This photo was taken from a short video sent by the Hungarian Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria to S4C. The following text was included with the clip: “Fulanis drove their motorbikes down the road not far from Abuja (where the Hungarian Embassy is located- editor’s note) and slaughtered Yoruba and Igbo Christians. This video was taken by one of the assassins.”
The recording does not show the massacre itself, probably because the “cameraman” took part in the murders and it would have been difficult to make a video while being in “action”. The video makers wish to show what actually happened to the victims; the footage shows dead bodies on the street, bodies that have been defiled in various ways. In the clip, one victim is repeatedly stabbed while a second assassin is seen trying to behead another person with the very knife shown on our front page photo! Finally, the killers drag the bodies by their feet and leave them abandoned on the roadside.
On reflection, given the graphic nature of the footage, I cannot post the video recording because of its explicit content. It takes no more than a minute to view – but that minute is enough to cause a sleepless night. Both the assassins and their victims are young men- in their twenties or thirties. It is frightening to see the cruelty and cold-bloodedness of the murderers who show a complete lack of respect for human life and dignity.
While the video footage shows just six people being slaughtered in the attack, this number represents just a tiny fraction of the thousands of killings that are performed with similar brutality against innocent Christian victims in Nigeria, many of whom are women and children. Since our launch some months ago in mid-May, S4C has witnessed an increase in genocide, and we have since published articles about the subject here and here
Fulani pastors live in the southern and mostly Christian populated regions of the country. They follow the teachings of 18th-century Muslim reformer Usman Dan Fodio. In recent years they have become more aggressive, affirming their religious beliefs through terrorist attacks. They commit brutal acts not only against Christians but also against Muslims, burning down their mosques if they think Islam is practised in a heretical way. This is the same tactic used by Boko Haram – as a Nigerian Catholic bishop recounted earlier in an interview with S4C.
According to the Nigerian Bishop’s Conference press release published on June 29 (S4C reported about it here), Fulani herders brutally slaughtered nineteen Christians- two Catholic priests among them -on the 24th of April.
Since then thousands more have fallen victim to the terrorist attacks of the Fulanis. The victims include children and women, some of whom were pregnant. In a press statement, the Catholic bishops strongly insisted that the political leaders of Nigeria, especially president Muhammadu Buhari should intervene. They also pointed out that it cannot be a “mere coincidence that the suspected perpetrators of these heinous crimes are of the same religion as those who control the security apparatus of the country, including the President himself”. It would seem to be more than mere chance and rather appear as double standards, when the federal government finds it difficult “to proactively address the issue of these wanton killings” by the Fulanis, yet “any time the Fulani herdsmen are attacked or killed, they (the police) react very swiftly and ensure the full rigour of the law is promptly applied,” noted the Bishop’s press release.
Christian church leaders say that in this year alone, six thousand people have been killed, a number comprising of mostly women and children. As the organisation ‘Christian Association of Nigeria stated: “what goes on in Nigeria today is a genocide that has to end immediately. We are particularly worried about the widespread insecurity in the country where wanton attacks and killings by armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits and terrorists have been taking place on a daily basis in our communities and go unchallenged despite huge investments in the security agencies,” the organization added, accusing the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of failing in its duties.