A Muslim Fulani herdsmen raid on a village in central Nigeria’s Kogi state on Wednesday (July 29) left at least 14 members of a Baptist Church dead, including 13 members of an extended family, sources said.
Kogi State Command Commissioner of Police Ede Ayuba told the nonprofit persecution news outlet Morning Star News, that the wife, mother, all the children and other relatives of one man – 13 in all – were killed in the 2 a.m. attack on Agbadu-Daruwana. He also lost his younger brother, an aunt and uncle and a sister-in-law, Kogi State Command Commissioner of Police Ede Ayuba said in a statement.
“In that family, it is only one person that survived,” Ayuba said.
The survivor lost his wife, mother, all of his children and the rest of his extended family, including an aunt, uncle and sister-in-law.
Commissioner Ayuba said that in addition to the 14 persons killed, six were wounded.
Leaders of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship posted on the group’s Facebook page that the victims were members of the Bethel Baptist church in Agbadu-Daruwana, part of the Lokoja Baptist Association of Kogi State Baptist Conference, Morning Star News reported.
“They have since been buried,” the post read. “All the community members, mainly Christians, have all fled. Please pray for God’s intervention against antichrist in the land.”
According to a resident of the area, Rachael Nuhu, the assailants were Fulanis, predominantly Muslim cattle herders who also have attacked surrounding villages.
“They invaded the village armed with guns and riding motorcycles,” Nuhu said. “They were speaking in the Fulani language as they attacked our people. This is not the first time they’re attacking our communities, as other villages around us had been attacked in a similar way by these herdsmen,” Nuhu told Morning Star News in text messages.
Police and government officials are under pressure from the Nigerian government of President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, to refrain from mentioning Fulanis in herdsmen attacks.
Across the farming-rich Middle Belt of Nigeria, attacks by radicals from the predominantly nomadic and predominantly Muslim Fulani herding communities have targetted predominantly Christian farming villages in recent years.
As a result, thousands of people have been pushed out of their houses and off their farms.
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world on Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians are most severely persecuted. Nigeria was in December, listed in the U.S. State Department’s special watch list of countries that tolerate or engage in severe violations of religious freedom due to the “lack of effective government response and the lack of judicial cases being brought forward in that country”.