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04/09/2020 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Yesterday, April 8th, gunmen believed to be Fulani militants attacked Ngbra-zongo village of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State. The attack was the second in the last month on the village. During this attack, the gunmen killed at least four people, including the pastor of the local ECWA church. The attackers were able to continue the attack for over an hour without any security intervention and then escaped.

The security of this area should be of huge concern to the Nigerian government as it has been a hotspot of large scale attacks in the past. In June of 2017, ove two hundred people were killed in a two-day attack on Bassa Local Government area.  Despite this, there has only been minimal engagement by the authorities and none of the attackers have ever been held accountable. This has led to impunity on the part of the attackers, who believe that they can get away with whatever they want. It has also led the locals to mistrust and often hate the military and government.

This attack is especially worrisome as Plateau state is going in to total lockdown tonight due to the coronavirus, COVID-19. This will mean that many of the locals will be stuck in their homes and could be attacked again. This will also hurt the government’s attempts to stop the spread of the virus, as villagers whose homes are attacked often have to flee to other locations. It is time that the Nigerian government finally puts a stop to these large scale incursions into villages throughtout the Middle Belt. They need to stop saying that these are equal attacks by both sides and protect the lives of the Christian farmers who are being slain in the thousands every year.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.