The number of predominantly Christian people killed in Nigeria by Muslim Fulani terrorists in the first six months of this year has dwarfed the fatalities carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)-affiliated Boko Haram, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in the African country revealed this week.
In one weekend last month (June 23 and 24), the Fulani stormed nearly a dozen Christian-majority villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state, using machetes and firearms to massacre at least 200 people, including women and children.
Referring to the Plateau incident in an article published by Nigeria’s Daily Post, the NGO, known as the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), noted Monday that the fatalities from the Fulani massacre could reach 300, making it one of the deadliest by any group in Nigeria.
The total death toll in Plateau State following the 23rd and 24th June 2018 coordinated attacks and killings in eleven villages may most likely have hit 300, from its present 250, out of which 218 bodies have been recovered and buried in mass graves. The activists on the ground said dozens of people are still missing after the head count was carried out. Those still missing are presumed to have died. This is more so when they are not among the injured and survivors.
Muslim Fulani fatalities of mainly Christians at 1,750 represent seven times the killing of 250 people attributed to Boko Haram jihadists, Intersociety shows.
Benue State is home to the highest number (600) of Fulani fatalities so far this year, trailed by Plateau (400), Taraba (250), Nasaraw (200), Southern Kaduna (100), Adamawa (100), and Kogi State (100).
The Intersociety’s tally is consistent with Breitbart News’s data on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which shows the Fulani were deadlier than Boko Haram during the 30-day period.
During the last three years, the “herdsmen,” whom some experts believe should be labeled jihadis or at least terrorists, have “killed 8,800 Christians and other non-Muslims,” the Daily Post notes.
During that period (June 2015 thru June 2018), Intersociety reports that terrorists set ablaze “not less than 1,000″ churches and other places of worship.
Daily Post quotes Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, the intersociety chairman, saying:
Nigeria is drifting to faith genocide through killing, maiming, burning and destruction of churches and other sacred places of worship and forceful seizure and occupation of ancestral, worshipping, farming and dwelling lands of the indigenous Christians and other indigenous religionists in Northern Nigeria.
The situations have worsened with loss of lives in six months of 2018 of no fewer than 1,750 Christians and other non Muslims to terror herdsmen. No fewer than 8,800 Christians have also been targeted and killed in Nigeria in the past three years of June 2015 to June 2018.
Some U.S.-based experts, like Faith McDonnell from the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), have also described the Fulani attack on Christians as genocide and the perpetrators as nothing more than “jihadis.”
Various news outlets have described the conflict as a dispute over land and other natural resources ravaged by climate change, pitting Muslim herders against Christian farmers — who have allegedly instigated the deadly tensions by stealing cattle.
Some Christian leaders have urged followers of Christ in Nigeria to defend themselves.
Critics of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who reportedly shares his ethnicity with the Fulani, say the leader is downplaying and even condoning the attacks by the Muslim group.