Human Rights group, Intersociety, is claiming that nearly 1,500 Christians have been slaughtered by jihadists and herdsmen in the first four months of this year. It adds that over 2,200 have been kidnapped.
“Nigeria has devastatingly remained the “most Christian killed country” and ‘most dangerous place to be a Christian’ as well as Africa’s newest hotbed of Islamic Jihad and religious intolerance. Statistically shocking is the fact that the country had in the past four months or from January to April 2021 lost no fewer than 1,470 Christians. Also out of estimated 3200 defenseless Nigerians abducted by jihadists during the period, Nigerian Christians accounted for no fewer than 2,200. The 1, 470 Christian deaths in four months is the highest number recorded since 2014 and it specifically surpassed the total number of Christians killed in the whole of 2019, estimated by the Open Doors to be 1,350,” the group says in a statement on Tuesday.
Early January 2021, the group disclosed that more than 2,400 defenseless Christians were hacked to death by terrorists in Nigeria in 2020. The World Watch List report on Christians released by USA based Open Doors; the group found that “3,530 Christians were killed in Nigeria between Nov 2019 and Oct 2020”.
The latest research investigation conducted by Intersociety took weeks and cut across all the troubling Christian areas of the country with Kaduna recording the highest number of 300 Christian deaths out of estimated total of 430 killings, followed by Benue with 200 Christian deaths, Plateau 90 Christian deaths; Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra, etc 80 Christian deaths, Christian part of Niger States (i.e. Shiroro, Munya and Rafi, etc) 70 deaths, Taraba/Adamawa 65 deaths, Ogun/Ondo 52 Christian deaths, Kebbi 50 Christian deaths (out of over 60 killed), Borno 50 Christian deaths (out of over 110 killed), Nasarawa 30 Christian deaths, Delta 30 Christian deaths, Edo 20 Christian deaths, Oyo/Ekiti/Osun 30 Christian deaths, Gombe 20 Christian deaths, Christian part of Geidam in Yobe State 15 deaths (out of total killings) and Kogi State 10 Christian deaths. Nine Christians were also killed in Kibiya District of Kano State. There are also likely dozens of other Christian deaths, numbering over 30 not recorded.
The group alleged that the Nigerian Army also accounted for killing of at least 120 defenseless Christians from Benue, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi.
The Intersociety statement adds, “The research investigation further projected from interviews and open source reports that 220 Christians are most likely to have died or been killed in captivity of their abductors. This represents 10% of 2,200 abducted Christians across the country especially Christian travelers and rural others among them are male and young female farmers including those abducted and raped to death or killed after being raped. The totality of the above brings the number of defenseless Christians killed in Nigeria from Jan to April 2021 to 1,470; out of which … Fulani Herdsmen accounted for more than 800 Christians. Killings by Fulani Herdsmen are concentrated in Southern Kaduna (jointly perpetrated with Fulani Bandits), Plateau, Benue, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta, Edo, Southwest States, Kogi and Nasarawa. Killings by Boko Haram and Fulani Bandits are majorly witnessed in Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Yobe, Kebbi, Gombe, Niger and FCT. Killings by ISWAP and Ansaru are concentrated in Borno, Adamawa and Taraba States.
“In the area of the 2200 abducted Christians, the breakdown indicates that Kaduna recorded the highest number with 800 abductions out of estimated total of 1,100 abductions. Out of the 800 abducted Christians in the State, indigenous Christians of the State accounted for 600 including those abducted in Muslim held areas of Birnin-Gwari, Igabi and Giwa Local Government Areas. The abducted Christian travelers who are not indigenes of the State also accounted for about 200 and among them are dozens of Igbo Christians resident in Northern Nigeria especially those traveling from the North to the South or Niger State and the FCT. Niger State, on its own part, recorded the second largest Christian abductees with 300 out of total of 450-500 abductions; followed by Adamawa/Taraba with 100 abductees, Borno with 50 abductees (out of not less than 130 abducted), Nasarawa with 40 abductees, Oyo/Ekiti/Osun with 40 abductees, FCT 30 abductees, Kogi 20 abductees, Ogun/Ondo 15 abductees and at least 205 others abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Kebbi, Yobe, Delta, Edo, etc. Added were 500 abducted Southeast indigenous Judeo-Christians secretly being held without trial since January 2021 by Nigerian Army, SSS, Police and Navy.*
Justifying its figures the human rights group attached a 26-page Backup Statistics.
