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12/25/2023 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – A Nigerian Army official said gunmen killed 16 people on Christmas Eve Sunday in an attack in Mushu, in Plateau State. Mushu is a village bordering Mangu and Bokkos local government areas. The attack occurred despite part of the region being under curfew and villagers warned of impending attacks by radicals. 

State Gov. Caleb Mutfwang condemned the attack in the media and called it “barbaric, brutal, and unjustified.” The government and security forces, however, have been unable to curb violence against mostly Christian communities over the past 20 years. Residents say they are tired of leaders paying lip service to protect them in a conflict that often features herders and farmers, radical Islam and Christianity, tribal conflicts, land grabs, politics, and more. 

Mangu County and a region known as Pumbush have been under constant threat this year by suspected jihadist tribesmen. Villagers were celebrating Christmas behind closed doors this year as they are under a government curfew and fearful of attacks by radical Fulani militants. 

 “We need more security in the community to celebrate Christmas very well,” said village Elder Yusuf Ibrahim. “Yes, we are under attack by (radical) Fulani tribesmen.” He implored the government to do more than place a curfew to protect the community. The curfew – which can make it easier for criminal, roaming bandits to attack Christians as they sit in their homes – was needed after Fulani militants killed four Christians near a security checkpoint on Nov. 20. 

Christians stay on edge in the Middle Belt. Many communities choose not to celebrate on Christmas eve and many churches are closed.  

“Pray for us,” pleaded Ibrahim, wanting more security to protect his community.