Editor’s note: The Nigerian based rights group, International Society for Liberty and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has issued a special statement where it documents killings in Nigeria. In the report, Intersociety showed an alarming trend alleging that about 100 Christians were killed within the month of April while between 750-800 died in the first four months of 2019.
Read the full statement:
Festivals Of Christian Deaths In Nigeria: 100 Killed In April And 750-800 In Four Months Of 2019–Intersociety
Nigeria: May 1, 2019: Festivals of Christian deaths have enveloped Nigeria leading to rampancy of burial ‘carnivals’ on weekly basis across the country especially in North-central and Northeast Regions and Southern Kaduna part of the Northwest Region. In the latest round of anti Christian butcheries by Fulani Islamic militias of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Anambra State in the Southeast and Delta State in the South-south are not spared.
In Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria; two prominent citizens-a Catholic Priest and a University Lecturer were also abducted and gruesomely murdered in March 2019 by the same Jihadist Fulani militias. By recent independent reports, Anambra East and Anambra West council areas of Anambra State are presently under siege by Fulani Islamic militias who now carry out series of abductions including abduction-for-ransom, abduction of young women-for-rape, killing of their captives in custody and unchecked encroachment on indigenous Christian communal lands for religious reasons.
In all these, none, not even a single culprit, till date, has been arrested, investigated and put on trial or even convicted and jailed by the central Government of Nigeria. Intersociety is strictly focusing its latest statement on killings arising from religious (Christian) persecution or those being massacred on grounds of their Christian faith or belief especially the unarmed and defenseless particularly women, children and the elderly. All forms of killings outside the law in Nigeria are strongly condemned, but more condemned are the killing of citizens who are nonviolently exercising their constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms; and the silence, inaction and conspiracy of the present central Government of Nigeria headed by Mr. Muhammadu Buhari.
It must be stated clearly that the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Nigeria’s version of the Sudanese Janjaweed or genocidal camel/cattle herders’ group; has remained a registered organization with the Federal Government of Nigeria till date despite its midwifery, condoning and open support for its slaves’ jihadist and terrorist activities. MACBAN also have Mr. Muhammadu Buhari as its lifetime patron. Totality of these has emboldened the group and escalated its jihadist activities which have risen alarmingly since June 2015 a month after Mr. Buhari became the President of Nigeria.
The jihadist group is solely responsible for not less than 6,000 Christian deaths and burning or destruction of over 1000 churches between June 2015 and December 2018. In 2018 alone, it massacred not less than 2,400 Christians and destroyed hundreds of churches. In the just past four months of 2019 (Jan-April), the jihadist group had butchered 550-600 Christians with hundreds of homes and dozens of churches torched or destroyed.
The persecution of Christians in Nigeria is both state actor and non state actor perpetrated. The present central Government of Nigeria accounts for not less than 980 Christian deaths since August 2015; killed for their religious and ethnicity belief and affiliation. Government of Nigeria is also widely believed and accused of aiding, abetting or condoning non state actor Christian persecutors (i.e. Jihadist Fulani militias) and their atrocities. The Government further down-plays, trivializes and stigmatizes the pure Christian genocide as “herders-farmers clashes” and stops at nothing in censoring and gagging media reports of the butcheries.
Statistically, not less than 100 Christians lost their lives in Nigeria in April 2019 in the hands of Fulani Jihadists or Islamic militias. Hundreds were also injured with scores at their terminal life stages, if not already died of injuries. In the past four months of 2019, Jan-April, a total of 750-800 Christians have been targeted and killed by Nigeria’s mainstream anti Christian jihadist armed groups; out of which, Fulani Islamic militias of the MACBAN are responsible for 550-600 while Boko Haram and ISWAP Islamic terrorists account for remaining 200 or more.
The latest round of anti Christian killings or massacres in the country not only translates to monthly average of 180-200 in the past four months, with daily average of six to seven Christian deaths, but the killings are steadily creeping towards the Southern part of Nigeria particularly the Southeast and South-south; capable of igniting “holy war” and inter tribal cleansing. For more information on our recent publications concerning the killing of Nigerian Christians, please visit our website: www.intersociety-ng.org and see our advocacy news under mass-media.
