Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A civil rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety yesterday said Nigeria’s main Islamic Jihadists, Militant Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram/ISWAP have killed in the past four months and half of 2020, no fewer than 620 defenseless Christians and wanton burning or destruction of their centers of worship and learning.
The group in a special report released in Onitsha yesterday signed by board Chair, Emeka Umeagbalasi and Ndidiamaka Bernard, Head International Justice and Civil Rights said the atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists.
The group also alleged that houses burnt or destroyed during the period are in their hundreds; likewise dozens of Christian worship and learning centers noting that the killers have intensified their anti Christian violence in the old Middle Belt and Northeast regions.
Giving a graphic background of the killings, the group recalled that in March 2020 through their investigative statement, it was 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.
The group also disclosed that in its 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” the group said.