Special Report: 620 Christians Hacked To Death By Nigerian Jihadists In 4 Months And 15 Days Of 2020
…Fulani Jihadists killed 470 in 4 months and half & 140 in 45 days
… Boko Haram killed 150 since Jan
…. Ansaru rejoins the killing fields
….32, 000 Christians hacked to death since 2009
14th May 2020, Intersociety, Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria: Nigeria’s main Islamic Jihadists: Militant Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram/ISWAP have intensified their anti Christian violence in the old Middle Belt and Northeast regions with hacking to death in the past four months and half of 2020; of no fewer than 620 defenseless Christians and wanton burning or destruction of their centers of worship and learning. The atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists. Houses burnt or destroyed during the period are in their hundreds; likewise dozens of Christian worship and learning centers.
What We Said Last: We had in March 2020 through our investigative statement dated 8th March; found that “no fewer than 350 Christians were hacked to death in Jan and Feb, out of which Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for 250 and Boko Haram about 50-100” and that “11,500-12,000 Christians have been killed by the duo of Boko Haram and Jihadist Herdsmen since June 2015”. In our statement of 4th April, 2020, it was found that “not less than 50 Christians were hacked to death by Fulani Jihadists in March with not less than 10 killed in the first two days of April 2020”. Of the 11,500-12,000 Christian deaths since June 2015, Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for over 7,400 Christian deaths while Boko Haram killed over 4,000. The account did not include those killed in Jan to May 2015, which were in thousands.
32,000 Christians Butchered Since 2009: In our recent detailed review of the entire killing of Christians by Nigeria’s main Jihadists since 2009, it was found that not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists. The killings covered 2009 to 2020, with projected figures for Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the coming seven months and half of 2020. While the killings by Jihadist Herdsmen covered Jan 2009 to end of Dec 2020, those of Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP will cover July 2009 to end of Dec 2020.
Captured too, was percentage ratio of the killings or the number of Christians killed by Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP versus the number of Muslims killed by same. Going by patterns and trends of Boko Haram killings monitored by Intersociety since 2010, it has been credibly projected that many of those killed by the terror sect and its ISWAP; or 60% are Christians as against 40% for Muslims. Boko Haram since 2009 has been attacking mainly Christians and collaterally extending such attacks to Muslim targets and Government facilities including its security establishments in revenge for Government successes against the terror group in the former’s counterinsurgency operations. In the area of killings by Jihadist Herdsmen, it has been credibly found that 100% of their dead and injured victims are all Christians.
Statistical Breakdown: Based on the forgoing, therefore, no fewer than 32,000 defenseless Christians must have been hacked to death by Nigeria’s main Islamic Jihadists in the past eleven years or 2009 to end of 2020. That is to say that between July 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of five years and five months, according to Ms. Arne Mulder of the US based Christian Open Doors (2015), “not less than 11,500-12,000 Christians were hacked to death by Islamic Boko Haram terror group”. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has put the number of civilians massacred by Boko Haram and its factions to ‘27,000 including 37 aid workers’. The UNOCHA estimates covered July 2009 to Dec 2019.
On the other hand, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 6,000 Christian deaths between Jan 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of six years. This is on average of 1000 Christian deaths per year. And from Jan 2015 to end of Dec 2020, a period of six years; the Jihadist Fulani militants must have accounted for additional 9000 Christian deaths or 1500 deaths per year. In the end, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen must have accounted for total Christian deaths of 15,000 in eleven years or Jan 2009 to end of Dec 2020. For Boko Haram and its int’l offshoot-Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), they have, according to UN, been responsible for ’27, 000 deaths’ and ‘over 22,000 disappearances’ between July 2009 and Dec 2019 or a period of ten years and six months. Boko Haram/ISWAP total deaths from July 2009 to end of Dec 2020 have also been projected to rise to 28, 000, from current 27,000; with about ‘22,500 disappearances’.
With credible projection of Boko Haram and its offshoot-ISWAP perpetrated deaths at 60% for Christians and 40% for Muslims, their estimated 19,000 deaths from July 2009 to Dec 2014 must have included 60% or 11,400 Christian deaths, while additional 9,000 deaths which would have taken place from Jan 2015 to end of Dec 2020 will certainly involve another 60% or 5,400 Christian deaths. That is to say that in the end, 16,800 Christians would have lost their lives in eleven years or July 2009 to end of Dec 2020 to Boko Haram Jihadists and their factions or offshoots including ISWAP.