The group adds: “The link attached below is a 26-page statistical sources backing up the special report. For meaning of jihad, it is here: https://intersociety-ng.org/jihad-its-violent-objectives/. The 26-page backup statistics contains all the verifiable and credible sources: ‘closed source’ and ‘open source’ statistics backing the special report; one of them is the Weekly Security Tracker (of Council on Foreign Relations) belonging to John Campbell, former US Ambassador to Nigeria.. Beyond the compiled and attached backup statistics, Intersociety also made extensive use of eyewitnesses, survivors, residents, journalists and activists on the ground in the affected Christian areas, such as Igabi, Giwa and Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State, Shiroro, Munya and Rafi in Niger State and Kebbi and Katsina State. Apart from killings, maiming and abductions by the named Jihadist groups, Governments and local institutions in the Muslim controlled Northern States are also making life very unbearable for their indigenous Christian communities. These include Katsina State where under-age Christian girls are forcefully married to Muslim men and converted to Islam. (Defining Jihad): https://intersociety-ng.org/back-up-statistics-on-killing-of-christians-in-nigeria-jan-april-2021-2/.
Who Is Killing Who In Nigeria’s Jihadists’ Circles
“Providing credible and irrefutable answers to the above is as important as the special report itself. This is because the Nigerian Government and Governments of the affected States have made several deliberate attempts to cover the egregious massacre of Christians in Nigeria by falsely labeling them as ‘herders-farmers clashes’, or attacks by “bandits”, or ‘killings that cut across Muslims and Christians”, etc. However, in our extensive investigative findings accompanying this special report, the non street crimes’ butcheries ravaging the country are originally categorized into: (1) killings with disproportionate reprisals by Fulani Muslim Bandits against Hausa Muslims (Yansakai), (2) killings and acutely disproportionate reprisals by Fulani Muslim Herdsmen against indigenous Christians in the North and nowadays Southwest, Southeast and South-south, and (3) killings and zero reprisals by Fulani, Kanuri and Shuwa Arab (with some Hausa Muslim foot soldiers) controlled Boko Haram, Ansaru and others against Christians, moderate Muslims and Government targets.
“For instance, the killings taking place against rural Muslims in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna States are perpetrated by variant Fulani jihadist terrorists called “Bandits”. Fulani Banditry originally formed in 2011 and 2013 when it went full swing following the killing by Hausa Muslims of ‘the most popular and highly respected Fulani leader in all the neighboring States of Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi, one Alhaji Ishe, of Chilin village in Kuyambana district of Dansadau Emirate in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara on the 11th of April 2013. While Hausa Muslims operated a violent vigilante group, called “Yansakai”, the Fulani Muslims formed theirs, called “Zamfara Bandits”, which metamorphosed into today’s Jihadist “Bandits”. The rift between indigenous Hausa Muslims and their Fulani counterparts originally started over cattle rustling and related others leading to the two being at protracted daggers drawn. See the attached backup statistics for more details.
“Eighty-Nine (89) Southeast Christians Butchered In Four Months
“The killings, raping, maiming and abductions by alleged Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in Igbo States of the Southeast are being covered by Southeast Governors. In Anambra State, at least twenty Christians have been hacked to death by the Jihadists and scores abducted since Jan 2021 and yet little or nothing was said or done by the Government of Anambra State. See the attached backup statistics for more details. In Ebonyi State, not less than fifty Christian lives were lost to Fulani Jihadists between March and April 2021. In the killings that swept Mgbo and others in Ohaukwu LGA back in April, at least seventeen Igbo Christians were butchered and the State Government falsely blamed it on “inter-communal” clash but later admitted that they were perpetrated by Fulani Herdsmen “hired by the People of Agila in Benue State”. In Ishielu Local Government Area of the State and its neighboring Eha-Amufu in Enugu State, not less than 30 Igbo Christians were massacred by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in late March 2021 and among them were seven persons from Eha-Amufu and 23 others from the affected communities in Ishielu and among them were: Ekpe Ekene, Ajuru Nwekpe, Offorbuike Ede, Ede Friday, Ogbuzuru Ndubuisi, Joe Nwede, Nnaji Chinonso, Nnajionu Omebe Ogbodi, Reverend PC Njoku, Ogbuagu Aja, Chinedu Eze, Nnaji Offorbuike, Okpala Kenneth, Okonkwo Egwu, Friday Ogbuaborede, James (from Amanvu), Nkoli Sunday Odo and one unidentified. Nine Igbo Christians were also hacked to death in Kibiya District of Kano State; totaling at least 89 Igbo Christian lives lost in first four months of 2021.”