Nigerian pastor Rev. Hamza Alkali, 66, was peacefully working on his farm last July 7 when a Muslim Fulani herder came up to him and demanded that he hand over his mobile phone.
The man's action surprised Alkali, and he wondered whether the man was simply asking to borrow his phone or hand it over completely.
"I was baffled and wanted to know why he would want to [get my phone]," Alkali told the Morning Star News. "He bluntly told me that if I don't hand over my mobile phone to him, he would kill me. Then I told him, 'You have no right or power to kill me. The God that created me and sent me to this place will not allow you to kill me.' I repeated these words twice to him."
It turned out the man wanted to take away Alkali's phone so that he would not be able to contact anybody for help in case he survived his planned attack on him. But since Alkani refused to do so, the Fulani man pulled out his sword and attacked him.
The man raised the sword towards Alkani's face, and Alkani instinctively raised his hands up to protect himself. "Within seconds, the sword cut off my left hand into two. I saw part of my cut-off hand on the ground bouncing up and down," he recalled.
Sensing that the Fulani man really meant to kill him, possibly chopped off his head, Alkani wrestled with him and snatched his sword with his other hand. Fearful for his own life, the Fulani man ran away.
Alkani shouted for help. His neighbours tried to chase the Fulani man but were unable to catch him. They took Alkani to the police station where he pastors a congregation of 80 people. From there, the police took him to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi.
Alkani said he did not know the man who attacked him, and he saw no reason why the man wished him harm except for the fact that he was a Christian pastor.
"There are many out there who are victims of such attacks, and they are suffering," he said. "These armed Fulani men are killing innocent people in Nigeria. The best thing that needs to be done by the Federal Government of Nigeria is that it must act to end these atrocities against Christians. These killers should be stopped."