Nigeria: Children among 29 Christians Killed in Plateau State

May 12, 2022

The Nigerian government officials who should be protecting the Christians appear to be powerless to do so, or uninterested in doing so.

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For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from, see here.

“Children among 29 Christians Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria,” Morning Star News, May 9, 2022:

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 9, 2022 (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria killed eight Christians in Bassa county, Plateau state on Thursday (May 5), after slaughtering at least 21 others in another area of the county in April, sources said.

At least two children were among those killed in the Thursday night attack on Cinke and Zarama villages in Kwall District, Bassa County, and the herdsmen also wounded two Christians, a spokesman for the predominantly Christian, ethnic Rigwe said.

“The attack is no doubt the continuous perpetration of terror and mayhem in Rigwe land in an attempt to forcefully eject the peace-loving Rigwe people from their ancestral land, as well as complete annihilation of the entire tribe,” Davidson Malison of the Irigwe Development Association (IDA), said in a press statement. “The attacks have become a daily affair as the marauders have assumed [they are] an ‘immuned’ set of people and are feeling untouchable, daring the authorities concerned.”

Malison identified the slain as Mary Gya, 4; Esther La’aji, 5; Elizabeth Weyi, 21; Irah Weyi, 48; Ladi Mandu; Titus Agah, 40; Aweh Ngwe, 47; and Sunday Dada. He said the two Christians wounded were Munto Gado and Sarah Weyi.

The IDA is a community-based, non-governmental organization galvanizing Irigwe Christians in Plateau state toward self-reliance through community-based development.

Terming the assailants Fulani militia who carried out unprovoked killings in the two villages of Kwall District, Rigwe Chiefdom, Malison said, “This spate of wanton killings and destruction of lives and property, stealing of valuable items of the Rigwe people, has passed a condemnable level which requires a drastic decision and action.”

He said a number of houses were destroyed and valuables stolen by herdsmen working with Muslim terrorists believed to be members of Boko Haram or its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

“It’s no doubt that the system has to a large extent failed to stop unleashing of carnage because of the kid-gloves treatment channeled on the entire issue rather than calling a dog by its name and having it dealt with accordingly,” Malison said. “We are yet again thrown into a deep mourning mood and painfully and sadly commiserate with the entire Rigwe people.”

Malison said IDA’s national leaders pray for the repose of the faithful, departed souls and encourage the Rigwe “to be security-conscious and alert.”

Raids on Seven Villages

Attacks on seven villages in Miango District of Bassa County in April killed at least 21 Christians and wounded 30 others, and Fulani herdsmen also destroyed a church building, Malison reported….

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.

Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.

In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.