In conclusion, by the end of Dec 2020, not less than 32,000 Christian lives in all would have been lost to Boko Haram and its factions or offshoots and the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. Already, out of over 8,000 killed by Boko Haram and its factions or offshoots from Jan 2015 to Dec 2019, not less than 4,800 Christian deaths or 60% were recorded and out of not less than 8000 deaths recorded by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen from Jan 2015 to Dec 2019, 100% or the entire 8,000 deaths belonged to Christians. Note: “Christians” here include other non Muslim religionists. Not less than 600 Christian deaths are also credited to ‘Northern (Zamfara) Bandits’, “Fulani Cow Rustlers’ and the “Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa” or ‘Ansaru terror group. This covered June 2015 to date.
The latest Jihadist organization to join the country’s Islamic terror groups is “the Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa’; a Boko Haram splinter group that emerged in 2012. Like Boko Haram, the ‘Ansaru’ terror is operating in Nigeria’s Northeast but has recently extended its kidnapping and anti Christian terror activities in Birnin Gwari areas of Kaduna and Zamfara as well as Katsina State, etc. The resurged terror group was founded by Abubakar Adam Kambar in 2012 and has been working closely with Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Its terror activities declined seriously in 2015 but bounced back in 2019 with ferocious attacks on Christian settlements and worship centers as well as ransom and religious aided abductions.
Jihadist Herdsmen Killed 140 In 45 Days: In the highlighted killings below, we counted no fewer than 131 Christian deaths. There are pockets of others not captured here for want of space, numbering not less than 30. They included Christian deaths arising from recent attacks in Delta, Edo and Ondo (a soldier and three civilians were abducted yesterday), etc. In our statement of 4th April, 2020, the killings in Niger State Christian communities and some communities in Plateau State were not captured and included. Therefore, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen killed at least 140 Christians in the past 45 days or in the beginning of April to 14thMay 2020; having killed 435 from 1st Jan to 2nd April 2020. Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP on their part have continued their attacks on both Christians and non Christians including their properties and religious or cultural symbols or objects. In Jan and Feb, the terror group attacked and killed between 50 and 100 Christians and was likely to have additionally killed at least 50 Christians between March and half of May 2020.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies
Master of Science, Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., LLB, BL, LLM
Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights
Uju Joy Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., LLB, BL
Head of Democracy & Good Governance
Damaris Amaka Onuoha, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Campaign & Publicity
Email: [email protected]
Statistics On Jihadist Herdsmen Killings In The Past 45 Days: By the account of US based Christian Post, dated 12thMay 2020, “suspected Fulani radicals in Nigeria reportedly attacked a Christian school in the Plateau state earlier this month, wounding the headmaster and his three family members. This came two days after radicals killed four Christians in another attack. Fulani radicals, number about eight had attacked Messiah College high school in the Gana Ropp village of Barkin Ladi local government area last Tuesday night (12thMay 2020). The school’s headmaster, Rev Bayo Famonure, was shot in the head, while his wife was shot in the back and his two children were shot in the feet.
Two days earlier on May 3 in the Plateau area of Miango, suspected herdsmen reportedly killed four Christians in an attack. According to Morning Star News, three of the victims were identified as members of the Evangelical Church Winning All denomination — 26-year-old Friday Musa, 25-year-old Chohu Nyangu and 26-year-old Anta Yakubu while another victim — 24-year-old Emmanuel Kure — is said to be a member of a Baptist church.
By the account of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, dated 13th May 2020, no fewer than 17 defenseless Christians were hacked to death by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmenin Gonan Rogo village, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State who also injured six others. The attacks took place around 11:30pm late Monday night 11th may 2020) the previous day. The statement said that the Fulani Jihadists broke into the home of Jonathan Yakubu, 40 and slaughtered him. They also killed his wife, Sheba Yakubu 32, and hacked to death their only three children, Patience 13, Revelation 6 and Rejoice 4, thus wiping out the entire Yakubu household.
Still not done, the statement further explained that the killers went to another compound where they met Saraunia Lucky, 25, newly married and had given birth to her baby 3 months ago. With the baby cuddled in her arms in fear, she was shot dead and the bullet passed through the soft skull of the baby. It said 6 year old John Paul was not lucky as he was hacked to death, stressing that also killed were Asanalo Magaji 32, and Yayo Magaji 13, Paul Bawa, 27 and Rahila, 25, his wife were butchered in their homes. In another compound, “Mailafia Dalhatu, 60 was killed as he tried escaping. His younger brother, Yaro Dalhatu 56, was killed in another compound, with his wife, Saratu 45. Their granddaughter, Blessing Yari 14, was also killed. Another boy, called Popular Teacher, just 17 was gunned down and killed.
