Fulani herdsmen contine their vicious killing spree against Christians
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service, who was born in Nigeria
KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA (ANS –September 1, 2016) — As farmers lamented policies designating land for cattlemen in northern Nigeria, suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed a pastor and four other Christians in Kaduna state on Friday, August 19, 2016.
Pastor Luka Ubangari of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at Angwan Anjo village, near Godogodo in the Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA), was shot and killed while returning from an evangelistic outreach in Golkofa village, a resident of Gidan Waya, Emmanuel Garba, told Morning Star News (http://morningstarnews.org/).
“The pastor was ambushed and murdered as he was returning to his village,” he said.
Suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Sunday, August 21, 2016, also attacked Ningon village in Sanga LGA, killing two Christians in their homes as they slept, area resident Nuhu Tukura told Morning Star News.
“Two men were killed and a girl was injured,” said Tukura, a leader in the community. “The girl had bullet wounds and is being treated at the Kafanchan General Hospital.”
The killed Christians were identified as Gambo Sule, 38, and Benjamin Auta, 35, both members of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) in Ningon village. The attack took place at about 8:45 p.m.
Suspected herdsmen on Sunday, August 14, 2016, also attacked Ungwar Mada village, killing a married couple of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA). Their names were not immediately available. A resident of Ungwar Mada told Morning Star News that armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen invaded the Christian community at night and forced their way into the couple’s home.
“The attacks came as the Kaduna state government proposed granting land to the Fulani, who are nomadic pastoralists, in an effort to settle them and keep them from property disputes said to be behind the aggression against the predominantly Christian farmers,” said the Nigeria correspondent for Morning Star News.
“Solomon Musa, head of an umbrella body uniting regional ethnic groups known as the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), said in a recent press statement that the Muslim Fulani herdsmen’s aggression is not motivated by property issues.”
He added, “The same people suspected of carrying out this genocide, that has nothing to do with grass for cows, are the ones being given the government’s approval to sit on annexed land within communities that are completely agrarian.”
Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has since backed away from a proposal to grant the herdsmen grazing reserves on or next to farmers’ land, shifting instead to opening land reserves for investors to develop ranches on which the herdsmen would be settled.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry Manzo Daniel Maigari told the Nigerian newspaper, THISDAY, that the ranches will have the same goal of stopping conflict between herdsmen and farmers.
“If you settle herdsmen in ranches, they don’t have to go to people’s farms and spoil the farms,” he said. “So it is the solution that government is looking for.”
Morning Star News went on to say that spoiling farms, however, was not the only complaint lodged by thousands of protestors in Gwantu, in the Sanga LGA, on Friday (Aug. 26). Besides alleging state confiscation of their lands for cattle grazing, they decried relentless violence inflicted on them in the past five years.
The protest was organized by SOKAPU. Musa of the organization said in his press statement that between 2011 and 2015, Fulani herdsmen in southern Kaduna state launched more than 200 attacks that killed over 4,000 people.
“In most of the affected communities, women and children were brutally murdered in a most barbaric manner,” he said. “While in some cases they were hacked to death, in others they were burnt alive and or blown up with explosives.”
Muslim Fulani herdsmen are also suspected in the kidnapping of the Rev. Yusufu Magaga, an ECWA pastor in Kabene-Surubu village, about two months ago. Pastor Magaga was abducted the night of July 6, when herdsmen attacked Kabene-Surubu village in Kauru LGA, Kaduna state.
“The village was attacked by Fulani herdsmen,” village resident Jacob Wakili reportedly said. “They destroyed the ECWA worship building and abducted the pastor of the church, the Rev. Yusufu Magaga, and left many others injured.”
Note from Dan Wooding. It appears to me that the Fulani herdsmen are now trying to outdo Boko Haram in their savagery against Christians in the land of my birth. Please pray for the believers in that region.
Photo captions: 1) The Rev. Luka Ubangari was killed by suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen in southern Kaduna state. (Morning Star News photo, courtesy of his family). 2) Fulani herdsman with an AK47 weapon. 3) Dan Wooding and family with his late missionary mother, Anne Wooding, looking at a copy of “Blind Faith,” a book that co-wrote with her about her life in both the UK and Nigeria, where she was a missionary to the blind. The book carries a foreword by Pastor Chuck Smith.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria, West Africa, of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. He now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for some 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of some 45 books. He also has a weekly radio show (Front Page Radio) and two TV shows (Windows on the World— with Mark Ellis, and Inside Hollywood with Dan Wooding) all based in Southern California. You can write to Dan Wooding at email@example.com.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the above website and signing up there.