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07/19/2022 Nigeria – Nigeria’s northern state of Plateau is becoming a battleground between Christian farmers and radicalized herdsmen. The militant Fulani herdsmen have been chasing Christian farmers out of their original homes since 2017, leading to hunger and death among the Christian community. Amnesty International Nigeria in 2017 reported the crisis as a clash between herders and farmers, but locals tell ICC it is a genocide, land grabbing, and jihad on Christian farmers by Fulani militants.

The Irigwe National Youth leader, Ezekiel Bini, told ICC that no help is coming from the Nigerian government. “Also, the U.S. government is not helping persecuted Christians in Nigeria,” said Bini.

Bini told ICC his people wanted to farm to feed IDPs who were displaced as a result of a series of attacks by the Fulani. He said they farm 87 hectares of land, but without securing the farm, Fulani will destroy it and graze their cattle on the farm. He said more than five hundred would benefit from the farm produce if well harvested.

In 2020, Christians gathered to farm 250 hectares of maize and soya beans, using hoes to plow the ground in the villages of Ancha, Hukke, and Rotsu but it was all destroyed by the Fulani militants. “We don’t have money to secure the farm after spending on the seeds and other farming materials,” said Nuhu Bitrus Ngah, a Christian rights activist now facing threats by Fulani militants. He said the militants destroyed another 120  hectares of land this year without the government coming to the aid of the persecuted Christians.

House of Parliament leader Musa Agah,  representing the Bassa/Jos North Federal constituency, condemned the atrocity of the farm but did not render any assistance to persons affected, locals told ICC. Agah said in a Motion of Urgent Public Importance that there had been increased cases of cutting and destruction of farmlands in Rigwe Chiefdom of Bassa LGA and other communities within the constituency.

Agah called on the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the National Emergency  Management Agency to consider the plight of the people by providing them with relief materials and called on the Inspector General of Police and other security outfits to improve the security of lives and property within the constituency. But nothing was done for the affected Christian farmers, locals confirmed to ICC, and the police could not come to investigate or arrest the Fulani militant. Locals said so.

Action was taken by a resilient community to embark on communal farm work to ridge abandoned hundreds of hectares of land in a community that has been abandoned by inhabitants fleeing militancy.

At the last farming activity in Hukke community, the scene Fulani militia came dressed in black and fired sophisticated weapons. They shot at the innocent farmers, which led to the death of mobile police and a motorcycle belonging to Mr. Nuhu Bitrus Nga, which was broken down while he ran for his life alongside all the farmers.

“The risk taken to till this farm again is high. I can say it is left to the mercy of the Fulani militants because the fear is that they may decide to cut the farm down or set herds to graze on it,” said Nga.

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