From emerging additional independent statistics, it has been further found that the actual number of Christians killed by Fulani Islamic militias (alone) in the past four months of 2019 could be as much as 600. The additional statistics included the 4th March 2019 killing of 23 Christians and infliction of life-threatening injuries on several others in an attack launched by Fulani Islamic militias of MACBAN on Agagbe community in Gwer Local Government Area of Benue State and reports by some Christian local council chairmen in Taraba State that “67 Christians were abducted by Fulani Herdsmen with several of them killed between November 2018 and March 2019 in Lau, Jalingo, Donga and Takum Local Government Areas of Taraba State”. It is statistically safe to conclude, therefore, that between 40 and 50 slain Christian abductees were abducted unreported in Taraba State between Jan and March 2019.
On the other hand, the Boko Haram and its anti Christian insurgency partner, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) are strongly believed to have targeted and killed 200 Christians or more in Nigeria in the past four months of 2019. In one of its cruelest attacks against Christians, their homes and churches in Nigeria, Boko Haram insurgents on March 18, 2019, launched attacks on a Christian majority town of Michika in Adamawa State, inhabited by more than 370,000 mostly Christians; killing dozens of them, injuring several others and torching their homes and churches. The same Boko Haram terrorists returned to the Village of Kudakaya in Madagali town/local council area, near Michika in the same Adamawa on Monday, 29th April 2019, killing 26 Christians including women and children.
Intersociety had in its statement of 31st March 2019 disclosed, statistically, that not less than 425 Christians including 130 Christian children lost their lives to Jihadist Fulani militias between the eve of Jan and 31stMarch 2019. With emerging additional statistics highlighted above, the number of Christians massacred by Jihadist Fulani militias between Jan and March 2019 now stands at 450-500. The number increases to 750-800 since Jan or past four months of 2019 when added to 100 killed by the same Jihadists in April and 200 others or more strongly believed to have been killed by the duo of Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgents since January 2019. The link to our statement of 31stMarch 2019 is here: http://intersociety-ng.org/component/k2/item/437-christian-deaths-in-2018
Int’l Condemnation Of Nigerian Government’s Silence, Conspiracy & Inaction:
By the account of Nathan Johnson, Int’l Christian Concern’s Regional Manager for Africa, who recently visited some anti Christian killing fields in Northern Nigeria, the Nigerian government and the mainstream media have downplayed the fact that radical Muslims are slaughtering Christians in their communities in Nigeria. They would much rather describe the crisis as a clash between two ethnic or socio-economic communities who are killing each other — even though nearly (more than) 80% of the casualties are Christians.
The Christians I met during my recent trip to Nigeria, who had suffered from both the Fulani and Boko Haram, are hoping that others around the world are concerned about and praying for them. Many lack food, water and shelter, because they have been driven off their lands and into cities where they cannot farm or find work. Hundreds of thousands of Christian children across the country are unable to go to school because their parents cannot afford it, do not have access to it or fear that their children could be attacked or abducted on their way to or in the classroom. Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14067/nigeria-jihad-christians (21st April 2019)
According to Raymond Ibrahim in 2018, the Middle East expert and author of Crucified Again and The Al Qaeda Reader, who also writes on current events in the Middle East, Islam, and Christianity; quoted byUzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, the Nigerian government and the international community… have from the start done little to address the situation. This lack of participation is not surprising: they cannot even acknowledge its roots, namely, the intolerant ideology of jihad. As a result, the death toll of Christians has only risen — and will likely continue to grow exponentially — until such time that this reality is not only acknowledged but addressed.
By recent resolutions of the over 500 Christian groups in Nigeria under the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), contained in their communiqué entitled “The CAN President: A Kingdom Persona Non-Grata! You are not welcome here!”, issued in Abuja on Friday, 18thApril 2019 and signed by the President, Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association, ACIPA, Rev. Luke Shehu; President, Coalition of Christians Groups for Good Governance – Nigeria and Diaspora, COCGOG, Engr. Daniel Kadzai; President, Patriotic Christian Youths of Nigeria, PCYN, Evangelist Timothy Nasso; Spokesperson, Arise Christian Network, Pastor Joseph Zephaniah and President, Christian Youths Integrity Group, Godwin Yilpina; the Nigerian Christians and their churches have, today, witnessed the highest number of Christian population living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across Northern Nigeria…. See more here: https://dailypost.ng/2019/04/19/can-president-ayokunle-attack-allegedly-giving-buharis-money-boko-haram-victims/?fbclid=IwAR3l7lNJZCenYvV8n8e-Bx2qVA3jaDo-qKJttACIEyBi1ePlIHprcus-bEw%20(C
Statistics & Sources Of 100 Christian Deaths In April: No fewer than five people were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the Logo Local Government Area of Benue State. According to a community leader in the council area, Anawah Joseph, the suspected herdsmen invaded Mondo village, Ukanberagya Gambatiev Council ward of Logo LGA about 11pm on 3rd April 2019. The local, who simply identified himself as Teryila, gave the names of the victims to include; Torkaa Gbin, Celina Tavvershima, Ayilaga Tavvershima, Santer Tavvershima and Torkaa Tavvershima (all Christians). Source: Elombah Reports, 4th April 2019.
