“His captors had demanded that we pay a ransom of 5 million naira, but we were not able to raise the money.”
Not fewer than sixteen (16) Christians were killed in Benue State, Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists, sources said.
According to our source, six Christians were on Sunday (Oct. 29), killed in Benue state, following the slaughter of 10 others earlier in the month.
The assailants on Sunday killed three Christians and kidnapped another, in Tse Gamber village, Gwer West County, said area resident Perver Acham. The kidnapped Christian was identified as Iorhon Dam.
Acham said three other Christians were slain in Ngai village at about the same time.
On Oct. 23, three other Christians were also killed in Agagbe village, said area resident Terna Jacob, who identified the victims as Iorhemba Cletus, 37; Akaa Clifford, 50; and Igbahemba Abua, 55.
“They were ambushed and killed by the terrorists,” Jacob said in a text message to Morning Star News.
Another Christian in Benue state was killed after being kidnapped in September. A family member of 80-year-old Washima Erukaa, a Christian official of the Ukum Local Government Council who was kidnapped from his home in Zakibiam on Sept. 23, said they learned on Sunday (Oct. 29) that he had been killed on Oct. 23 because relatives were unable to pay the demanded ransom amount.
“His captors had demanded that we pay a ransom of 5 million naira, but we were not able to raise the money,” said the relative on condition of anonymity. “However, on Oct. 29, they contacted us by phone and said our father had been killed and buried by them.”
On Oct. 14, Fulani herdsmen also attacked Imatom village in Logo County at about 9 p.m., killing at least three Christians, a resident, Anawa Joseph said. He identified the slain as Tertsea Terkimbi Adagundu, Tertsea Mkposu and Mimidoo Umburga.
“Their corpses were taken to NKST Church hospital morgue, at Anyiin town,” Joseph said.
In Guma County on the night of Oct. 5, terrorists attacked Daudu town killing three Christians.
“These attacks have been carried out on several communities, but the police and other security agencies are working towards containing the situation,” police spokesperson Catherine Anene wrote in a text message to Morning Star News. “Not even my village and relatives have been spared in these attacks.”
In 2022, Nigeria top the list of countries where Christians are killed for their faith, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report. It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people.
In the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to sixth place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 7 the previous year.
“Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery,” the WWL report noted. “This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation, Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”
Nigerian Christian leaders said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in the country are inspired by the Islamic agenda to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.