09/21/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – At approximately 6pm on October 15th, 2017, 31 residents of Nkiendowro Village in Plateau State ran to their local primary school, which also served as a military base, to flee an attack by suspected Fulani militants.
When they reached the school, members of the Nigerian Army Special Task Force (STF) led them to a classroom, assuring them of protection and safety. They then collected all of their cellphones, and locked them inside.
Moments later, Fulani (militants) entered the room with a key and proceeded to shoot. 29 people were killed, including women, children, and the elderly.
Almost four years since the horrific ordeal and still, no serious investigation has occurred, nor has a single arrest been made.
Recently, an ICC correspondent in Nigeria spoke with survivors of the massacre and recorded their shocking testimony’s.
When we got to the school, soldiers collected our phones. They told us to go into a classroom. You know, we were all running and trying to save our lives, so when they requested our phones, we just gave them without asking any questions…
When the Fulani (militants) entered the classroom, my friend was shouting ‘I will die, they shot me!’ I just hid myself using his body for cover. Blood from his body splashed on my body, I pretended I was dead. I later realized I was also shot in my hand, but I managed to keep quiet. The Fulani (militants) were flashing lights on us to see if there was any survival.
They were all speaking Hausa and Fulani languages, saying ‘let us check if there is anybody alive and kill them before we go.’ But one of them said ‘No, let’s go, we exhausted the time given to us. We must go.’
Around 5:30 pm we were all seated in the village when we heard gunshots. I was trying to run behind some children. They ran past the primary school and behind it and as I was about to do the same, one of the soldiers called me and said I should go into the classroom and that there were many of our villagers inside. So, I stopped to go in. They (the soldiers) asked for my phone, and when I gave it to them, they told me to go in, and I did.
When I entered, I did not sit down as the others had. I was wandering around and restless in the classroom. I had gone to the door to open it and see if I could go outside and see what was happening. That’s when I saw one of the soldiers beckon to the Fulani (militants), saying that there were people inside the classroom. So, I left the door and went to the window. I was able to open the window. As I was opening the window, the Fulani had already opened the door to the classroom, and they were looking at us. That was when I jumped out of the window.
Soldiers asked me to follow the villagers into the classroom, but I told them I wasn’t going in there. They said if I didn’t go in, they would shoot me, so I told them to go ahead but that I wasn’t going into the classroom. So, they ordered me to go and lie down on the ground in the school compound as punishment, which I did. While lying down, I turned and saw one of the soldiers beckoning with his hand to the Fulani (militants), asking them to enter the school.
The gunmen went into the classroom and opened fire on the people, killing everybody inside the classroom.
The Fulani Militia is the fourth deadliest terror group globally and has surpassed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to Nigerian Christians. The 2017 massacre is just one of many perpetrated by the group that has claimed the lives of thousands of Christians in the past decade. Many believe that these attacks constitute pure jihad amounting to genocide and that the government in Nigeria has failed to protect its Christian citizens.
On December 7th, The U.S. State Department added Nigeria to their list of Countries of Particular Concern for tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.”
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who suffer daily for their faith.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: firstname.lastname@example.org.