09/27/2020 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Despite a strict law forbidding the movement of cattle through land in Benue state, there has still been ongoing attacks by Fulani militants. In November 2017, the Anti-Open Grazing bill went into effect, making it illegal for herders to move their cattle through unowned land. They were required to buy or rent pastures and ranches on which to graze their cattle. This was in hopes of ending the many violent attacks that take place against the mainly Christian farmers of the state.
Yet, on Sunday, September 20, Fulani militants attacked Tse-Apera village, Nzorov District, Guma LGA. This village is home to the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, who helped get the bill passed into law. He has also been one of the most outspoken critics of the attacks throughout Nigeria by Fulani militants. During this attack, five people were killed, including one reported beheading. Another eight people were injured and sent to the hospital for recovery. According to the head of the village, the attackers were heard speaking the Fula language, which is how they were identified as Fulani.
This attack is just one of many that have claimed the lives of thousands of Christians in the past decade. The widespread attacks have been classified by some as normal historical conflicts over land rights, while others claim that these attacks constitute pure jihad amounting to genocide. No matter where on this scale the attacks fall, they are atrocious, wrong, and the government in Nigeria must do more to end this continuing issue. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who suffer daily for their faith.
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