By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA (Worthy News) – Christians in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region are on edge after suspected Fulani Islamists killed some 12 people at a cultural festival in the area’s Plateau State, Worthy News established.
Gunmen attacked the Zrreci festival ground at the village of Cando Zrreci, in the state’s Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area (LGA), late April 2, killing 10, according to Christians.
Two others were killed in an attack on the nearby village of Ritivo, another designated festival site, the following morning, explained Barnabas Fund, a Christian charity.
“His Royal Highness Ronku Aka, the ruler of the [regional] Irigwe nation, visited the injured following the attacks. A total of 28 others sustained injuries from gunshots in both of these attacks,” Barnabas Fund added.
“I have been troubled since the resurgence of these attacks because of its devastating effects. I pray that God lifts this hardship,” Ronku Aka reportedly said.
The Irigwe, an ethnic group in Nigeria’s Middle Belt with a sizeable Christian population, has been under increased attack by Fulani militants since mid-2021. The Zrreci is a traditional Irigwe festival that ushers in the farming season, according to experts.
Lawrence Zango, national publicity secretary of the Irigwe Youth Movement, said in remarks, “Brutal attacks on our communities are becoming rampant and frequent. This is unacceptable.”
Nigeria’s government, he stressed, “must take more concrete steps to protect lives and property across Irigwe Chiefdom and neighboring communities.”
These are no isolated incidents. On January 12, some 18 people, including a baby were reportedly killed when Fulani militants attacked the nearby Christian Irigwe village of Ancha.
Barnabas Fund asked Christians to pray “out to God to protect the Irigwe people from targeted attacks and that the authorities will take steps to prevent them.” It was also important to prayerfully remember those bereaved and pray for “healing to all those injured,” the group said.
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