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07/25/22 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Nigeria’s northern region has become a burial ground for Christians as radicalized Islamic Fulani militias continue to target Christian farmers in the country’s middle belt. Fulani militants, who are nomadic herders, have killed more Christians in Nigeria than Boko Haram.

Miango is a state in northern Nigeria, comprised chiefly of Christian farming communities. According to one of ICC’s representatives in Nigeria, since 2016, Fulani extremists have killed over 1,000 Christians and displaced around 13,000 people. Children have been orphaned and have no place to sleep. Fulani militants have also destroyed farms and burnt houses.  

“Over 800 [children] are now orphans in the Rigwe chiefdom,” said John Redwe, a humanitarian worker in Nigeria. He continued, “The orphans are mostly minors. They could not eat or go to school and receive no concern from the government.”

In response to this crisis, International Christian Concern (ICC) gave funds to Peace International School in Miango. ICC is currently supporting 43 orphans at the school, many of whose parents were killed by Fulani militants. The children are all minors, and ICC pays their school fees and provides them with a daily meal. The project has been going on for three months. 

Samuel Amos, an 8-year-old boy, supported by ICC whose parents were killed by the Fulani, told an ICC representative part of his story. He said, “Plenty of Fulani came to my house in the night and killed my father. They shot guns everywhere and killed many of my friends and other people too.” Samuel told the ICC staff member that he is so grateful to ICC for the food he gets to eat every day. 

Sarah Ngwe, the director of the school, expressed her dismay over the growing number of orphans in Miango. According to Ngwe, “Peace International School currently enrolls 105 orphans, out of which ICC is sponsoring the 43 who come from the worst situations.” 

She added that “most of the children witnessed the brutal murder of their parents by the Fulani militants, an experience that will traumatize them for life.” She continued, “If the government does not make a serious effort to curb these attacks, the rising number of orphans and children who do not attend school will mean a perilous future for Nigeria.” 

A teacher from the school told ICC that the orphans are improving academically. He said, “We are teaching them to understand the Bible. They learn Bible memory verses and stories as we teach them how to read, write and spell.” He said that the children are also improving their English.

Dr. Moses Lugos, an associate professor in Hematology at the University of Jos, Nigeria, and the school board’s chairman described the plight of children in Miango state as “devastating.” In a conversation with ICC, he expressed dismay at the increasing number of orphans in Miango. He also thanked ICC for assisting orphans at Peace International School, adding that ICC also provided the school with teaching and learning materials, computers, and printers. 

Lugos concluded by emphasizing that more orphans in the surrounding community need assistance. He called on the international community to continue supporting orphans, and other displaced Christians in Nigeria as the country continues to be wracked with violent attacks and persecution.

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