Fulani herdsmen recently killed more than 70 Christians in a village in central Nigeria, prompting state officials to declare that lack of government protection means citizens must defend themselves, Morning Star News reported.
In what a Benue state police official suspected was a revenge attack for the alleged killing of five Fulani herders in three different incidents in the area on Tuesday (Oct. 18), herdsmen the next day attacked Gbeji village in Ukum County, Benue state.
“In just two days, over 70 Christians were killed by Fulani militiamen in Gbeji community in our local government area,” said Terumbur Kartyo, chairman of the Ukum Local Government Council in Benue, state.
Kartyo added that in Guma Local Government Area, herdsmen last week shot and injured more than 100 Christians in Udei and Yelewata villages, displacing thousands.
Benue state government officials who visited the area last week after the attacks said the federal government’s inability to curtail the violence justifies providing high-powered arms to citizens’ defense groups.
Christian girls in captivity
In northwestern Nigeria, five Christian girls are among the 11 high school students still in captivity after Islamic extremist militants kidnapped them in June 2021, Morning Star News reported.
Terrorists with Islamic State West Africa Province on June 17, 2021 abducted 70 students from the Federal Government Girls College, Birnin Yauri, in Kebbi state. Following negotiations with the Nigerian government, most of the 59 students since released were Muslims; the reasons for holding the other 11 are unknown.
In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.