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Christmas Massacres Spearheaded by More Than 3,000 Terrorists

By Masara Kim

[JOS] Horrific attacks on sleeping villages in Nigeria’s Plateau State starting on December 23 were mounted by more than 3,000 terrorists fanning out to 38 villages for simultaneous attacks or marching from village to village, TruthNigeria reports exclusively.

Battalions of armed terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar [God is great]” according to witnesses raided villages for eight days, killing at minimum 295 people, as documented by a local monitoring group known as Plateau Civil Society Organizations Forum.

Citizen guards in Bokkos County bravely defended their villages but in Butura Kampanie five were cut down by swarms of terrorists who witnesses said “appeared as numerous as a swarm of bees.” The invasion has claimed at least 295 residents. Witnesses said at least 200 men with assault rifles assaulted Butura Kampanie, 60 miles south of Jos. The citizen guards with pipe guns delayed them for a few hours, locals said. Altogether 38 villages were attacked, and if the average assault involved 200 men, the invading force may have reached 6,600, however, TruthNigeria confidently reports that at least 3,000 terrorists, including mercenaries from Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon combined with Fulani residents in Plateau to carry out an anti-Christian pogrom.

Map courtesy of Stefanos Foundation
Map courtesy of Stefanos Foundation

The thousands of Nigerian soldiers who manned hundreds of checkpoints in Plateau were similarly outmatched. Amnesty International reported that Nigerian military did not respond to the raids for the first 48 hours.

TruthNigeria interviewed survivors who heard the terrorists speak the Fulani dialect. Many of them were familiar to the victims who had lived and done business with them for years.

The majority-Muslim ethnic group dominating west, and central Africa has been blamed for thousands of genocidal massacres in Nigeria.

In 2023, Fulani militants were the cause of 3500 Christian murders in 2023, according to the international monitoring group, Intersociety. In the first half of the year, the group jointly killed more than 2500 people, reported Intersociety. More than 500 victims were killed in Plateau State alone, the group reported.

On the other hand, a higher total was implied by Gov. Mutfwang.  As many as 400 people were killed in Fulani attacks between April and June alone, according to Gov. Mutfwang, which when added to the 295 victims felled from Dec. 23, would tally at 695 victims during the last 9 months of 2023.

Well-watered, rocky pastureland 30 miles south of Jos in Plateau state, prized by migrating herders, vegetable farmers and tin miners.  Courtesy of Masara Kim. 

The latest attacks by Fulani tribe terrorists were triggered by unprovoked attacks on Fulani herders on Dec. 23, according to a Fulani leader in Plateau State.

“The whole problem started as a result of cattle rustling. 181 cows were rustled on 23/12/2023 (Saturday). Three Fulanis were killed in spirited efforts to rescue their cattle from the rustlers,” wrote Nuru Abdullah, the Chairman of a Fulani association in the State known as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.

“This is the trigger of the recent crisis,” wrote Abdullah in a press statement.

The military authorities in Plateau State have contradicted this claim.

“The devil’s work that happened on the eve of Christmas cannot be explained,” said the Commander of the joint military task force in Plateau State known as Operation Safe Haven.

“It is unprovoked,” said Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Genocide, NOT Farmer Herder Conflict:  Governor

“This is simple genocide,” said Governor Mutfwang in a new year’s broadcast.

Plateau Gov. Caleb Mutfwang. Courtesy of the Plateau State Government.

“These series of attacks on our people are a clear case of criminality, insurgency and terrorism,” Mutfwang said, disputing the popular narrative known as “farmer-herder clashes.”

“It is a misrepresentation of facts to describe these needless and unprovoked attacks on our people as a Farmer-Herder clash as has always been the traditional narrative,” said the governor.

“These unprovoked and simultaneous attacks in different villages were clearly premeditated and coordinated. These series of attacks on our people are a clear case of criminality, insurgency and terrorism and must be seen and handled in that manner if we must succeed in halting this wanton destruction of lives and property,” he said.

Even as Americans marked the new year with parades, clocks striking midnight, fireworks, street decorations, and themed parties, shooting was still heard in the rural hinterlands of Mangu and Bokkos counties, according to locals.

Unaware of the carnage 6,000 miles away in the killing fields of Nigeria, many Americans gathered at churches, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and at each other’s houses, drinking and making merry, some with entertainer Dick Clark’s Times Square Ball Drop, a US institution, on the TV in the background with a huge ball located at One Times Square being lowered, starting at 11:59, sparking a sixty-second countdown to the New Year.

At that same moment, thousands of Plateau attack victims were crowding into makeshift camps with barely any food in their bellies, hoping they would survive another night.

Just the previous day, at least five people were killed in the eastern suburbs of Jos, the capital of Plateau State, on December 30 according to locals.

Residents told TruthNigeria more than two dozen terrorists armed with assault rifles swarmed over Durbi, a village of 40 to 50 brick houses located in the Shere district of Jos East County, shooting almost everyone in sight.

Massacre Campaign Planned by Terrorists Long in Advance

“Nobody here has touched anybody. Nobody here has carried anybody’s cow, yet it so happened that up to 4am [on Christmas day], there were 36 different [incidences],” said Abubakar during the mass burial of 20 victims in Maiyanga village on December 26.

According to confidential sources speaking to TruthNigeria reporters, the massive attack on 47 villages in three counties was planned by terrorist organizers more than 60 days prior to the Christmas eve invasion.

Gen. Abubakar claimed his troops were taken unawares, explaining the high casualty toll under his watch. However, TruthNigeria published several security alerts warning of attacks and naming the targeted communities in the days prior to Dec. 23. This notice was published seven days in advance of the attack on Dec. 23: “RED ALERT
4:59pm,16/12/2023: Early warning to Kwi, Baten, Darwat & Wereng of Riyom, Gassa & Heipang of Barkin Ladi, Farin-Lamba of Jos South LGA against Fulani armed attack likely to be meted out as from 16th December through Christmas to New Year 2024. Restricted movement & business time be observed.”

“We were overwhelmed,” said Abubakar.

“I thought we had understood each other, we had achieved peace on the Plateau,” the General said.

The Christmas Eve attacks were among the bloodiest in Plateau State in recent weeks, wrote Kyle Abts, the Executive Director of the International Committee in Nigeria (ICON). Yet, “Where is the global outrage?” Abts wrote to TruthNigeria.

“Why do the killings of Christians go unpunished?” Abts queried.

“Persecuted Nigerians need their voices to be heard and the US government must listen to these voices to hold the Nigerian government accountable,” wrote Abts.

“Mangu LGA, which is home to Governor Muftwang (a PDP member, as opposed to President Tinubu’s APC party) and the Mwaghavhul people, has been attacked on several occasions (last) year and have witnessed over 350 deaths. Bokkos LGA is home to former Governor/Senator Joshua Dariye and similar to Mangu LGA, has been attacked several times (last) year with more than 200 deaths. While Barkin Ladi LGA is less than 40km from the Plateau State capitol city of Jos and has seen over 100 deaths (last) year,” he noted.

Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang on January 1st described ongoing attacks in his State of Plateau as genocidal.

Battalions of armed terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar [God is great]” according to witnesses have been on a continuous raid of villages in the last eight days, killing at minimum 295 people, as documented by a local monitoring group known as Plateau Civil Society Organizations Forum.

Masara Kim is an award-winning conflict reporter based in Jos and the senior editor of TruthNigeria.com

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