A U.K. based nongovernmental organization Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) founded by U.K. member of Parliament Baroness Caroline Cox to “support people suffering from conflict and persecution,” reported that over one thousand Christians were killed by both Fulani and Boko Haram insurgent in year 2019.
This report which was also obtained by Christian Post is titled:“Your Land or Your Body: The escalating persecution and displacement of Christians in northern and central Nigeria.”
“Islamist Fulani militia continue to engage in an aggressive and strategic land grabbing policy in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Southern Kaduna and parts of Bauchi state,” the report reads. “They attack rural villages, force villagers off their lands and settle in their place — a strategy that is epitomized by the phrase: ‘your land or your blood.”
Though, the actual number of death in 2019 is not unknown but HART suggested that an estimation of one thousand Christians have been killed since the beginning of this year while over 6,000 Christians killed since 2015 and as many as 12,000 displaced from their villages.
In a statement by Cox, “I have visited many of the affected areas and seen the tragedies of death and destruction,’” he continued; “In every village, the message from local people is the same: ‘Please, please help us! The Fulani are coming. We are not safe in our own homes.”
As at February about 131 were killed in Kaduna State, northern part of Nigeria by Fulani extremist. According to the report, there were “five major attacks” in Kaduna between January and November, which resulted in a combined total of 500 deaths.
A HART spokesperson clarified to CP that the 1,000 death estimation counts “predominantly people killed in Plateau, Southern Kaduna and Taraba states by Fulani Herdsmen” but also includes killings by Boko Haram in Borno state.
The reports were gathered from Kaduna State government reports, Media report, Plateau state report, numbers of Christian soldiers and security officers killed.
The HART report also presents testimonies from survivors.
“Our home is destroyed. The hospital was burnt. They tried to burn the roof of the church by piling up the chairs, like a bonfire,” 38-year-old Antonia Aje from Karamai told HART. “Life is frightening. We sometimes receive messages of a renewed attack. So we run to hide. We have no means of defense. We don’t have weapons to defend ourselves. There is no kind of security or vigilante support.”
Cox contends that the villagers’ cry for help has continually been “ignored.”
“Something has to change — urgently,” she stressed. “For the longer, we tolerate these massacres, the more we embolden the perpetrators. We give them a ‘green light’ to carry on killing.”
Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.