World News

Three Christians murdered in Benue state, Nigeria

Otukpo Local Government Council Chairman Alfred Omakwu confirmed two Christians had been killed in an attack on the 18th of April; a third person was slain on the 20th of April.

Fulani herdsmen raided Christian communities several times during March and April this year. Around 1.4 million people have been displaced. Many of those who had fled their homes found shelter at the Roman Catholic St. Charles Primary School in Entekpa District.

Andrew Mamedu, country director of Action Aid – an international humanitarian organization – organised a press conference in Abuja and urged authorities to act immediately: “With what is happening in Benue state, people may not have villages to retire to when they grow old. There is also the loss of culture that comes with it. If we fail to act now, I am afraid that by 2030 we would have lost a generation, and it may take up about 50 years to recover from it. Families have been torn apart, homes destroyed and futures shattered. The trauma and suffering endured by those affected are profound and long lasting, underscoring the urgent need for sustainable peace building and conflict resolution efforts.”

There are almost 103 million Christians in Nigeria, they make up around half the country’s population of 222 million. In the Muslim-majority North the proportion of Christians is much lower because of the continuous violent attacks. These have increased since the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. Islamic extremist groups such as Fulani militants, Boko Haram and ISWAP (Islamic State in West African Province) have a devastating impact on Christian communities. Attacks involve destruction of properties, abductions for ransom, sexual violence and murder. Christians are forced to leave their homes and are stripped of their livelihoods. Men and young boys are specifically targeted to prevent the growth of Christian families. Women and girls face abduction and sexual violence. They are often rejected by their communities when they return home. The government’s failure to protect Christians and punish perpetrators has worked in favour of Islamic extremists.


Leave a reply