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Fulani herdsmen have attacked Nigerian Christians with impunity. Photo - World Watch Monitor
Fulani herdsmen have attacked
Nigerian Christians with impunity.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Several fatal attacks have taken place this March in Guma, Agatu, Naka, and several other local government areas (LGAs) of Benue state. The death toll between March 10th and March 20th had risen to 60, according to Nigeria's police chief, who says he's deploying a special tactical force to deal with the continuing violence.

The series of attacks began on March 10th in Mkgovur village, located on the outskirts of Buruku town. When a group of Hausa-Fulani herders were prevented from grazing their cattle on the farms of the indigenous Christian community, they returned armed with sophisticated weapons and proceeded to shoot and kill anyone in sight. By the time the villagers realized what was happening, about ten people had been killed and several others were missing. Surviving villagers had to flee to the neighbouring Gboko Local Government Area.

After the attack in Mkgovur, another attack was carried out a couple days later in the village of Tombo-Mbalagh, Buruku LGA. This attack was directed mostly against an unarmed Christian population going about its normal business. About eight people were killed and three others were reported missing. Before the intervention of security services, another attack was carried out by the militant herdsmen in the early hours of March 14th. This attack took place at Wanune, headquarters of Tarka LGA. While the government struggles to find a solution to the problem, the killing has continued.

Benue state is a Christian majority state, with limited settlements of Muslims within some urban centres of the different local government councils. However, it is fair to say that the attacks of the militants have been selective, targeting mostly Christian villages, communities and settlements.

Added Note: Attacks by Fulani herdsmen have also affected Christians in Nigeria's Kaduna state, despite calls for peace and an increased army presence. On the morning of February 20th, the militants began setting fire to the Christians' homes, demanding that they renounce their faith. The gunmen killed 15 people, mostly women and children, and injured more than 50 others. Please also pray for the Christians living in this village.

Ask the Lord to personally contend with those who seek to harm and annihilate His people, bringing upon the 'workers of iniquity' a healthy reverential fear of their Creator so that they may humbly turn to Him, repent of their evil ways, do justly, and live honourably before Him (Isaiah 49:25; Proverbs 9:10). Pray that He will be especially close to the many vulnerable and suffering Christians in Nigeria -- loving and comforting them, providing their villages needed protection, and redeeming all that the enemy has sought to kill, steal and destroy. May they find the precious rest and hope that comes from Christ alone.