Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A civil society organisation, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, said no fewer than 360 defenceless citizens, mostly Christians, were killed in Nigeria by Islamic extremists, in October 2018.
The group, in a shocking statistics released yesterday, in Onitsha, Anambra State, signed by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Emeka Umeagbalasi, said the killings mostly took place in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria, particularly in the states of Kaduna (Southern part), Plateau, Adamawa, Benue and Borno (Northeast) and were perpetrated by state actor and non-state actor Jihadists.
The group expressed regret that such killings perpetrated in the name of “Islam,” were done with reckless abandon, despite heavy presence and deployment of soldiers in all the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.
“The continuation and escalation of the killings, mostly targeted at Christians, are also politically motivated, whereby those perpetrating same and their backers in the corridors of power, who brazenly aid and abet them are hailed among largely illiterate Muslim population in the North as “true defenders of Allah and Islamic Faith. This is capable of galloping their electoral popularity among the illiterate Muslim population in the North, ahead of the country’s presidential poll in February 2019.
“By Jihadists or Islamic extremists, they are perpetrators, aiders and abettors of anti Christian violence, including killing and burning or destruction of faith-linked and individual property belonging to members of the Christian faith or members of the rival Muslim religion (i.e. Shiites). Jihadists in the present Nigeria are divided into state-actor Jihadists and non-state actor Jihadists.
“While the former are drawn from fundamental Islamists in the country’s central and regional corridors of power, including military commanders and some top elected and appointed public office holders, the latter are drawn from fanatical or violent Islamists, including terrorist Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents or randomly mobilised ethno-religious groups or violent actors” the group said.
Giving a breakdown of the killings, Intersociety said no fewer than 135 Christian lives were lost in Kaduna State in the month of October; specifically between 18th and 21st October 2018 while Muslims are most likely to have lost 15 lives or less in the massacre owing to disproportion of the violence and associated reprisals.