Morning Star News – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 13 Christians and kidnapped 13 others in attacks on April 23-25 in north-central Nigeria, sources said.
The attacks on five villages in the counties of Kajuru and Chikun in Kaduna state displaced more than 1,000 people from their homes. The sources said those killed were members of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Catholic, Baptist, United Church of Christ in Nations (HEKAN) or Assemblies of God churches.
The herdsmen invaded Kikwari and Kujeni communities in Kajuru County on April 25 at about 3 p.m., said Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), in a press statement.
“The armed herdsmen stormed Kikwari Village, Kajuru LGA, and shot three persons and carted away livestock and foodstuff in large quantities as residents fled for dear lives,” Binniyat said.
He identified those killed as Ado Maisamari, a 56-year-old father of eight children; Titus Amos, 27, survived by his wife and three children; and Habila Amos, 25, survived by his wife and child.
“All the villagers numbering over 1,000 are now taking refuge with relations in nearby towns under tough conditions in this grim period of coronavirus lockdown,” Binniyat said.
The herdsmen attacked Kujeni village on April 23, killing three Christians and kidnapping 12 others, he said. The armed herdsmen were accompanied by assailants who wore military uniforms, according to Binniyat.
Those killed were identified as Maigida Maisama, Yahuda Mallam and Bulus Danzaria, he said.
“As the overpowered Christians made bids to escape, some were rounded up and herded into the vast forest,” Binniyat said. “To date, no one has any information about their conditions. No one is sure if they are dead or alive and in what condition. There is now uncertainty and anxiety over the disappearance of these Christians.”
He identified the kidnapped Christians as Bako Machu, Isaiah Bako, Timothy Musa, Hakuri Maigida, Apolo Ali, Emmanuel Maikasa, Haruna Dogo, Titus Ahmadu, Caleb Bakinpa, Tanimu Ami, Samuel Usman and Maigida Gamashewa.
Binniyat appealed to the federal and Kaduna state governments to rescue the abducted Christians and end herdsmen attacks on defenseless Christian communities.
“We are calling on Kaduna and the federal government to assist in the search for our missing Christians to reduce the mounting tension in the affected communities,” he said. “We are also appealing to Kaduna state government to enforce its resolve in dealing with all evil-doers who do not wish peaceful coexistence among the people.”
Peter Aboki, president of the Gbagyi Development Union (GDU) in Kaduna State, said seven Christians were killed and one kidnapped in herdsmen attacks on April 23 on the predominantly Christian communities of Akwunakwo, Kabirasha, and Damba in Chikun County.
Five other Christians were injured in the herdsmen attacks and are receiving treatment at the Sabon Tasha General Hospital, in Kaduna city, he said.
“The attacks on our communities started in the early hours of Thursday, April 23, and lasted up till about 4 p.m. as the herdsmen went from village to village attacking our defenseless Christian villagers,” Aboki told Morning Star News by text message.
Two of the Christians were killed in Akwunakwo village, where the attacks started early on April 23.
“The herdsmen then moved to the neighbouring Kabirasha village, where they abducted a deaf and dumb Christian,” Aboki said. “Damba village was attacked at about 4 p.m., and five Christians were killed there. They burned houses, foodstuffs and vehicles during the attacks on the villages.”
Displaced Christians are unable to return their villages as the herdsmen are still there, he said last week.
“We want the government to do something urgently, because Christians are being killed or abducted almost on a daily basis,” Aboki told Morning Star News. “Those areas are becoming a no-go area as a result of the deadly activities of herdsmen, and we want the government to do everything possible to stop this frequent loss of lives and destruction of property.”
On Jan. 30 Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. CSI issued the call in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’”
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.
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