1. US Terror Alerts Ignoring Terrorist Attacks in Nigeria’s ‘Breadbasket’

 

U.S. officials in Nigeria have been criticized for ignoring a rash of armed attacks in central Benue state that have displaced thousands of local farmers and threatened U.S. citizens in the country. The state is widely acclaimed as the “breadbasket” of Africa’s most populous nation. But its productivity is slowly being strangled by radicalized terror groups seeking to set up a caliphate, according to Michael Burton, an American missionary in Benue who has been studying the situation. In recent years, U.S. terror alerts in Nigeria have failed to acknowledge the threats in Benue, Burton said.

As of Nov. 4, the U.S. mission in Abuja has yet to list Benue in its latest travel advisory that referenced heightened danger to U.S. citizens in the country’s capital and 11 other states. The advisory issued on Oct. 27 notes a variety of threats, including kidnapping for ransom. But it ignores a mass of terror raids just 200 miles away in Benue that have claimed at least five lives per day since October, according to Daniel Adakole, program officer of Benue Civil Societies, a network of local monitoring groups. “Benue state has been turned to a killing field with more than 150 people killed between Oct. 3 and Nov. 3 alone,” said Adakole. “Sometimes we record up to three attacks in a day,” Adakole told The Epoch Times. In the latest incident on Nov. 3, at least 11 people were reportedly killed in two separate attacks close to the state capital of Makurdi. Both attacks targeting members of a local Christian tribe have been blamed on Islamic extremists who identify as members of the Fulani ethnicity. Fulani terrorists have been blamed for thousands of killings in Nigeria.

Burton, international director of Ignition633 Ministries USA, wrote in a text message to The Epoch Times: “I have walked through villages where the Fulani terrorists had just attacked. “They came with no cattle. They came in the middle of the night while villagers were sleeping. They shot and killed multiple people and then left. They did not come back for their land. They came for their blood.” The goal of the terrorists is to set up a caliphate in Nigeria, according to Burton. He blamed the omitting of the state from recent U.S. terror advisories on “political interests.” “Make no mistake, this is a highly organized and coordinated effort by the Fulani extremists and their collaborators,” he wrote. US Terror Alerts Ignoring Terrorist Attacks in Nigeria’s ‘Breadbasket’ (theepochtimes.com)

 

2. InterSociety Report Reveals Over 4 000 killed in 10 Months

 

A civic group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, has stated that its latest report revealed that over 4000 Nigerians were killed and 2,315 abducted in 10 months between January and October 2022. The report said Benue and Taraba recorded the highest causalities with 463 and 450 deaths respectively, adding that the victims were predominantly Christians and ethnic minorities across the country. The 23-page report was signed by the principal officers of the organisation – Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, Chidinma Udegbunam and Ndidiamaka Chinaza Bernard. It showed that Kaduna State came third with 395 people killed, Niger and Plateau states recorded 314 and 312 people killed respectively while the Borno accounted for 240 people in the same period under review.

According to the report, the killings were planned and executed by Nigeria’s Islamic terror Jihadists primarily the Fulani Herdsmen and their regionally assembled allied Islamic terror groups like Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Boko Haram and Ansaru. The report stated that ISWAP, Boko Haram and Ansaru accounted for 450 Christian deaths while the Jihadist Fulani Zamfara Bandits and their splinters were responsible for 370 Christian deaths within the ten months period under review. The report further shows that Jihadist Fulani herdsmen and Jihadist Fulani (Zamfara) bandits had also during the period under review abducted not less than 2,315 defenceless Christians. “1,401 people were abducted between January and June 2022 and 915 were abducted between July and October 2022. Out of the 2,315 abducted Christians, 10% or 231 have circumstantially been found to be incapable of returning alive to their families, having most likely been killed in captivity for their refusal to convert to Islam or inability to pay huge ransoms demanded. The 4,020 Christian deaths in ten months further indicated 402 Christian deaths per month and 13 deaths per day. In the area of the 2,315 Christian abductions in ten months of 2022, it amounted to 231 Christian abductions per month and approximately eight abductions per day,” the report claimed.