In Benue State, a man and his wife were killed by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. The attack took place around 1.30am late night of 6th May 2020 in Tarkende Village, near Umenger in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. By the account of This Day Newspaper, dated 12th May 2020, suspected herdsmen had in the early hours (1.30am) of Tuesday, 12th May 2020 attacked Agasha town in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and killed two residents of the town. Troops intervened and recovered two AK 47 rifles, four magazines and 65 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
By the account of Vanguard Newspaper of 11th May 2020, five persons (Christians) including two women were reportedly killed in three separate attacks on communities in Gwer West and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue state by suspected armed herdsmen. This came as the Paramount ruler of Tyochin kingdom and Chairman of Gwer West Traditional Council, Chief Daniel Abomste raised the alarm that herdsmen had killed 315 of his subjects and injured many.
Vanguard reported that in the fresh attacks, three persons were murdered and some sustained injuries at Imande, Saghev-Ukusu and Gbaange-Tongov communities of Gwer West LGA while two women were killed on Saturday morning (8thMay 2020) on their farms by the marauders in an attack on Yelwata community of Guma LGA which also left scores injured. According to the Paramount Ruler, “the armed herders initially invaded Imande village on Makurdi-Naka road on Saturday, May 2 and killed two people and wounded two. They again repeated the attack on Friday, May 8 and killed one and wounded another in a renewed attack. Chief Abomste said, “From my data on the attacks on my domain since February 8, 2011, to May 8, 2020 herdsmen have successfully launched 46 attacks on my subjects and killed 315 persons from 2011 to date.
By the account of SOKAPU, dated 25thApril 2020, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen had last Wednesday, 23th April, 2020, around 10pm, launched attacks from different directions in Atang, near Gidan Waya in Godogodo Chiefdom of Jemaa LGA and later kidnapped Mr. Emmanuel Iliya Atang, son of the Chief of Godogodo Chiefdom. A ransom of N30 million was demanded. On Thursday, 24th April, 2020, armed herdsmen attacked Kujeni village in Kajuru LGA in daytime and Geoffrey Zakka, 25 was killed; with a woman and a child injured and more than 25 houses burnt down. The ECWA church in the town and its pastorium were also razed down completely. On the same day at Makyali village in Kajuru LGA, Thomas Micah, a 42 year old farmer was attacked and killed on his farm. He is married with seven children.
Earlier on the 22nd March, 2020, Fulani militia opened fire on Adara hunters and killed one Michael Yahaya of Mararanban Afogo. On the 25th March, 2020,/Bakira-Maro village was attacked around 11pm. The following were the victims: Beniah Daniel, 12; Ishaku Apiletuwe, 43, father of 3 and Rita Atiteh, 33. Helen Jonathan 22 and Ashuli Jacob were severely injured. It should also be noted that four persons from Tantatu village near Kajuru town, who were on a fishing expedition at a remote river were attacked by armed Fulani and are still missing.
On the 16tth April 2020, Fulani terrorists attacked Ungwan Maigero, Kachia LGA in the night and killed two people. On Saturday 19/4/2020, Fulani terrorists attacked Awake village in Kachia LGA and killed a woman and her child. The name of the woman is Lamii Adamu. One other person was injured. One native was also killed on 24th April 2020The wanton waste of precious lives in Southern Kaduna communities by armed herdsmen continued on 24th April.
In Damba-Kasaya community, in Chikun LGA, armed herdsmen invaded the village on scores of motor bikes. Five people confirmed killed, a teenage girl kidnapped leaving more with various forms of injuries. Sahara Reporters of 21stApril 2020 also reported the attacks in Southern Kaduna villages of Ungunwan Magaji, Kamaru Chawai and Kauru, all predominant Christian villages. In the attacks that took place on 20th April 2020 around 6.45pm, four persons were killed and 36 houses burnt. Those killed in the attack include a 58-year-old mother of five, Hannatu Joseph, Sarah Sunday, a mother of six, Dije Sajay, a 55-year-old woman with six children and Sunday David, a former civil servant.
