Date: January 28, 2020
Thirteen young Christian men were killed and nine others injured as they tried to protect their community and stop their cattle from being stolen by raiding Fulani militants on 11 January.
Initially, the farmers chased away the Fulani, but the militants returned in large numbers to sweep through mainly-Christian Kombun village, Plateau State in an overwhelming attack. The Fulani are reported to have stated no “infidel” (Christian) has a right to own cattle.
Nine of the murdered young men were married and were the sole providers for their wives and young children.
Most of the villagers fled for their lives to the town of Mangu. A few have remained in their homes, but fear another deadly Fulani assault and dare not venture on to their farmland.
Murderous Islamist spree accelerates
This latest atrocity comes at the same time as a surge of callous attacks by Boko Haram and members of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in north-eastern Nigeria, including the murder of kidnapped Pastor Lawan Andimi, the beheading and shooting of eleven Christians and the murder of a bride-to-be and her friends.
On 22 September, Boko Haram released shocking video footage showing the murders of two Christian aid workers, Lawrence Dacighir and Godfrey Shikagham, who had travelled to Borno State to help build shelters for people displaced by earlier terrorist attacks.
Further footage emerged on 20 January of the murder of 22-year-old Christian student, Ropvil Dalep. He was shot in the back of the head by a teenage Boko Haram militant who, speaking in the Hausa language, says the killing is to avenge the killing of Muslims in Plateau State during “past religious crisis”. Ropvil was abducted on 9 January while travelling back to the University of Maiduguri after the Christmas holidays.
“Full scale jihad has been launched against Christians in Nigeria”
Our contact said, “The messages in the videos are clear: whether it is the continuous attacks of Boko Haram or ISWAP or even Fulani militia, the fact remains that a full scale jihad has been launched against Christians in Nigeria.”
Boko Haram struck again on 21 January, shutting down the Damaturu to Maiduguri highway for several hours. A Barnabas Fund contact said a number of people, mostly Christians, were abducted by the terrorists before security personnel arrived. “The roads are becoming too risky to travel on, especially for Christians,” said the contact.
He added that, despite the anguish and suffering caused by the wave of terrorist massacres, the faith of Christians is being strengthened. “We are sure that Christianity can outlive Boko Haram and all the brutal forces of jihad … The blood of Christians, like that of Christ Jesus, cannot be silenced by acts of cruelty and extreme wickedness emanating from the bowels of Islamic extremism,” he said.