Benue, Taraba, Kaduna Top States With Jihadist Terrorists Killings, Abductions In Nigeria – Report | Sahara Reporters

 

3. 10 Dead, Scores Missing, Houses Razed as Soldiers, Youths Clash

 

10 persons have been reported killed and many houses burnt as soldiers from 14 Brigade, Nigeria Army, invaded Amangwu community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State in search of their missing colleague. Consequently, over 1,000 residents of communities in Ohafia clan are now living in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps, following continued attack by soldiers. Following the military raid of Amangwu community, scores of locals were also reportedly arrested and are yet to be sighted. The community has been reportedly deserted as locals fled to different locations, abandoning their homes just to stay out of trouble.

Troops from 14 Brigade were deployed for a rescue operation for a missing soldier. The soldiers allegedly burnt over 50 houses in the community, while 10 persons were killed, with many others missing. The soldiers had also invaded Okon and Amuma with heavy shooting and broke into houses to arrest some youths. According to a local source: “The problem was with our neighbouring community, Amangwu, but the Army invaded Okon yesterday and burnt 5 houses. They were shooting everywhere. Some of them were using drones to take pictures of the community. They returned by 2 am today and burnt another house. They broke into houses and dragged youths into their vehicles. Any youth arrested is tagged a member of IPOB. The youths arrested are yet to be seen since their arrest. People are fleeing their homes to the IDP camps. We are now IDPs in our place. We are afraid they may storm the IDP camp in search of youths.”

A resident of Amangwu who spoke on the condition of anonymity, alleged that the number of youths killed in the community was above 20, contrary to the 10 reported by the media. He said: “What soldiers are doing in Amangwu community amounts to ethnic cleansing. If any youth has committed an offence, the soldiers should arrest him, not burn houses and kill people. Everybody arrested is tagged a member of IPOB. Many youths have been killed. Even families who fled Amangwu have been searching for their loved ones. Those whose houses were burnt couldn’t save anything because the soldiers came in the early morning when the residents were still sleeping. Some people were lucky to escape through the bush path because the Army blocked the area searching for people. Amangwu is now a ghost town.” https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/11/10-dead-scores-missing-houses-razed-as-soldiers-youths-clash/

 

4. Priest Kidnapped in Kaduna

 

See letter below from the Archdiocese of Kaduna:

 

 

5. Attack in Anambra

 

On 9 November 2022 gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Anambra State. The attackers, who allegedly came from the neighbouring Mgbidi Local Government Area of Imo State, opened fire on the policemen on duty, who took to their heels. Amid the confusion, passengers traveling to Owerri from Onitsha and Onitsha to Imo State had to make u-turn. The development caused traffic gridlock in the area as the travellers parked their vehicles at nearby Nkwo Ogbe market, Ihiala, and at the Mgbidi end in Imo State. Workers at Anambra-owned Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University who were on their way to the office, had to abandon work for the day and fled home. Residents of the area also fled into a nearby bush for safety, while authorities of the nearby Abbott Boys Secondary School, Ihiala, directed students to immediately leave the school premises. The state Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga, could not speak on the matter, but a police source confirmed the attack.

A civil society organisation, Security Situation Room, has drawn attention to the army checkpoint of ‘extortion and oppression’ at Mgbidi, by St Joseph’s Catholic Church/Ray Jacobs Boarding School, Imo State. Convener, Security Situation Room, Douglas Ogbankwa, in a statement in Abuja, said: “We, through our observers noticed with dismay the long, unconscionable and reprehensible gridlock, artificially spurned by extortionist army personnel, who force commuters to cross to the other side, with the attendant danger of fast moving vehicles on the ever busy Owerri- Onitsha Express Way, a clear case of ethnic profiling, as prohibited by Section 42 of the Constitution of Nigeria , as majority of those that ply that road are of Igbo extraction. But in the hot bed of insurgency and banditry in the North, the Nigerian Army does not deploy such selective and targeted method used to humiliate people without any reason whatsoever. They collect money from those buses who do not disembark and keep all in a callously created gridlock, of which the only goal is to extort the poor commuters, who are mostly those perceived as the poor and the weak, while those in air conditioned private vehicles are given fast passes. “There is no search conducted. Even at that, they need a warrant on each commuter in their name to conduct a search according to the law. The Security Situation Room condemns the actions of these brigades , masquerading as Army officials and we restate that there is freedom of liberty and freedom of movement as enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999 (As Amended), as the actions of these brigades are a flagrant infringement of the Fundamental Human Rights of the citizens who ply the road”.

