Nigerian terrorists murder 18 Christians, including doctor

Nigerian terrorists murder 18 Christians, including doctor

Muslim Fulani gunmen murdered a Christian doctor in northern Nigeria's Niger state shortly after the killing of 17 other Christians by the group in the region's Plateau state this month.

After being abducted by five Fulani herdsmen from a private hospital he operated in Salka Village in Magama County, Dr. Precious Emeka Chinedu was fatally shot.

"His dead body was found by local vigilantes the following morning in the bush where he was shot and killed by the herdsmen," area resident Emmanuel Ezeugo told Morning Star News (MSN).

Senseless killing

Baridueh Badon, the doctor's longtime friend, was confounded by the killing.

"His killers, who are herdsmen, came to the hospital, specifically asked for him, didn't harm anybody, collected his money, took him away, and killed him without asking for ransom," Badon recounted to MSN. "What did he do wrong? Your blood will keep crying until justice is done."

After completing his medical studies at the University of Ibadan, Chinedu moved to Niger state to start his own hospital and serve the community.

"Everyone loved him, always smiling, and he was one of the most hard-working persons I have ever known," Badon recalled. "His hospital boomed because he was saving lives. If you had any problems, Emeka would be there to help."

Global Christian Missions reports that attacks from Fulani herdsmen have displaced some 1,000 Christians in Niger state alone, creating a dire need for food, shelter and health care.

"The entire Sakaba and Wasagu local government areas of Niger state have been completely sacked by Fulani herdsmen terrorists," the humanitarian agency's vision coordinator, Moses Godspecial, informed Morning Star News. "These Christians ran to various villages in Kamaia Local Government Area in Kwara state, also in north-central Nigeria."

Hunting Christians

The situation in Plateau state has been even more dire of late, as Fulani herdsmen murdered 17 Christians this month, killing 14 on June 13 alone in the small village of Sabon Layi in Jos South County.

"So far, 14 corpses of Christians killed have been recovered as of 1 a.m. [on June 14]," Sabon Layi resident George Dung told the Morning Star News about the late-night attack that wounded seven other Christians.

Area Sen. Istifanus Gyang – a member of the Nigerian parliament – is demanding that Nigeria's government put an immediate end to the vicious Fulani attacks.

"We need more reinforcement of security operatives in our various communities to curtail this heinous act," Gyang declared in a statement. "Government has a burden, which is constitutional, that is to protect lives and property, so the government has to take responsibility for its citizens."

The local police in Plateau state reported that law enforcement and the military have been deployed to the area as investigations are underway.

However, Irigwe Development Association president Ezekiel Bini is frustrated that little progress has been made to end the senseless killing of Christians.

"It's unfortunate that we have continued to bury our people on every attack by Muslim Fulani gunmen without anything being done to stop the killings by the authorities," Bini proclaimed in a statement issued on June 14.

As Bulus, a Christian farmer, was working his fields on June 12 in his predominantly Christian village, Fulani herdsmen shot him dead.

"Christians in Dong village are becoming endangered," local resident Beatrice Audu told MSN. "Bulus was striving to provide a decent living for his family. For how long should we continue to live like this?"

Nothing new in Nigeria

The June killings are nothing new in Nigeria, which Open Doors' 2021 World Watch List ranks as the country with the most recorded killings of Christians for their faith (3,530 from Nov. 2019 to Oct. 2020). It was also ranked second – only topped by Pakistan – in overall violence, with only China beating it out in the number of churches (270) attacked or shut down.

Nearly tripling its number of martyred Christians from the year before, Nigeria was also listed by Open Doors as the world leader in kidnappings of Christians at 990, and it moved up from its previous No. 12 ranking to a become the ninth-worst country this year to be a Christian due to persecution.

According to the United Kindgom's All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Belief (APPG), there are millions of Fulani Muslims coming from hundreds of clans in Nigeria, and even though most do not have fundamental Islamic beliefs, many ascribe to their religion's jihadist mindset.

"They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity," APPG reported.

As desertification in Nigeria's Middle Belt makes subsistence difficult in the region, Fulani herdsmen have increased their attacks on Christian communities to forcefully overtake Christians' lands and impose Islam.

"In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria," APPG recounted. "He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country."

During former President Donald Trump's last full month in office, his State Department added Nigeria to its list of "Countries of Particular Concern" for engaging in or tolerating "systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom." Among the nine other nations on the list are China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, the State Department more recently designated ten Islamic terrorist groups to its "non-state actors" list, including Nigeria's Boko Haram and ISWAP and other notorious groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban – all listed as "Entities of Particular Concern."