75 killed in Nigeria as Fulani herdsmen go on killing spree against Christian community

Some 75 dead bodies have been recovered following a series of attacks by Fulani herdsmen on the predominantly Christian community of Miango, in the Bassa local government area of Plateau state in central Nigeria, according to World Watch Monitor

The first attack took place on January 24, with Jerry Datim, a religious leader from the area, telling WWM: 'It was about 12 noon, when some Fulani men laid an ambush around Rafiki, a place close to the 3rd Army Division Cantonment. They killed three people, before moving on to another village, Jebbu Bassa, where they also killed three people. They also burned down a lot of properties.'

Up to 3,000 villagers have sought refuge with their relatives in the neighbouring communities.World Watch Monitor

Datim told WWM that the assailants continued their killing spree, unchallenged, throughout the following week.

This was followed by two fresh attacks on Sunday, as two Christians were killed on their farm and another, in a different village, was killed in his garden, the charity said. A total of 14 villages have been targeted, with 89 houses set on fire and vast sections of farmland also destroyed by the assailants, who vowed to dislodge the natives.

Datim expressed his dismay over the fact that the government has not spoken out against the killings. He said: 'Political leaders in the state have failed to protect the people from the Fulani attackers because they fear that President Muhammadu Buhari may move against any politician that goes against the Fulani, who are Buhari's kinsmen.'

He added that some of the affected communities had just finished fixing the roofs of their houses, burned down in a previous attack in October 2017, and that the houses have been burnt again.

Now, up to 3,000 villagers are reportedly taking refuge with their relatives in the neighbouring communities of Kabon and Tudun Wada, both in the Jos North local government area, their livelihoods also destroyed.

A local pastor, Rev Jacob Gidado, ‎who visited the affected villages, called on President Buhari to protect Christians against the 'incessant killings', adding that Christians, especially in northern Nigeria, have been 'persecuted beyond measure'.

Some 14 villages have been targeted, with 89 houses set on fire and vast swathes of farmland also destroyed by Fulani herdsmen.World Watch Monitor

WWM said that the recent attacks were believed to have been motivated by a dispute over stolen cows.

On January 25, Mallam Nuru Abdullah, the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria (MACBAN), an association of Fulani herders, said in a statement that some of its members had lost 350 cows and 54 sheep in Ganawuri, in the Riyom local government area, and Rafiki, in the Bassa local government area, alleging that they may have been stolen by the natives of the area and threatening revenge if the livestock was not recovered.

MACABAN then issued another statement two days later, noting that some of the cows had been recovered alive, while others were found dead.