By the account of the Morning Star News, dated 14th April 2020, Muslim Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria decapitated two Christians in Benue State on Monday (April 13) and another group of the Islamists in Plateau State on Saturday (April 11) shot a Christian farmer dead. In Benue state, residents of Ologba village, Agatu County told Morning Star News that herdsmen ambushed two members of a Catholic church in the village at about 8 a.m. on Monday. “Oche Alaade and his friend who had visited the village were traveling out of the village on their way back to Obagaji town where they reside when they were ambushed by the Fulani herdsmen and their heads cut off,” area resident Louis Oguche told Morning Star News.
By the account of the same Morning Star News, 16 Christians were earlier on 22nd March 2020 killed while others were kidnapped in Benue State. The attacks by the herdsmen occurred in the Christian communities of Div-Nzaav, Chongu, Abaji and Mbanyiar in Kwande and Guma counties. Herdsmen attacked Div-Nzaav village in Kwande County on March 22 as Christians were about to begin worship in the village church, said area resident Solomon Amande.
According to the Genocide Watch report, dated 16thApril 2020, six children and a pregnant woman were among nine people that Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed in north-central Nigeria Tuesday night (April 14). About a dozen herdsmen armed with rifles and machetes raided Hura-Maiyanga village, in the Miango area of Kwall District in Plateau state’s Bassa County, shouting the jihadist slogan “Allahu Akbar [God is greater). “Most families had already retired into houses to sleep when these Fulani gunmen came into the village and were shooting into houses,” John told Morning Star News in Miango town, where she took refuge. “As the herdsmen shot at us, we all ran out from our houses into the surrounding bushes. Some of the herdsmen chased after us and shot at us, while others were burning down our houses.”
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, director of the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN), confirmed the attack. He identified those killed as Angela Daniel, 3; David Yakubu, 15; Luka Magwa, 5; Ishaya Yakubu, 7; Aba Ibrahim, 6; Stephen Ngwe, 7; the pregnant Talatu Daniel, 32, and her unborn child; Sunday Biri, 45; and Izhe Nkama, 43. The attack on Maiyanga comes on the heels of attacks by herdsmen in the area last month.
On March 31, scores of Christians were killed at Ancha village; the next day (1st April) three more Christians were slain in the predominantly Christian community of Nkiedow-hro village, and seven others were killed in Hukke village. In northwestern (north-central) Nigeria, Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Niger state on March 24, at least 20 Christians were killed in two predominantly Christian villages and on March 2, eight Christians were kidnapped in raids on a mission station, sources said. The attacks on the villages of Galkogo and Zumba, killing more than 20 people, displaced 3,000 people, area residents told Morning Star News.
In the same Niger state’s Shiroro County, Fulani herdsmen raided a school in Maruba run by Calvary Ministries (CAPRO), kidnapping four missionaries, two volunteer staff members, another staff member and one student, according to Niyi Gbade, the ministry’s national director. Herdsmen also raided Global Glorious Mission in Gofa, Shiroro County, on March 22, forcing missionaries and students to flee into bushes, according to a mission press statement last month. Note: the 31st March and 1st April killings in Plateau and March 24thkillings in Niger State were not captured in our last statement of 4thApril 2020.
By the account of Christian Post, dated 13thApril 2020, the pastor of an evangelical church in north-central Nigeria and three members of his congregation, including a 10-year-old boy, were shot dead by radical Fulani herdsmen, according to a Christian persecution watchdog. The attack took place at the house of Pastor Matthew Tagwai of Evangelical Church Winning All in the village of Ngbra Zongo near the Miango area in Plateau State’s Bassa County on the night of April 7, according to Morning Star News. By the account of Punch, 14th April 2020, suspected herdsmen on Monday (12th April) killed two young men in a renewed attack on the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State. According to Oyaje Sule, an uncle to one of the deceased, his nephew identified as Oche Alaade and friend were beheaded by suspected herdsmen, who allegedly went away with their heads.
Sixteen more Christians were hacked to death by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen yesterday in Kaduna and Benue State. According to This Day Newspaper of today, 14th May, quoting the President of the Adara Dev Association, Mr. Awema Maisamari, the latest attacks took place in Bakin- Kogi, Idanu and Makyali communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. During the attacks on Makyali, around 7am, yesterday (13th May 2020), seven Christians were hacked to death and in the attacks on Barkin Kogi and Idanu that took place on Tuesday, 12th May, around 7pm, five Christians were hacked to death. Also, by same This Day’s account, suspected herdsmen yesterday killed four persons and injured three at Tse-Haaga, Mbabai Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. The attacks took place in the evening.