Fulani militants were again reported to have conducted a string of attacks against Nigerian Christians.
The International Christian Concern (ICC) released three separate reports giving account on the string of attacks by renowned Fulani militants last July 24, July 26, and July 28.
The Jihadist group killed a pastor, his two sons, and his nephew on July 24 while sparing one of his sons who the group released the day after. The group then killed a youth leader two days later. Then the militants killed the son of a man they killed years ago before attacking the said son's funeral by shooting the mourners.
According to the ICC, Evangelical Church Winning All Reverend Danlami Yakwoi was abducted with his sons and nephews when they were traveling in Tawari, Kogi state two weeks before they were murdered through torture. The remains of the pastor and his relatives, though declared dead by the Fulani Militants, have not been released to family members.
"One of his children who was kidnapped along with him was released on Sunday, July 25, and he informed us that his father died a day before his release by the herdsmen. The pastor's captors are yet to release his corpse to his family, and two of his family members are still being held captive. Please be in prayer with his family and the church at this trying moment," Evangelical Church Winning All Secretary Musa Shekwolo told Morning Star News.
On the other hand, Evangelical Church Winning All Youth Leader Joshua Sunday was attending the youth fellowship held at the Plateau state's Zangwra when the militants came to burn the church down. An eyewitness said the militants instead fired a gunshot before they ran away.
"The Muslim tribesmen came mainly to burn our church again. It was dark and I was hiding , I heard them saying let us burn the church, then I heard the gunshot and the Fulani (Militants) all ran away," the eyewitness said in their native Hausa language.
Sunday was said to be a "commited" leader and also a choir member of the church's Christian Fellowship. There was not reason, however, given as to why he was killed by the Jihadists except that he was a Christian. But his murder, according to the church's pastor, has intensified fears among congregants yet the government is not doing anything to aid the security nor the community's livelihood.
"Christians are now afraid to go to church. we are losing members daily and our means of livelihood are destroyed without compensation from the government," the unnamed pastor told ICC in an interview.
"We are killed because of our faith. The security has failed us, we only need to depend on God, International Communities please come to our aid and be praying for persecuted Christians," he added.
ICC revealed that the Fulani Militants' attacks are "religiously motivated" and contrary to what has been locally reported that it is a "dispute over resources" between the Jihadists and Christian farmers. The case of the youth leader was very intriguing since Zangwra is located in a military station that has 2,000 people for its population.
The most recent attack of the Fulani Militants involved the son of Celina Ishaku whose husband the group also murdered years ago. Ishaku told ICC that the Fulani militants, after attacking the funeral of his son, went to burn 10 houses and 30 farmlands in the villages of Zamwra and Nche-Tahu located in Miango District, Plateu State, as well as, steal 100 animals from it. Ishaku's house was part of those burned down.
"Fulani (militants) killed my husband two years ago and burned down my house. My farm was destroyed three days ago, now my son is killed, and my house burned down again," Ishaku disclosed to ICC in tears.
In addition, Miango Youth Development Association Publicity Secretary Nuhu Nga informed ICC that there were also three youths who died in the Zagwra because of the militants burning. Nga said they foresee that the militants will continue destroying lives and property based on the said series of their attacks. Nga pointed out how helpless local authorities are and stressed that prayer in God is their only source of hope on the situation.
"Sadly, we lost 3 vibrant and enterprising youths to Fulani militia attacks and ambushes at Zagwra amidst destruction of many farms crops. May God comfort us all and may the soul of the departed rest in perfect peace," Nga told ICC.
"From all indications, the enemy won't stop. It's our desire and prayer that God in whom we trust should bring an end to this, as it is evident that the government and the security agencies are just as helpless as we are," Nga added.
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law recently released in its report that a total of 3,462 Christians in Nigeria have been killed by Fulani militants for the first six months of 2021. This number, as per ICC, has made the Jihadist group surpass the threat of Nigeria's other militant group Boko Haram who is also known to persecute Christians.