Catholic seminary stormed by Fulani herders in Nigeria

Suspected Fulani herdsmen stormed a Catholic seminary in Nigeria's middle belt early on Monday morning.

Father Cornelius Koba was the target after the herders raided the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Jalingo, eastern Nigeria, according to report in local media.

The Fulani community are involved in a long-running dispute with farmers, who are mainly Christian, in central Nigeria.Reuters

Recounting the attack Fr Koba, who narrowly escaped death, told journalists: 'They came around 1am and got a student whom they ordered to take them to my room. I came out and met them all armed numbering over five.

'As soon I came out one of them said, "see him, kill him!" But one of them objected,' he said according to Vanguard.

'They struck me with their sticks and and when I fell down, one of them shot me in the leg and they left. They also shot and brew the windscreen of my car. One of them opened fire at my window and destroyed my television set and other properties.

'My offence is that I often ask them to stop invading our school for grazing and stop cutting down our trees to feed their cows.'

The Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, Most Rev Dr Charles Hammawa Hammawa, condemned the attack and attacked the government for its failure to provide security.

'It is regrettable that as a church, we are only modeling the children to be good citizens of the country, but we are now being attacked unprovoked.

'For the Fulani herdsmen to attack us in Jalingo, is an indication that our security situation in this country has become extremely bad. The primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property and we will continue to call on government to sit up.'

It comes after the persecution watchdog World Watch Monitor warned violence by Fulani herdsmen had reached a record high this year. In the central state of Benue alone, 492 people have been killed this year, the group warned.