Posted by News Express | 1 November 2018 | 1,145 times
No fewer than 360 defenseless citizens dominated by members of the Christian faith were killed in Nigeria by Islamic extremists in the month of October 2018 alone, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) said on Wednesday. “The senseless killings mostly took place in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria particularly in the States of Kaduna (Southern part), Plateau, Adamawa, Benue and Borno (Northeast) and were perpetrated by state actor and non-state actor Jihadists. The killings, perpetrated in the name of “Islam”, are done with reckless abandon despite heavy presence and deployment of soldiers in all the 36 states of Nigeria and the Abuja,” the frontline rights group said in a statement signed by Board Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi and Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
According to the statement, “The continuation and escalation of the killings mostly targeted at members of the Nigerian Christian Faith are also politically motivated whereby those perpetrating same and their backers in the corridors of power who brazenly aid and abet them are hailed among largely illiterate Muslim population in the North as the “true defenders of Allah and Islamic Faith”; capable of robotically galloping their electoral popularity among the illiterate Muslim population in the north ahead of the country’s presidential poll in February 2019.
“By Jihadists or Islamic extremists, they are perpetrators, aiders and abettors of anti-Christian violence including killing and burning or destruction of faith linked and individual properties belonging to members of the Christian faith or members of the rival Muslim religion (i.e. Shiites). Jihadists in the present Nigeria are divided into state-actor Jihadists and non-state actor Jihadists.
“While the former are drawn from fundamental Islamists in the country’s central and regional corridors of power including military commanders and some top elected and appointed public office holders, the former are drawn from fanatical or violent Islamists including terrorist Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents or randomly mobilised ethno-religious groups or violent actors.
“The breakdown of the over 360 Christian dominated deaths, revisited and evaluated by Intersociety, showed that no fewer than 135 Christian lives were lost in Kaduna State in the month of October; specifically between 18th and 21st October 2018. Muslims are most likely to have lost 15 lives or less in the massacre owing to disproportion of the violence and associated reprisals. Over 53 Christian lives were lost in Jos, Plateau State in the past 30 days and not less than 30 (16 Christians and three Churches and 15 Muslims) lost in Lafia-Lamurde and Mamsirmi communities in Adamawa State. The Adamawa killings took place on 23rd October 2018.”
Breaking down the figures, Intersociety said: “In Benue State, no fewer than 14 Christians were shot and killed in October in Agena and Agbaaye Communities, located in Ukum and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of the State. In Borno State, along Maiduguri-Damboa Road and in the Molai Village located in Jere Local Government Area, Boko Haram insurgents were reported to have slaughtered 38 civilians; many of them Christians.
“The killings, reported by the Daily Trust Newspaper of Sunday, 21st October 2018 and the Punch Newspaper of 20th October 2018 , took place between Friday, 19th and Saturday, 20th October 2018. Some of the female witnesses and survivors interviewed by the Punch Newspaper who lost their husbands in the attacks are Christians. Boko Haram insurgency also was originally created to wipe out Christians in Nigeria and Islamize the entire country. Muslim victims of their attacks are often referred to as “collateral victims” or reprisal victims.
“With the above breakdown, therefore, Benue State has lost no fewer than 634 Christians in the past ten months of 2018; followed by Plateau State with 503 Christian lives, Taraba 260, Kaduna (South) 235, Nasarawa 200, Adamawa 300 and Kogi 100; totaling 2,232 Christian lives lost since January 2018. When added to 30 Borno Christians who were among those killed in the recent Boko Haram insurgency attacks in the State, it brings to 260 Christian lives lost in the country in October 2018 alone or 2,262 since January 2018.
“This grand figure did not include the number of Christians killed by Boko Haram insurgents between January and September 2018 or those killed (mostly Southern travelers) along Birnin-Gwari Federal Road by the so called “Zamfara Bandits”. The above summed up statistics are originally derived from our recent updates contained in our statements of 2nd July and 16th September 2018. See www.intersociety-ng.org for more details of this.”
Continuing, the statement said: “The religious composition of the no fewer than 360 innocent lives lost in the latest round of orgy of “killing in the name of Islam” in the past 30 days clearly indicates that no fewer than 260 Christians were killed within the period. As much as 60 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (Shiites) lost their lives in the hands of the Nigerian Army between Saturday, 27th and Monday, 29th October 2018; out of which 46 bodies have been recorded or retrieved. Their death took place in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city during their annual religious procession. About 12 of them were killed on Saturday, 27th October 2018, out of which Army took away about six corpses and six were recovered; and as much as 50 were shot and killed on Monday, 29th October 2018 and 107 others critically injured.