Suspected herdsmen on Saturday, 4th March 2019, killed 16 people (later rose to 23) and inflicted life-threatening injuries on several others in an attack on Agagbe community in Gwer Local Government Area of Benue State. Source: This Day Newspaper, 4th March 2019.
Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 17 Christians who had gathered after a baby dedication at a church in central Nigeria, including the mother of the child, sources said. Safaratu John Kabiru Ali, the mother of the baby, was slain in the attack on Sunday, April 14, 2019 in Konshu-Numa village, Akwanga in Nasarawa State, which also took the lives of people ranging in age from 10 to 80. The baby’s father, John Kabiru Ali, was shot and is in critical condition.
The attack took place at about 7 p.m. as Christians in the predominantly Christian community gathered to eat after the child was dedicated that morning at the Ruhaniya Baptist Church in the village. The massacred Christians were buried on Wednesday, April 17, after a funeral service at the Baptist church. A resident of Akwanga town who lost relatives in the shooting, Jacob Tantse, told Morning Star News that 17 Christians were killed, including 10 members of the Ruhaniya Baptist Church, five members of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), one member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), and a musician playing for guests.
Tantse identified those killed as Ali Nkene, 80; Gode Kako, 13; Afiniki Kako, 10; Matthew Emmanuel, 28; Tafiya Baya, 17; Sarakuna Haruna, 21; Amos Julius, 60; Mary Amos, 40; Sunday Adebayo John, 21; Talatu Mada, 40; Saratu Kabiru John, 21; Justina Barrau, 60; Simon Anfani, 37; Kadon Sule, 20; Ayuba Bulus, 11; Haruna Bawa, 22; and the musician, Samame Andaha, 28. He also said eight Christians, including the host of the event, John Kabiru Ali, were wounded in the attack. Sources: Morning Star News, 18th April, 2019, Christian Post, 19th April 2019, Jihad Watch, 20th April 2019 and Gatestone Institute, 21st April 2019
Two aged husband and wife, their two granddaughters, and 11 others (15 Christians) have been brutally murdered in yet another senseless Fulani militia late-night attack on Wednesday, 17th April 2019) in Bolon town and Bolki and Bujum town of Demsa and Numan local government councils in Adamawa State. The armed killer Fulani killer group were said to have descended on the town at around 10 pm Wednesday night shooting sporadically and burning down over hundred houses and sending the residents on frenzy scamper for their lives.
Speaking to Daily Sun the village head of Bolon, Robinson Filgona said, over one hundred households in my community are now homeless because their houses have been burnt down. Our food has also been burnt to ashes just like that, if you go round town, you will see several of our houses are still on fire. At about 10 pm, some Fulani militants descended on our community heavily armed and started shooting at everyone they see.Source: Sun Newspaper, 19th April 2019
No fewer than nine (now ten) children were confirmed dead and 31 others critically injured when a Muslim driver rammed into a procession of Boys Brigade members, celebrating Easter, late Sunday night (21stApril 2019) in Gombe metropolis of Gombe State, Northeast Nigeria. Daily Trust leant that the children were on the annual Easter Rally late Sunday night to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ when an unidentified policeman and a Muslim Civil Defense officer, ASC Adamu Abubakar, came across them around Alheri junction on Biu road in the metropolis.
Eye witness and chairman of the Gombe State Battalion of the Boys Brigade (BB), Isaac Kwadang said the incident happened around 11:30pm Sunday night. According to him, the policeman and NSCDC officer, though not on official duty, met the procession while passing in their private car and exchanged words with some youth in the procession. After exchanging words with the youth, they allowed them to pass. However, they made a U-turn, put off the car’s light and rammed into them from behind, killing eight children on the spot and injuring 31 others.