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/11/10-dead-scores-missing-houses-razed-as-soldiers-youths-clash/

 

6. Presidential Candidate Abubakr Ignites Fury in Benue State

 

The statement by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Governor Samuel Ortom has caused anger amongst survivors of Fulani attacks in Benue State. Alhaji, drew the ire of the Benue people when, during the presidential interactive session organized by the Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna, was quoted as saying: “I am angry with Governor Ortom for profiling Fulani as bandits and terrorists because I am a Fulani.”

That comment didn’t go down well with the people of Benue who, after close to six long years of mindless attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen militia that left thousands dead, many maimed with over two million displaced and living in dire conditions in close to 20 Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps and host communities, have had to contend with the worst humanitarian crisis in recent time. The Convener of the Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, Joe Bukka, said: “That is the general perception of the people as regards the comment by the PDP presidential candidate and the overrunning outrage and outburst was not unexpected as the people had, about four years ago, turned their backs on a prominent Benue son when he ran for a major election after having earlier exonerated armed Fulani herdsmen of killings in the state. Same fate may await Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2023 because the issue of herdsmen killings in Benue touches the very soul of the Benue man, woman or child and they are known to always stand and act in unison against anyone who dares to change the narrative or scorn them in their adversity; that is why they have all rallied round the Governor.”

An angry reaction followed the comment by Atiku and the condolence message he sent to the people of Gbeji after about 39 persons were killed in that community and many others hospitalised. The Tiv Youth Organization( TYO) e and the Forum of Concerned Nigerians (FCN ) expressed resentment over the comment. The President General of TYO, Timothy Hembaor, stated that Atiku’s statement was not only an attack on Ortom who the Tiv people looked unto for protection from killer herdsmen but also an attack on the entire Tiv people. “The Fulani massacre of the Tiv has been the most important defining issue of Samuel Ortom’s governance in Benue. It is possible that the Tiv would have been annihilated if Samuel Ortom had not provided a robust defence of the state.”

National Secretary of FCN, Samson Ochono, who expressed shock at the comment, asked Atiku to tender unreserved apology to Ortom and Benue people. He said, “We ask Atiku to tender an unreserved apology to Governor Ortom. His statement against Ortom is capable of setting the governor against Fulani and endangering him. We know Governor Ortom as one of the very few Nigerians who stand for justice and equity. Whenever he speaks, he speaks our minds. He is the conscience of this nation.”

The Gbeji community in Ukum Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State rejected the sympathy message sent to them by the presidential candidate over herdsmen killings in the area, describing it as a mockery. Elder Jonathan Gbeji, in a statement he signed on behalf of the community, rejected the condolence message which he said was meant to ridicule the people. “We members of the Gbeji community are disappointed with the statement by Alhaji

Atiku Abubakar that there was farmers and herders’ clash in Gbeji which claimed lives including those of policemen. What happened in Gbeji last Wednesday, October 19, 2022, was an unprovoked attack by armed Fulani militia on the people.”

The Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa said that the people of the state were justifiably angry with Atiku for the hurting comment saying “our governor is not profiling the Fulani. Miyetti Allah has come out to claim responsibility for the killings in the state and has even taken us to court because of the law which was made to bring peace and order between crop farmers and herders. So I do not see any reason why anybody should be angry with our governor. If you are angry with the governor it means you are angry with the people of Benue.” https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/11/atikus-ortoms-fight-over-fulani-degenerates/

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