“This brings to 1200 the total number of unarmed and defenseless members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (Shiites) shot and killed by the Nigerian Army since December 2015. In the said slaughter of December 12th and 14th 2015, no fewer than 1000 unarmed and defenseless Shiites were shot and killed. Subsequent killing of defenseless members of the Movement by soldiers since 2016 have resulted in the death of not less than 130.
“Therefore, with the loss of no fewer than 260 Christians in the past 30 days, the total number of defenseless Christians killed by the Fulani Herdsmen jihadists and their collaborators in the Middle Belt of Nigeria in the past ten months of 2018 has risen to at least 2,262. By this, 2018 that remains two months away to end; represents the bloodiest year in the Fulani jihad attacks in Nigeria solely targeted at members of the Nigerian Christian Faith and their sacred places of worship. This is followed by 2016 when not less than 1,700 Christians were slaughtered especially in Southern Kaduna and Benue State. Also, out of the 260 Christian deaths in October 2018, as much as 30 of them were believed to have died in the recent Boko Haram attacks in Borno State.
“As much as 40 innocent Muslims are also strongly believed by Intersociety to have lost their lives in the said latest round of senseless killings. Fifteen of the estimated 40 Muslim lives were confirmed lost in Adamawa State in a Christian reprisal over the former’s killing of 16 Christians in Lafia-Larmude Community in Larmude Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
“From our independent findings too, 15 Muslim lives are believed to have been lost in the recent aborted widespread Christian reprisal following the 18th and 21st October 2018 anti-Christian violence in Kaduna State. Ten more Muslim lives might most likely lost in the 19th and 20th October 2018 Boko Haram attacks in Borno State where no fewer than 40 defenseless citizens mainly Christians were targeted and slaughtered in their farms by the Islamic insurgents.
“Intersociety’s findings from the recent killings further show that the lead perpetrators are the Sunni Muslim elements within the present Federal Government of Nigeria and its Kaduna State counterpart as well as the top leaders in the country’s security forces particularly the Nigerian Army. Others are the Fulani jihadists, the Boko Haram Islamic insurgents and the randomly organised Islamic fanatics who collude with the Fulani jihadists and the Army to perpetrate and perpetuate the religious violence in the country.
“Reports and statistics concerning the latest round of killings in Nigeria are also evaluated and found to be deeply censored by the Government which also corrupt their media reports to paint false pictures of same as “inter-communal clashes” or “Herdsmen-Farmers’ clashes”, “killings perpetrated by “unknown gunmen”, “Muslim-Christian religious clashes”, or “street violence perpetrated by rival cultists”.
“Government and its controlled media also hide the ethno-religious identities of the slain victims and in many cases seize the corpses of the slain victims and refuse to hand them over to their loved ones for befitting burials. The correct or actual number of those killed is also mangled by the Government with reckless abandon. “Government” here includes the Federal Government and its regional APC or PDP controlled State Governments in the affected areas as well as the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.
“The loss of over 360 innocent and defenseless citizens in 30 days alone has marked October as one of the bloodiest, if not the bloodiest month in 2018. Members of the Nigeria Christian Faith and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (Shiites) are the worst hit in the renewed orgy of “killings in the name of Islam” in Nigeria. The killings are also inescapably aided and abetted by the present central Government of Nigeria headed by Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari as well as some northern States Governments such as the present Government of Kaduna State headed by Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai. As a matter of fact, no fewer than 1100 Shiite Muslims and 1400 Christians have been killed in Kaduna State since Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai became the Governor of the State on 29th May 2015; with his Government often blamed for not doing enough to stop or end the butcheries or colluding with the perpetrators.
“Intersociety has consistently monitored various patterns and trends of “the killing in the name of Islam” in Nigeria. This we have been doing since 2010. Intersociety has also been monitoring since June 2015 the roles of the Nigerian security forces particularly the Army and various government establishments in the said killings and property destruction including burning or destruction of sacred places of Christian worship. The patterns and trends of recruitment and composition including promotion, posting and deployment by the Nigerian security forces particularly the Army have been monitored as well since June 2015.
“In arriving at our present findings, investigations and other checks were taken beyond media reports and government provided statistics which are grossly censored, mangled and manipulated in favour of the perpetrators or Islamic extremists and aiders and abettors of their heinous crimes. Independent sources and contacts from the affected areas were established or made so as to uncover the real remote and immediate causes of the killings as well as unmasking the roles of the Government and its security agencies or establishments.
“Background of Kaduna Violence:
“By credible independent accounts obtained by Intersociety, the recent anti-Christian mayhem in Southern Kaduna is religiously influenced or fallout of the State Government’s highhandedness and disproportionate security and religious policies all targeted at the Christian population in the State, dominantly found in seven Local Government Areas of the State. These seven Local Government Areas are commonly referred to as “Southern Kaduna”. Kaduna State is divided by River Kaduna into northern and southern areas; with the South of the River having seven Local Government Areas of Kaduna South LGA, Chikun LGA, Kajuru LGA, Kujama LGA, Kachia LGA, Zango Kataf LGA and Kaura LGA; with predominantly Christian population and traditionalized with chiefdoms.
