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12/16/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – In July 2019, a village in Kaura Local Government of Kaduna state was attacked by men wielding AK-47s and machetes. They killed twenty-four people, who were observing COVID-19 lockdown orders, locals say.

The order was issued by the state government. However, this group of Fulani militants failed to abide by the order and managed to pass through military stations on their way to the Kaura village. The attack, which took place in a Christian village, lasted about thirty minutes.

Such stories can be heard repeatedly in the surrounding villages of Ancha, Hukke, Kperie and hundreds of others across Nigeria’s fertile Middle Belt.

A community leader in the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attackers opened fire on the crowd as soon as they arrived at the village. The attackers were said to have stormed the community around 10pm on Sunday, when young people in the village were still celebrating a wedding that was conducted earlier in the day. He said the gathering was controlled and managed in accordance with the government lockdown order.

The community leader told ICC that sixteen people were killed on the spot, adding that over thirty people sustained serious injuries and were taken to Throne Room Hospital, Kafanchan, St. Gerald Hospital and Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, both in Kaduna. He said eight of those taken to the hospitals later died.

“The attack took place around 10pm and lasted for about 30 minutes. The militants came in a convoy of motorcycles and they were armed with guns,” he said.

He alleged that the government has failed in its primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties.

“The government and security agencies have failed us. We don’t know where to go, we don’t know who to believe in. It is the constitutional responsibility of government to protect lives and property, but this government has failed us woefully,” he said. “People are asking why the government allows herdsmen to move about freely with guns to kill people? Since the government has failed in tackling these killers, we should be allowed to also carry arms like them.”

“No early signs were warning regarding the attack,” said the Village Head. “The killings in this area have continued to today. The Fulani seize our farmland and destroy our crops despite the presence of security forces.”

The community leader said the militants claimed more lives than the pandemic in his village. “We can’t farm or go to school. The Fulani militants will attack you. We are suffering.”

The Fulani are one of Nigeria’s major ethnic groups. While many are nomads, a number of prominent Nigerians—including President Mohammadu Buhari—are Fulani. Though the majority of the Fulani community lives in peace with their neighbors, some among them have militarized in recent years.

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