The slain were buried in Gombe State Christian Cemetery, last weekend. All the Christian children that died or sustained injuries from the incident are below 18 years. The Gombe State Battalion of the Boys Brigade gave the names of the deceased to include Jessy John, Irmiya Amos, Joseph Paul, Sunday Samuel, Ruth Samson, Paulina Yusuf, Keziah Amos and Joseph Daniel. Source: Daily Trust Newspaper, 22ndApril 2019
Suspected herdsmen attacked two communities in Kogi State yesterday, Sunday, 7th April 2019, killing eight persons. The two Kogi communities of Bagana and Patani in Omala Local Government Area were allegedly attacked over the night by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Also, several houses were burnt down with report indicating that eight lives were lost in the attack.
As at the time of this report, anxiety is said to have gripped Abejukolo residents and the environs, as Fulani fighters are said to have picked Abejukolo, Obakume, Ogo and Oganigwu as possible next target. Oganenigu community and its environs have been deserted into various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp since yesterday night. The State Police Public Relations officer, Mr. Williams Aya, confirmed the attacks.Source: This Day Newspaper, 8th April 2019.
No fewer than eleven persons were feared dead in an attack by unknown gunmen on the village of a member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Agwaza Atedze in Benue State. The attack which took place at Ngibo, Ikyurav 1 Council ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area (LGA) of the State between 3am and 4am on Saturday, 20th April 2019, may have been carried out by Fulani herdsmen according to reports emerging from the area. Source: Daily Independent Newspaper, 21st April 2019
Last Monday, 8th April 2019, at least 20 (Christians) people (later rose to 22) were killed in a fresh attack by suspected herdsmen in Anguwan Aku village, Kajuru local government area of Kaduna. Several others were said to have sustained injuries in the attacks. The incident, according to a resident of the community, took place around 7am last Monday. Source: Vanguard Newspaper, 14th April 2019 (144 die in nine days).
Suspected herdsmen, last weekend, 12th April, 2019, stormed a farm settlement at Mmiata Anam, Anambra West local government area of the State, killing six persons and inflicting severe wounds on 30 others. One of the survivors said, the herdsmen stormed the Agweopia Farm Settlement Camp and Iyinkolo Farm Settlement Camp respectively, around 5.40a.m on Friday, 12th April 2019, killed people and burnt houses and raped women and escaped before information reached the people in the community. Herdsmen strike again killing three youths last Wednesday, 10th April 2019, in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. Source: Vanguard Newspaper, 14th April 2019 (144 die in nine days).
In Kajuru Christian area of Kaduna South in Kaduna State, two Adara Christian boys, according to a source, who were coming from the market were attacked and beaten to death by some Muslim Hausa boys on Thursday, 25th April 2019. One of them was rushed to the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital where he died on Friday morning. The incident sparked apprehension, forcing the deployment of security operatives in the troubled community. Source: Punch Newspaper, 27thApril 2019.
Very recently, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen killed a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Clement Ugwu who was said to have been kidnapped from his Parish, St Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State. His body was later found in a bush decomposing, a week after he was allegedly kidnapped. The abduction and killing of Reverend Father Clement was one death too many. It was reported that Rev. Fr. Ugwu was kidnapped on Wednesday 13, March 2019, around 9:00 p.m. after they had shot him in his church premises. Source: Vanguard Newspaper, 13th April 2019
Also see: 67 Taraba Christian residents kidnapped with several killed between November 2018 and March 2019 (Punch Newspaper, 16th April 2019) and many feared killed in Boko Haram attacks in (Christian village) of Michika in Adamawa State on 18th March 2019 (Premium Times, 19th March 2019). Boko Haram terror group on Monday, 29th April 2019, attacked Kudakaya Village in Christian dominated Madagali town/local council area, near Michika (another Christian dominated town/LGA) in Adamawa State, killing 26 Christians including women and children. Madagali is a predominantly Christian border town/local council area, carved out of Michika council area in 1991. Both Michika and Madagali served as missionary headquarters in the area for Christian missionaries in the 19th Century Christian evangelism in Northern Nigeria. For more, please see: https://dailypost.ng/2019/04/30/boko-haram-insurgents-kill-26-adamawa-village/?fbclid=IwAR0pAhsNcM7DxtuGm3QGNOJdI3nsZlD-tSHZXZDEwzcJhh4p1MOA0tMFsG0
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
· Emeka Umeagbalasi
· Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
· Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq.
Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights Program
· Chidimma Evan Udegbunam, Esq.
Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
Mobile Line: +2348182411462, +2348174090052