JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen on Sunday (May 23) killed 14 Christians in a village near Jos, Plateau state and eight others in another village, sources said.
Herdsmen attacked Kwi village, Riyom County, near Jos, at about 11 p.m., said area resident Solomon Mandiks, a Christian rights activist.
“Fourteen Christians were butchered to death, including children,” Mandiks told Morning Star News in a text message. “Eight members of one family have all been killed. This is beside an additional six other Christians killed by the herdsmen in the village.”
Earlier that night in Dong village, Jos North County, armed herdsmen attacking at 8 p.m. killed eight Christians, area residents said. Asabe Samuel, 60-year-old member of the local Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) congregation, said in an interview at her home that a large number of herdsmen invaded as residents were about to go to sleep.
“I was by the central area of the village, which has shops and serves as a market, when I heard Fulani gunmen shooting around my house,” Samuel told Morning Star News. “This forced us to run to hide.”
As the sounds of gunshot were coming from the direction of her house, others advised her not to return home, she said.
“I still rushed to my house, and just as I was getting closer to my house, I found that one Istifanus Shehu, 40, a member of COCIN [Church of Christ in Nations] who has had mental health challenges, was shot dead, and his corpse was lying beside my house,” Samuel said. “We heard the attackers retreating and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is greater].’ The herdsmen were also communicating with themselves in the Fulani language.”
After they retreated, residents found eight Christians were killed in attacks on four houses, she said. Besides Shehu, she identified those slain as Ruth Adamu, 20, an ECWA member; Naomi Adamu, 40, of the ECWA; Friday Danladi Riya, 22, of the ECWA; Awuki Matthew, 28, Catholic; Gospel Matthew, 4, Catholic; PraiseGod Matthew, 2, Catholic; and one identified only as Chinyere of St. Jude’s Anglican Church.
“Awuki Matthew was killed alongside her two daughters, Gospel Matthew and PraiseGod Matthew, leaving behind her husband, who’s blind,” she said. “Who will care for this blind man, and how will he cope with life without his wife and children?”
Monday Auta, an ECWA member and her neighbor, was shot in his shoulder and was receiving hospital treatment, she said, adding that Ruth Adamu and daughter Naomi Adamu were her neighbors and members of her ECWA church.
The late Shehu’s sister, Jummai Shehu, a 32-year-old COCIN member, said her brother was visiting the house of Samuel, where they once lived.
“The armed Fulani herdsmen spotted him and shot him dead,” she said, weeping. “I feel very sad about the way my brother was killed in cold blood. Why must we live in fear every day, not knowing the evil that awaits us as Christians in this country?”
The pastor of the ECWA church in Dong, Jonathan Kyoomnom Bala, said police did not show up until 10 a.m. the next day.