Nigeria: Christian Student Running from Death Threats

October 16, 2022

For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.

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

“Christian Student Running from Death Threats in Nigeria,” International Christian Concern, October 14, 2022:

10/14/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Fulani militants kidnapped 33 girls from Sakaba village of Kebbi State on February 13, 2022. The girls were all Christians, according to locals. Valatine, a student in Sokoto who escaped the attack on her home village of Sakaba earlier this year, told ICC how young girls are persecuted in northern Nigeria and how her life is under threat too.

“There aren’t any young girls left in my village,” Valatine told ICC. “The militants are kidnapping them to forcefully convert them to Islam.”

Valatine has experienced threats to her life at home and at school. A girl named Deborah was killed earlier this year in Sokoto, where Valatine goes to school, by a violent mob incensed at comments Deborah had made about Islam. “I resumed school on August 10, 2022. It was announced that the students who killed Deborah are in prison, but that was not true. That very night, one of the students from the mob saw me and told me that he would kill me since I am a friend of Deborah. I narrowly escaped from him and only because he was alone.”

“Even though I escaped from the Muslim students, going back home, Muslim militants who are referred to as ‘bandits,’ attacked my community and kidnapped many young girls. God saved me and I escaped. Fourteen girls have been held by the Muslim militants since a September 5 attack. Men from my village who escaped say the militants are looking to kidnap more girls, including me. Apparently, the militants are looking for someone in the village and who went to the school. I am the target.”

The media and governments tend to focus most of their attention on well-organized terrorist organizations like Boko Haran and Islamic State, but think tanks and human rights watchdogs, including ICC, have warned for years that Fulani militancy—decentralized and harder to pin down than terrorist groups—actually present a far bigger threat to the civilian population and a particularly dangerous threat to Christian communities.

Years of sectarian violence in Nigeria have put tens of thousands of Christian families into cycles of poverty that do not allow the luxury of a formal education. Whether school uniforms or books or transport or school fees themselves, education costs something. Spending money on optional expenses like schooling just is not an option for some families, many of whom were kicked off their land or suffered the loss of valuable crops at the hands of roaming marauders….