Attack Unfolds Despite Early Warning to Military
05/06/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Fulani militants attacked Nigeria’s Chinke community of Kwall District on Thursday night, May 5, killing at least eight Christians and wounding several others.
A picture from the scene shows two deceased victims, each appearing to be under five years of age, lying side by side. A representative for International Christian Concern (ICC) is currently at the hospital with a two-year-old gunshot wound survivor whose mother was killed in the attack.
“The attackers are Fulani militants with AK-47 rifles,” another survivor of the attack told ICC. “They shouted, ‘Allah Akbar’ [Allah is the greatest] and shot randomly.”
Prior to the attack, a community member with intel into the situation issued a security alert, warning: “Plans are underway to strike Rigwe people any time from now… They have gone as far as Lokoja axis to go and mobilize for support of attackers… They concluded the arrangement yesterday in a meeting at the bushes of Zangon Kataf to attack the earmarked places. They are waiting for the Lokoja mercenaries to arrive anytime, then they will strike.”
“After attacking Miango and Kwall areas, they plan to proceed to Kagoro areas for the continuation of the mayhem,” the alert continued. “All this is in their program of sending our people away from our lands so that they can expand their grazing areas, then occupy the lands. They are doing this in the camouflage of [avenging] their people… Pray so that the God of Elijah, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah comes to fight for us. As God dealt with the proud kings of the times of these prophets and kings, pray without ceasing so that God will frustrate and defeat the enemies in all their plans of expansionism. We are in the hands of God and will not depend on any arms.”
In response to this warning, an ICC representative went to the community before the attack began and rescued 15 children, whom he hid in his home beyond the scope of the assailants.
“Despite an early warning, we told government officials, but they kept silent and allowed Fulani militants to kill us,” a leader in the community told ICC. “The government is silent over the killings in my region because we are Christians, not Fulani Muslims.”
Last year, Nigeria earned the title of the worst country for Christian persecution in ICC’s 2021 Persecutor of the Year Awards. Radicalized and armed Islamist Fulani militants have killed tens of thousands of Christians and left more than 3 million displaced in a 20-year genocide.
“Christian communities in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria have effectively suffered a 20-year genocide,” said ICC President Jeff King. “Where is any action? The Nigerian government gives these attacks lip service without any meaningful response. Where is the outcry? Where is effective action? In Nigeria, the military, the police, and the intelligence agencies are all controlled by Muslims. This, coupled with a 20-year lack of response by these agencies, should naturally lead to deeper questioning by the international community. Simply put, the time for cheap talk and platitudes is over. The world is waking up and starting to ask, ‘Is the Nigerian government complicit in these attacks?’ Time will tell, but for this long-time watcher, the decision is in.”
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Since 1995, ICC has served the global persecuted church through a three-pronged approach of advocacy, awareness, and assistance. ICC exists to bandage the wounds of persecuted Christians and to build the church in the toughest parts of the world.