This past Thursday a group of Fulani Muslims in the Christian Agom village in Sanga County (Kaduna State, Nigeria) hacked an 87-year-old Christian man to death by machete and killed another, age 48, by gunshot, an area resident. Sanga County was the site of a Muslim Fulani herdsmen attack on March 16 that killed 10 Christians and burned about 30 houses. That attack also occurred as residents of Nandu Gbok village were sleeping. The assault followed other attacks in southern Kaduna State that took the lives of one-hundred-thrity Christians.
It was also within Kaduna State that on October 3 six girls and two staff members from a Christian-run high school were kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen Muslims. The hostages were tortured each time the kidnappers called the parents so they could hear their screams. One of the parents reportedly said that after the kidnappers set the hostages free, police picked them up and dropped them off near a toll gate about five kilometers (three miles) from the city center. Suspected to be herdsmen who have carried out numerous kidnappings and attacks in southern Kaduna state, the armed Fulani [Muslims] invaded the school at 12:20 a.m.
Shunom Giwa, vice principal of Engravers’ College, previously told Morning Star News that initially five armed herdsmen appeared at the door of his house and spoke with each other in the Fulani language. Others with the school’s vice principal arrived shortly after they told him to lie down, and Giwa escaped, he said. The school, which is open to both Christian and non-Christian students, has a secular curriculum in accordance with Nigeria’s Ministry of Education but includes a Christian perspective, and students take Christian Religious Knowledge as a subject, which is forbidden under sharia law.
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent. Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.
Christian persecution in Nigeria, which can be traced back to the Sokoto caliphate (1804-1903), has surged since 2015 when Muhammadu Buhari was elected president. The late-Catholic bishop Joseph Bagobiri of the Diocese of Kafanchan (northwest Nigeria which has had sharia law since 1999) had stated: “The persecution of Christians in Nigeria is not given anything like the same level of international attention as persecuted Christians in the Middle East.” A most recent example of this — unreported by the Western mainstream media — was the killing of Father Paul Offu (southern Nigeria) at the hands of the Islamic Fulani herdsmen on August 1. This let the former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to write an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, warning him of the risk of a “Rwandan-style genocide” of Christians in Nigeria if the government does not take immediate measures to stop the violence — Buhari has yet to have condemned the Fulani militants as terrorists since he stems from the same tribe. What can be surmised is that this is all part of a well-organized operation to exterminate Christians altogether.
Just like the gunning down of nineteen Catholics, including two priests by Islamists during mass at a church in village of Mbalom, Benue (southeast Nigeria) on April 24, 2018, the government-sponsored Islamic war on Christians continues — in other words, it is not just Boko Haram! Apparently, it cannot be denied that Buhari has always had Islamist agenda. In 2001 at an Islamic seminar in Kaduna, then-General Buhari stated:
“I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has urged Buhari to resign in the wake of the Mbalom massacre arguing that he “has deliberately placed in the hands of the adherents of only one religion.” The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara publicly summoned Buhari “to answer pertinent questions concerning what [he] is doing to put a decisive end to the spate of killings in different states of the Federation.”
During a White House joint-press conference President Trump held with President Buhari on April 30, 2018, Buhari did not address nor did he outright reject “the narrative that his government was persecuting Christians in the ongoing attacks linked to [Fulani] herdsmen.” Trump specifically condemned the acts: “We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria, we are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.” Critics, however, said that his response “lacked gravitas in view of Mr. Buhari’s domestic narrative that while the killings might have taken a worrisome dimension since he assumed office, the killers are not buoyed by sheer ethnic identity that they he has in common with them, even if those behind the killings are Fulani.”
Trump reassured a nearly $600 million sales of military planes and security equipment, initially “stalled under the Obama administration because of allegations that Nigeria’s military has been involved in human rights [violations] including rape and extrajudicial killings.” Trump vowed that such assistance is to combat terrorists in Nigeria. The dilemma is, just as with Nigeria’s $320 million purchase of Russian fighter jets in 2017 and other military aid he has received from China, Buhari’s focus is to protect his oil facilities from rebel attacks and abductions of foreign oil workers. Like the killing of two-hundred-eighteen Christians between June 23-25, 2018, including a pastor show a continual lack of interest on Buhari’s part to ensure Christians’ safety in the country.
N. B. Quotations and sources can be found in my book Islam: Religion of Peace? The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up, unless otherwise noted.