11 people were killed in Maikatako on 15 November, in an attack by insurgents and armed militia, who were reportedly in the number of 200-300 hundred, in Plateau state. A parishioner of St Benedicts Independent Mission, Kuba, in the diocese of Pankshin, spoke of losing his son in the attack. Matthew Onah’s two year old son was killed in the attack. His wife, Rosemary, and two other children survived, his wife having been injured. a week after that, at least 12 unarmed civilians were killed by insurgents in the town of Wumat, about 72kms away from the town of Jos, the capital of Plateau state. According to Titus Alams, former speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly, said more than 200 terrorists encircled the settlement on the Tuesday night, and began shooting residents who tried to escape. These attacks followed weeks of similar attacks on nearby Christian villages. “Just last month, we buried two of our parishioners in a town close to Maikatako. They were killed by the same Fulani militants who went to kidnap their sister. They kidnap Christians for ransom, destroy their farm crops and still wage attacks, killing Christians and destroying their livelihood,” says the priest who is responsible for St Benedicts and surrounding missions, Fr Andrew Dewan. The attacks are motivated by a desire for “land grab and forced Islamization,” he says. “They have taken many of our communities and turned them into no-go zones.” the volunteer at guards in Maikatako served the village as best as they could, says Bitrus Dang. “They took cover behind houses firing their guns but were forced to retreat by the terrorists superior weapons, AK-47 assault weapons.” according to military spokesman in Plateau state, the situation is made worse by the fact that villages resort to self-help and don’t call the authorities for help. “Prompt information sharing is key to ending these attacks. these terrorists come in and strike within minutes and go away so we need information as soon as it happens.” according to official explanations, the attacks are the result of tensions between settled farming villages and nomadic Fulani herdsmen over the fertile land, which is being adversely affected by climate change, and over which they clash over for crop and animal farming. However, in dispute of this, Bishop Michael Gokum, of Pankshin Diocese, says this is not altogether true. “If you are in your house and somebody comes and attacks you that is not a clash. We are worried about the growing killings not just of Catholics but all Christians which have continued unabated.” analysts have warmed that the ongoing attacks could turn Africa’s most populated country into a radical Islamic state. according to Kyle Abts, executive director of International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), “Christian farmers have clashed with nomadic Fulani Muslim herders, or militants, for scores of years, but recent attacks by Fulani militants appear to be coordinated and strategic. (It’s) concerning that there are continued killings in Plateau State and just a few days later new attacks in the southern state of Enugu. Throughout the Middle Belt, security forces are either overwhelmed, unable to stop, or complicit in these attacks,” he says. Solomon Maren, member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, has seen a steady rise in armed attacks since 2018. “Our people in the rural areas can no longer farm or move freely without the fear of attacks. Just last month, we buried more than 30 of our people who were attacked either on their farms or in their houses.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252976/despiteincessant-attacks-nigerian-catholics-keep-their-faith

 

Benue state Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Ekpe Ogbu, has been abducted. He, along with one of his in-laws, his driver, and Honorable Agbo Ode, were taken along David Marks Farm, on their way from Otukpo, going to Utonkon in Ado Local Government Area. The commissioner was attending a church programme, at St Augustine Catholic Church, where Benue South Senatorial district senator Abba Moro, was dedicating his Campaign Council. It was after this event, while Otukpo was travelling to his village, that the abduction took place, at about 20:45 on Sunday 4 December. https://punchng.com/gunmen-kidnap-benue-commissioner-three-others/

 

Gunmen, thought to be bandits, stormed Yarbulutu Village Market in Sabon Birni Local Government Area, killing three policemen and three traders. According to those who witnessed it, the gunmen arrived on bikes and opened fire, while the traders were busy with their weekly trade. police who were stationed at a nearby checkpoint sped to the scene and tried to engage the gunmen, which resulted in the death of three of the police. Sekoto state Police Commissioner Sanusi Abubaker confirmed the incident, saying they will hunt the suspects down until they find them and bring them to justice. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/12/gunmen-storms-yarbulutu-village-market-insokoto-kill-policemen-3-others/

 

Fulani attacks in Enugu state have residents of the state worried and afraid to move freely. Travelers who use the train from Lagos and Kano, Umuahia and Port Harcourt, are usually very relieved to make it to Ehamufu safely. “Four years ago, ugly news started trending about the brutal Fulani herdsmen terrorizing the town. This displaced thousands of the population and feed many children out of school. Schools were turned into IDP camps. Cost of food skyrocketed because farmers couldn’t access their farm lands for harvest any more, creating untold hardship to many families even outside the state. Most business men from neighboring states of Benue, Ebonyi and even Cross River that came to buy agricultural products no longer found it easy to travel to the place,” says Godwin Chidozie Ogenyi, who was once the Commissioner for Human Development and Poverty Reduction in Enugu state. “Eha Amufu is a town in Enugu State, Nigeria. It is located in Isi Uzo Local Government Area. A couple of decades ago, it was one of the touchstone of Eastern pride bordering the northern part of the country,” he said in a wide ranging interview about the situation on the ground. “Apart from the recent attack that occurred on the 21 November 2022, we have recorded 15 attacks this year by Fulani herders. This is besides several cases of kidnapping for ransom allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen in the area. That attack of November 21 on rural dwellers in Ohualo Mgbede, Aguamede, Mgbuji and Ebo communities in Eha-Amufu left 90 persons with severe injuries from machete cuts. Many of the villagers were displaced,” recounts spokesman of Mgbuji community, Chijioke Ogbodo. “Since the herdsmen started attacking our community, neither the police nor the military have arrested any of the terrorists. We received information on the attack this morning and alerted all the security agencies. I called the State Director of Security Services, and I called the State Commissioner of Police. We notified all the security agencies but as at 12pm, we were yet to see any single soldier or police. Our communities are being razed down and after the attack, the government will deploy soldiers to shield the herdsmen. if the Nigeria police and other security agencies, especially the military cannot protect the people of the South East, then why were they after the local vigilante that helped communities farm this season? Now, we can’t harvest our crops because so many of the local vigilante or ESN members have been killed. At present they are embarking on kidnapping and raping.” Chief Eric Ebeh is pleading with the authorities to help the community: “All we ask is for security presence in our community so that the farmers can return back to their farm land and many families back to their ancestral homes. Also government should increase humanitarian aids so as to put smile on the faces of displaced people. We also urge many donors to contribute in any little way they can.”

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