THE United States-based International Christian Concern (ICC) has reported that Fulani militants killed 28-year-old Stephen Monday and injured his wife, Ejoma, while the couple was walking to their farmland on January 10.
“Fulani militants attacked and ambushed two people on their way to farm at Ancha village,” reported an ICC correspondent in Nigeria. “One was killed while the other sustained a gunshot injury in her mouth and has been taken to the hospital for treatment.”
A Christian leader in Ancha told ICC that citizens are expecting more attacks through the night, as gunshots continue in the distance.
“Fulani (militants) are shooting guns around the mountain of the community, destroying our food crops,” he said. “They will continue to attack and destroy our crops in 2022.”
ICC spoke to another Christian leader in the area, whose name we withheld for security reasons. He said that Christians continue to suffer constant attacks as the government turns a blind eye.
“These continuous, tragic reports out of Nigeria are one reason we named Nigeria the worst persecuting country in our 2021 Persecutor of the Year Awards,” said ICC President Jeff King. “It starts at the top with President Muhammadu Buhari who along with his government and military leaders is complicit in turning a blind eye to crimes against Christians.”
“This is not the first time Fulani militants killed our farmers,” said the source. “There are always deliberate acts by the government of President Buhari allowing his tribesmen to Kill Christian farmers, leading to hunger in Christian communities.”
On Friday, January 7, just six miles from yesterday’s attack, 49-year-old Timeh Evi was ambushed and killed by Fulani militants while working on his farm in Nzhwerenvi village.
“Till now, his dead body has not been recovered as the attackers either made away with the body or dumped it somewhere,” a community member told ICC. “Only traces of his blood have been found on the farm. His motorcycle and water pump machine were stolen.”
For decades, Fulani militants have attacked Christian farming villages in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region—where the Muslim north meets the Christian south—displacing millions of Christians and leaving them without reliable access to food.
The numbers are staggering. Depending on the source, an estimated 100 thousand Christians have been killed over the past 20 years, while over two million have been displaced.
Many say that this is a conflict over land, as the arid zones in Nigeria have been increasingly moving southward. But to leave the narrative at that is simply irresponsible. While farmer-herder conflicts over land have existed throughout centuries, a more sinister element has emerged within the last few decades, fueled by a jihadist agenda.
This is what the Nigerian government refuses to acknowledge and what Christians in Nigeria have spent years trying to communicate to the international community.