By the editors, with agency reports
Nigeria’s main Islamist Jihadists: Militant Herdsmen and Boko Haram/ISWAP have intensified their anti-Christian violence in the old Middle Belt and North-East regions, hacking to death in the past four months and half of 2020, no fewer than 620 defenseless Christians, while also burning or destroying their worship centers and learning.
The above claims were made by one of the foremost Non-Givernmental Organisation (NGO), the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety), in a statement which it issued on Thursday.
According to the group, “the atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors (seemingly) looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists.
“Houses burnt or destroyed during the period are in their hundreds; likewise dozens of Christian worship and learning centers,” Intersociety said in the statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman; Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights; Uju Joy Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law; Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head of Democracy & Good Governance; and Damaris Amaka Onuoha, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity.
The rights body said: “We had in March 2020 through our investigative statement dated 8th March; found that ‘no fewer than 350 Christians were hacked to death in Jan and Feb, out of which Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for 250 and Boko Haram about 50-100’ and that ‘11,500-12,000 Christians have been killed by the duo of Boko Haram and Jihadist Herdsmen since June 2015’.
“In our statement of 4th April, 2020, it was found that ‘not less than 50 Christians were hacked to death by Fulani Jihadists in March with not less than 10 killed in the first two days of April 2020’.
“Of the 11,500-12,000 Christian deaths since June 2015, Jihadist Herdsmen accounted for over 7,400 Christian deaths while Boko Haram killed over 4,000. The account did not include those killed in Jan to May 2015, which were in thousands.
32,000 Christians Butchered Since 2009:
“In our recent detailed review of the entire killing of Christians by Nigeria’s main Jihadists since 2009, it was found that not less than 32,000 Christians have been butchered to death by the country’s main Jihadists.
“The killings covered 2009 to 2020, with projected figures for Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the coming seven months and half of 2020.
“While the killings by Jihadist Herdsmen covered Jan 2009 to end of Dec 2020, those of Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP will cover July 2009 to end of Dec 2020.
“Captured too, was percentage ratio of the killings or the number of Christians killed by Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP versus the number of Muslims killed by same.
“Going by patterns and trends of Boko Haram killings monitored by Intersociety since 2010, it has been credibly projected that many of those killed by the terror sect and its ISWAP; or 60% are Christians as against 40% for Muslims. Boko Haram since 2009 has been attacking mainly Christians and collaterally extending such attacks to Muslim targets and Government facilities including its security establishments in revenge for Government successes against the terror group in the former’s counterinsurgency operations.
“In the area of killings by Jihadist Herdsmen, it has been credibly found that 100% of their dead and injured victims are all Christians.
“Based on the forgoing, therefore, no fewer than 32,000 defenseless Christians must have been hacked to death by Nigeria’s main Islamic Jihadists in the past eleven years or 2009 to end of 2020.
“That is to say that between July 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of five years and five months, according to Ms. Arne Mulder of the US based Christian Open Doors (2015), ‘not less than 11,500-12,000 Christians were hacked to death by Islamic Boko Haram terror group’.
“The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has put the number of civilians massacred by Boko Haram and its factions to ‘27,000 including 37 aid workers’. The UNOCHA estimates covered July 2009 to Dec 2019.
“On the other hand, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 6,000 Christian deaths between Jan 2009 and Dec 2014, a period of six years.
“This is on average of 1000 Christian deaths per year. And from Jan 2015 to end of Dec 2020, a period of six years; the Jihadist Fulani militants must have accounted for additional 9.000 Christian deaths or 1,500 deaths per year.
“In the end, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen must have accounted for total Christian deaths of 15,000 in eleven years or Jan 2009 to end of Dec 2020.
“For Boko Haram and its int’l offshoot, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), they have, according to UN, been responsible for ’27, 000 deaths’ and ‘over 22,000 disappearances’ between July 2009 and Dec 2019 or a period of ten years and six months.
“Boko Haram/ISWAP total deaths from July 2009 to end of Dec 2020 have also been projected to rise to 28, 000, from current 27,000; with about ‘22,500 disappearances’.
“With credible projection of Boko Haram and its offshoot-ISWAP perpetrated deaths at 60% for Christians and 40% for Muslims, their estimated 19,000 deaths from July 2009 to Dec 2014 must have included 60% or 11,400 Christian deaths, while additional 9,000 deaths which would have taken place from Jan 2015 to end of Dec 2020 will certainly involve another 60% or 5,400 Christian deaths.
“That is to say that in the end, 16,800 Christians would have lost their lives in eleven years or July 2009 to end of Dec 2020 to Boko Haram Jihadists and their factions or offshoots including ISWAP.
“In conclusion, by the end of Dec 2020, not less than 32,000 Christian lives in all would have been lost to Boko Haram and its factions or offshoots and the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen.
“Already, out of over 8,000 killed by Boko Haram and its factions or offshoots from Jan 2015 to Dec 2019, not less than 4,800 Christian deaths or 60% were recorded and out of not less than 8000 deaths recorded by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen from Jan 2015 to Dec 2019, 100% or the entire 8,000 deaths belonged to Christians. Note: “Christians” here include other non Muslim religionists.
“Not less than 600 Christian deaths are also credited to ‘Northern (Zamfara) Bandits’, ‘Fulani Cow Rustlers’ and the ‘Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa’ or ‘Ansaru terror group. This covered June 2015 to date.
“The latest Jihadist organization to join the country’s Islamic terror groups is ‘the Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa’; a Boko Haram splinter group that emerged in 2012.
“Like Boko Haram, the ‘Ansaru’ terror is operating in Nigeria’s North-East, but has recently extended its kidnapping and anti Christian terror activities in Birnin Gwari areas of Kaduna and Zamfara as well as Katsina State, etc.
“The resurged terror group was founded by Abubakar Adam Kambar in 2012. and has been working closely with Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
“Its terror activities declined seriously in 2015 but bounced back in 2019 with ferocious attacks on Christian settlements and worship centers as well as ransom and religious aided abductions.
Jihadist Herdsmen Killed 140 In 45 Days:
“In the highlighted killings below, we counted no fewer than 131 Christian deaths.
There are pockets of others not captured here for want of space, numbering not less than 30. They included Christian deaths arising from recent attacks in Delta, Edo and Ondo (a soldier and three civilians were abducted yesterday), etc.
“In our statement of 4th April, 2020, the killings in Niger State Christian communities and some communities in Plateau State were not captured and included.
“Therefore, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen killed at least 140 Christians in the past 45 days or in the beginning of April to 14th May 2020; having killed 435 from 1st Jan to 2nd April 2020.
“Boko Haram and its offshoot ISWAP on their part have continued their attacks on both Christians and non Christians including their properties and religious or cultural symbols or objects.
“In Jan and Feb, the terror group attacked and killed between 50 and 100 Christians and was likely to have additionally killed at least 50 Christians between March and half of May 2020,” Intersociety stated.