Reporter Recounts Tale of Trip to Fulani Conquered Area of Nigeria

ICC Note

A reporter for Morning Star news described his trip to Nigeria, where he was trying to look into Fulani attacks and the areas affected by them. He specifically was interested in finding out about the abductions that have become common in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. They have shown that they are able to take land and people with impunity. As he tried to travel to a local village that had been over run, every taxi said no. They felt it was too dangerous for them to go. This has become the reality for many Christian farmers and villagers in the middle of Nigeria. Their land is being taken and their homes destroyed, without punishment for those committing the crimes. 

01/17/2018 Nigeria (MorningStarNews) At first the commercial motorcycle drivers I needed clamored for my business, but when they found out I was going to Kwanti village, in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna state, they all dispersed without haggling over prices.

Kwanti and its surrounding villages of large estates inhabited mostly by farmers have been taken over by armed bandits believed to be Muslim Fulani herdsmen and terrorists. They are working in concert to terrorize local communities through kidnappings and thus force people from their lands.

“Even if you give me 1 million naira [US$2,750], I will not take the risk to take you to Kwanti,” one of the drivers told me.

Unable to convince one of them to be my guide to the area, I watched as they discussed in hushed tones among themselves in the Gbagyi language. I approached them again with a Gbagyi greeting “Agife,” and they engaged me in talk of how mine was a trip of no return. Finally one elderly fellow consented to take me there – at five times the usual charge.

“If going to Kwanti will bring into the open our plight as a people, I am prepared to die for it so that my people can be rescued from kidnappers who have made our lives miserable,” he said.

On the one-hour drive to Kwanti, we did not meet a single soul on the roads. At every village we passed, the driver would stop and inquire how safe it was to proceed. The answer was always the same: “Watch out, but is the risk worth it?”

 

Full Story