17-year-old Timothy Dauda, a Christian farmer in central Nigeria’s Miango district, sits on a hospital bed with a gunshot wound in his forearm.
On August 17th, in his village of Tafi-gana North-West of Jos, Plateau state, 5 of his tribesmen were killed by men wielding AK-47s and machetes.
“I know the Fulani that wanted to kill me,” said Timothy, narrating the incident to an ICC representative in Nigeria, “I know one of them, we call him ‘Tere-G’ but his real name is Hashimu Hudu. ‘I will kill you today,’ Hudu said to me. ‘My God will save me,’ I replied.”
“Then he shot me…” Dauda continued, “I fell down and pretended as if I am dead.”
The gunmen, identified as jihadist Fulani herders, attacked Dauda’s community, as well as several others, during curfew hours imposed by the state government.
“I don’t know how the Fulani went out to attack during the curfew hours,” Ezekiel Bini, president of the Irigwe Youth Movement told an ICC contact in Jos. “They killed 11 of my people and 4 are missing from 4 communities during the curfew hours.”
“The Four college students went missing on Wednesday, August 18th,” said Bini. “They were trekking to school for their final exams. We searched for their corpses, but we couldn’t find them.”
An eyewitness of the abduction, Rikwe Jacob, told ICC that four Fulani militants pointed a gun at her before kidnapping the four boys. “The Fulani said I should allow them to go with the boys or kill me, I reported it to the police, but we didn’t see them again.”
Ezekiel Wambe, a politician from the ruling party of the All Progressive Party in the county, Identified the 4 missing students as Ize Danladi (23), Ahmadu Tokyo (25), GyaTokyoo (22), Emmanuel Weyi (22).
Three miles from the kidnapping, on August 16th, another Christian farmer was killed on his farm at Dong, Jos North Local Government area.
“Very sad we lost a good farmer and a Christian from my community,” Reuben Ngah, a Dong community leader told ICC in a phone interview. “His name is Adoki Eveh 41 years old, he was killed by Fulani (militants).”
“I heard Allah Akbar [Allah is Great], with the straight bullet gunshot that killed my brother from the back.” An eyewitness told ICC, requesting to remain anonymous, “I fired them with my gun… they all ran away with their cattle,”he said.
On August 20th, an additional two women were killed after their farms harvest. “Yes, two women went to the farm and they were killed- 4 narrowly escaped death,” Ezekiel Bini told ICC. “They are Ruth Sunday (29), leaving behind 3 children, and Josephine Ibrahim (36), leaving behind 4 children.”
The curfew was imposed by state authorities after sectarian violence broke out in the Capital city of Jos, following a mob attack that killed 22 Muslims.
In all, terrorists launched armed attacks on five villages in Nigeria’s Plateau State from August 17th through August 19th. Eleven Christians have been confirmed dead, while four remain missing.
An ICC contact in Jos visited Tafi-gana and described the scene: “I saw that over 500 Christians had been displaced from the community while over 45 homes had been burned down. I saw five dead bodies with their heads cut by machetes. I saw women crying.”
“Shivering at the back of the police van with the five dead bodies, it was raining and cold but with a high temperature. Two police officers from Bassa division drove us with a Catholic catchiest and two community leaders. We took the bodies to a mortuary at Jos University Teaching Hospital, 18 miles from the village.”
One of the community leaders, Simon Rivi, was an eye-witness to the incident and told ICC that “The Fulani (militants) positioned themselves in four places, on Tuesday night around 10 pm. They surrounded the entire community shooting guns and holding machetes. I managed to hide inside the farm.” He added, “The Fulani all dressed in black, some holding flashlights.”
“The government abandoned us because of our faith,” said the Catchiest David Kwa, a Catholic priest from the district and Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria of the Irigwe Tribesmen. “The government doesn’t speak to condemned killing by Fulani terrorists,” Kwa said with tears in his eyes while arriving at the mortuary.
The Community leader of Tafi-gana Bitrus Izah confirmed the names of the five casualties and their ages as follows: Christopher Izah (39), Dauda Danladi (29), Ladi Adamson (52), John Musa (16), Joshua Zecharia (17).
From the International Christian Concern here.