Christians attending a wedding celebration on Sunday 19 July were among at least 32 massacred in two successive attacks in 24 hours by Fulani militants in southern Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Armed men on motorcycles stormed Kukum Daji village, in Kaura local government area, around midnight and opened fire on wedding guests, killing 21 people and injuring 28 others.
The following day, when the villagers of Kukum Daji were burying their dead, Fulani militants launched an attack on Gora Gan, in neighbouring Zango Kataf local government area. At least 11 Christians were confirmed dead.
“It is as if the lives of Christians no longer matter in the areas under attacks,” said Pastor Stephen Baba Panya, president of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA). “It is very disturbing that these daily onslaughts on Christians in Kaduna State, and southern Kaduna in particular, have been going on far too long unattended by the Federal and State governments,” he said.
Recent unprovoked attacks on peaceful Christian communities in Gora ward, where 22 were killed, took place during a 24 hour curfew, earlier in July, “without the intervention of the armed security forces deployed to the areas to enforce the curfew”, he added.
Appealing to the authorities to stop the killings and protect citizens, the ECWA lamented that the state and federal governments had shown no concern for the defenceless Christian communities enduring continuing massacres and destruction.
“There are no sympathy visits to the remnant victims in the communities,” said Pastor Stephen. “There are no steps taken to alleviate their sufferings by providing relief materials to them since they have been made internally displaced persons in their thousands.”
He explained that the displacement of the communities had created a “very serious humanitarian situation” and a huge need for food, medical facilities, clothing and other necessities.
The ECWA called for Nigeria’s security chiefs to either resign or be sacked by the president to enable the security leadership to be restructured to reflect the “various diversities of our nation”.
Barnabas Fund, barnabasfund.org