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Suspected Fulani Militias Kill Two Christians During Prayer Vigil

By Lawrence Zongo

They were murdered in the midst of prayer for others.  A prayer vigil in the farming village of Kpara in northern Plateau State was shattered by terrorist bullets Friday night (June 21), killing two mourners for a recently departed friend of the family who died of natural causes.  The terrorists carried AK 47 rifles and machetes, according to witnesses.

Miraculously, 24-year-old Keziah Friday and her two-month-old daughter survived the hail of bullets that struck Keziah in her jaw, left hand and breast. Tragically, Keziah’s husband, Mangwa Friday, 28, and his sister, Deborah Monday, 42, were killed.  This incident is part of a long history of violent attacks on indigenous Christians in the region, where at least 2,000 Christians have been killed in Miango town from 2016 to date, according to locals in Miango.  Kpara is situated 8 miles north of Miango and 25 miles northwest of Jos.

Survivor: Two-month-old daughter of Keziah Friday. Credit: Amos Ahmadu
Survivor: Two-month-old daughter of Keziah Friday. Credit: Amos Ahmadu

The fertile Middle Belt of Nigeria is plagued with similar stories. Christian farmers in the surrounding villages of Kitago, Ariri, Kpachudu, and many others live in constant fear of radical Fulani Muslim gunmen.

Abel Joseph, a long-time resident and paramedic at Enos Hospital in Miango, recounted the harrowing night Keziah Ms. Friday was brought in with gunshot wounds. “I have witnessed numerous attacks carried out by nomadic Fulani herdsmen,” Joseph said. He made a heartfelt plea to TruthNigeria to convey to the government to increase security and urged humanitarian organizations to provide urgent support with medical supplies, as many locals cannot afford to pay their medical bills

The village of Kpara, located northwest of Plateau State, around 24.855 miles from Jos, was the site of this tragic attack. According to a local community leader, mourners were targeted late at night on June 21st, around 11:00 PM, after the burial of a community member. The assailants, reportedly Fulani men armed with guns and dressed in black, killed two individuals and wounded a breastfeeding mother. The attackers were heard speaking Fulani and Hausa.

The community leader, who asked not to be named for this story, expressed frustration that, despite the absence of arrests and security to protect unarmed locals, the Nigerian army only arrived in time to take photos and promised to investigate. This pattern has persisted through multiple administrations, including those of President Mahamadu Buhari and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with no arrests or significant investigations.

“This attack wasn’t a clash but a deliberate attempt to displace the community from their land,” said the community leader. The attackers also destroyed cropland set for harvest, exacerbating the risk of hunger for the residents.

The Fulani tribe, numbering some 8 million of Nigeria’s 212 million population, is influential in various sectors, including government and the military. Former President Mahamadu Buhari is a prominent figure with a Fulani background who served from 2015 to 2023 as President.

Amos Ahmadu, a school administrator from Kpara, condemned the attack, highlighting its detrimental impact on the community’s children, instilling fear among pupils. He stressed the need for trauma counseling to ensure children have access to a supportive and secure education system.

The community leader has called for the intervention of Nigerian security forces to ensure the safety of the community. He also urged Christians in the diaspora to pray for persecuted Christians in rural Nigerian communities and consider providing food aid to mitigate the risk of hunger.

Residents in Bassa County are bracing for violence since a security alert was published on warning of a coordinated attack on Bassa County during the next 48 hours.  It stated that armed individuals from Mahanga and other areas are reportedly mobilizing to attack Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa LGA, possibly targeting villages such as Ariri and Maiyanga. It urged all citizens to be vigilant and take measures to ensure the safety of the communities, including spreading the alert to all villages and avoiding late-night movements.

Lawrence Zongo is a journalist based in Jos, Nigeria and specializes in reporting war crimes, terrorism, and human rights violations for TruthNigeria.

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