The Human Rights Writers' Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) once more issued a scathing criticism of President Muhammadu Fulani's inaction on the matter in light of recent violence targeting Nigerian Christians.

Following the murder of a Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) lawyer and the kidnapping of four nuns by alleged Fulani herders, the writers' group expressed their dismay at how the president failed to curb the situation.

'Letting An Ugly Trend Continue'

"It is worrisome that despite the killing of over 12 Catholic priests in 2022 and the abduction of scores of Catholic priests over the country, the present regime, and security agencies have left the ugly trend to continue," HURIWA National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko told CBN News.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, armed men suspected to be Islamic extremists kidnapped four Roman Catholic nuns in Okigwe-Umulolo. 

Police identified the nuns as Benita Agu, Christabel Echemazu, Johannes Nwodo, and Liberata Mbalu.

The four nuns were reported en route to a thanksgiving Mass when armed men forcibly took them.

This incident occurred just three days following the brutal slaying of Benedict Azza, a lawyer for CAN's legal department.

Details of the Azza Murder

Witnesses told police that two armed assailants shot and killed Azza in Zamfara's capital of Gussau.

The CBN News report disclosed that the suspects initially failed in their abduction attempt on the victim, who escaped via his vehicle.

The assailants reportedly chased Azza before catching up with him and shooting him thrice.

The CBN article revealed that they allegedly left his dead body on the roadside.

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Previous Incidents of Violence Against Nigeria's Christians

Through the years, numerous reports of violence against Nigerian Christians have been attributed to Fulani herders.

CBN News said that the Fulani militia often subjects Christians to their sustained violent attacks, particularly in Nigeria's remote villages.

The CBN News report revealed that Fulani militants include mostly 'early Islam adopters' who engage in jihads ("holy wars") against Christians in the West African country of Nigeria.

In 2017, CAN initially expressed alarm over Buhari's control over the country's peace and order situation following Fulani herders' brutal massacre of 75 civilians in Christian communities.

In May 2018, Fulani militia shot and killed 17 parishioners and two priests during Mass at Benue State's St. Ignatius Church.

Fulani herders also set fire to farmlands, food barns, and at least 60 houses.

Meanwhile, a June 2018 report by Baptist Press revealed 86 dead when Christian farmers and Fulani militia clashed in Plateau State.

The same report stated that the skirmish resulted in 60 homes destroyed and six people injured.

Additionally, a 2021 report by Catholic News Agency disclosed that Zamfara State's Christian believers received a warning about worshiping in churches due to threats of abduction and armed attack by Fulani militia.

The Islamic militant group reportedly sent a letter on Nov. 19, 2021, to Gussau police warning of violence on their end against churchgoers outside the state capital.

Nigeria reportedly ranks highest in the number of Christian deaths, with 4,650 deaths in 2021 versus 3,530 in 2020, the CBN News report disclosed.

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