Nigerian Church Destroyed in Fire as 32 People Are Killed in Attacks by Radical Fulani Militants

Christians in Nigeria take part in funeral festivities in April 2019. | Intersociety

As many as 32 people were killed in attacks last week said to have been carried out in predominantly Christian areas of the Plateau state of Nigeria by radical Fulani militants who have been blamed for a series of deadly attacks in Plateau this month. 

A Church of Christ in Nations church building, as well as a pastor’s home and dozens upon dozens of other structures, were destroyed as a result of attacks last week, sources told Morning Star News.

Former speaker of the Plateau state House of Assembly Titus Ayuba Alams told the nonprofit persecution news outlet that Islamic militants said to be Fulani herders were blamed for carrying out Jan. 27 attacks in Marish and Ruboi villages that took the lives of about 17 people and a Jan. 26 attack on Kwatas village that took the lives of 15.

However, the figures provided by the Plateau State Police Command differ from those offered by Alams. The Plateau State Police Command has confirmed the death of only 26 people in recent attacks in Bokkos and Mangu Local Government Areas.

“In the attacks, 14 persons were killed in Kwatas, four at Sabon Barki, three at Marish and one at Changet in Bokkos, this makes it 22 persons killed in Bokkos,” Police spokesperson Ubah Ogaba told The Daily Post. “Also, four persons were killed at Marish in Mangu. This makes the total persons killed in the two areas 26.”

Fulani are a nomadic people group of about 20 million across West Africa who have for decades competed with farming communities — many of which in Nigeria are predominately Christian — for land use and rights.

In recent years, violence has escalated between the farming communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt and Fulani. Fulani radicals have been accused of killing thousands over the years through overnight massacres on sleeping villages while youth in farming communities have been accused of carrying out reprisal attacks.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith