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4/11/2024 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – For more than a decade, the people of Bokkos local government area, located in Nigeria’s Plateau state, have suffered from ongoing violent attacks and bloodshed at the hands of militant Islamic Fulani. These attacks have claimed hundreds of lives, displaced thousands of people, and destroyed numerous homes, businesses, farms, and church buildings.

Bokkos Cultural Development Council (BCDC) Vanguard, a group that represents the youth of Bokkos, recently issued a statement strongly condemning the attacks and emphasized the need for the Fulani militants to be designated as terrorists. It also called for immediate measures to protect vulnerable populations in Bokkos and called for justice for victims of the violence.

“It is documented that in the past 11 years of senseless violence against our people, we have mourned the loss of at least 1,000 lives in Bokkos,” BCDC Chairman Farmasum Fuddang said in the release. “Over 30 of our communities have been seized and turned into no-go zones for our people. Additionally, we have lost thousands of acres of crops to the destructive grazing of cattle by these land grabbers. None of these crimes or criminals have been prosecuted!”

Most recently, on April 2, militant Islamic Fulani attackers killed at least eight people in the villages of Njukudel and Butura Wur, both situated near the Bokkos government headquarters. These assaults, occurring just after Easter, took place just months after the predominantly Christian communities endured devastating militant Fulani attacks during Christmastime that claimed more than 200 lives.

In its release, the BCDC rejected the false narrative of the attacks being tied to clashes between farmers and herders. The organization also called for “the eviction of land-grabbers, cessation of open grazing, and prioritization of protection for communities.” The BCDC urged government authorities and humanitarian organizations to intervene promptly to provide security and assistance to displaced residents.

“This advocacy aims to stand against these incidents which confirm the religious cleansing and land-grabbing agenda of the terrorists, who aim to establish a caliphate governed by extreme Islamic ideology,” the release stated.

The BCDC consists of young professionals and rights activities dedicated to advancing the social and cultural well-being of Bokkos communities and ensuring the safety of all residents. They emphasize the critical need to restore peace and prevent further bloodshed in the area by taking constructive steps toward resolving the issue.

Earlier this year, another Plateau state-based group — the Berom Youth Moulders Association — also called on the federal government to declare Fulani militants as terrorists.

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