“The areas (Southern Kaduna) have since 1990s witnessed orgies of anti-Christian violence from Muslim fanatics. In late May 2018, Governor Nasiru el-Rufai fanned the embers of religious discord and sowed the seed of Jihadism by writing and ordering all the traditional institutions in the state including Christian-dominated chiefdoms located in seven Christian dominated LGAs to be forcefully converted into “Islamic Emirate Councils”. Christian traditional rulers were, as a result, forced to become “Emirs” or royal Christian kings in Islamic turbans. Christian People and holders of traditional institutions in Southern Kaduna rose in opposition; viewing it as desecration and destruction of their age long traditional institutions.
“Not surprisingly, the Governor’s action was supported by Muslim traders in the southern areas of the state as well as other Muslims across the state. Before the Governor’s action in late May 2018, Christians in Kaduna were made endangered species and targeted for violent attacks and property destruction including burning of sacred places of Christian worship. These attacks are launched at large scale at slightest or no provocation; using the Fulani jihadists and their sophisticated weapons with government security forces particularly the Army doing nothing or taking sides when rarely intervened.
“On 18th October 2018, a dispute relating to theft erupted at the Kasuwa Magani Thursday Market in Adara Community, located in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, involving a Muslim boy who was chased after and caught by local traders in the Christian dominated market. He was rescued by his fellow Muslims who regrouped in large numbers and turned the area into a theatre of war and bloodshed; burning houses, churches and stalls and killing innocent people.
“The attackers were reportedly aided by Fulani jihadists armed with sophisticated weapons. They went on rampage burning properties and killing any Christian seen. The anti-Christian mayhem started around past 6pm on Thursday, 18th October 2018 and lasted throughout the night and part of the next day. The security forces particularly soldiers of the Nigerian Army looked the other way; except when the aggrieved Christian indigenes of the victim communities regrouped for protests. Their attempts to do so were swiftly quelled by soldiers who barricaded their way and opened fire on them; shooting six and fatally injuring one.
“By the account of the Adara Development Association through its press statement of 28th October 2018, “73 dead bodies of the Christian indigenes of the Community were recovered after the attacks with dozens of others still missing” as at Sunday, 28th October 2018. By our independent estimate, not less than 120 Christian indigenes of the Community were slaughtered. The slaughtered indigenous Christians of Adara Community included their Traditional Ruler and four of his traditional guards as well as six Christian indigenes of the Community fatally shot by soldiers. No fewer than 30 more people lost their lives in the spillover mayhem of Sunday, 21st October 2018 in the Kaduna metropolis. The Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency also admitted recovering and burying 23 bodies who were killed in the Sunday spillover violence.
“The Christian Traditional Ruler of the Community, late HRH, the Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Raphael Galadima, who was returning from a peace meeting after the mayhem was abducted alongside his wife on Friday, 19th October 2018. Four of his traditional guards were killed. The late Christian Traditional Ruler was later found dead on Thursday, 25th October 2018, having been killed by his abductors, strongly suspected to be Islamic extremists.
“The National President of the Adara Development Association, Mr. Awemi Dio Maisamari, had in his press statement accused the Governor of Kaduna State and the security agencies including Nigerian Army of complicity. The ADA National President also accused the security agencies including the Army of targeting and indiscriminately arresting his own people who are victims of the mayhem while shielding or colluding with perpetrators. He cited the case whereby out of 22 persons arrested after the 18th October 2018 violence, 20 were Adara indigenes while only two were Hausa-Fulani citizens.
“The Nigerian Senate has also in its recent debate over the Kaduna mayhem strongly accused the Governor of the State and the security agencies of serious complicity in the mayhem. The Kaduna Governor was specifically accused of being behind the killings while the security forces particularly soldiers of the Nigerian Army came under heavy criticism from the Senate for colluding with the perpetrators, protecting the perpetrators and not protecting the victim population as well as persecuting them.
“We are in total agreement with the position of the Senate on discriminatory or disproportionate responses of the security forces including the Nigerian Army towards the orgies of ethno-religious violence in various parts of Nigeria particularly the recent killings in Kaduna and Plateau states. We have always maintained that the composition and leadership of the present security agencies in the country particularly the Nigerian Army are far from being professionally endowed and true reflection of multi ethno-religious composition of Nigeria. The present Nigerian Army and the entire security establishments are undeniably Jihad friendly and anti-secular.”
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