along with the later-executed Ropvil Daciya Dalep by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), an offshoot of Boko Haram, remains missing, sources said.
Lillian Daniel Gyang was abducted along the Damaturu-Maiduguri Highway outside Maidiguri at about 5 p.m., along with Dalep and another male Christian student, all three being members of the COCIN, said Emmanuel Zakka of Jos, who is close to her family. Originally from Foron in Barkin Ladi County in Plateau state, Gyang is 20 years old and a first-year student of zoology at the University of Maiduguri, he said.
Sen. Istifanus Gyang, a parliamentarian representing Plateau state in Nigeria’s National Assembly, appealed to the Nigeria government and the United Nations to quickly intervene and hasten the release and safe return of all Christians kidnapped by terrorists.
Samuel Mwankon, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, representing the Barkin Ladi area, decried the abduction and killings of Plateau state residents.
“In September 2019, two innocent youths from Mangu Local Government Area were brutally murdered in cold blood by Boko Haram,” Mwankon said in a press statement. “I call on all meaningful citizens of Plateau state to be more united and steadfast in prayers. I sympathize and empathize with the families of those murdered and join my faith to pray for the release of those still on Boko Haram captivity.”
Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.