The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, yesterday claimed that herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents have in the first six months of 2018, killed 1,750 Christians and other non Muslims.
Intersociety in a statement by its Board Chairman, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, Head Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Obianuju Joy Igboeli and Head, International Justice and Human Rights Programme, Chinaza Ndidiamaka Bernard, said the herdsmen also killed 8,800 Nigerians, mostly Christians in three years, from June 2015 to June 2018.
He said, “Nigeria is drifting to faith genocide through killing, maiming, burning and destruction of churches and other sacred places of worship and forceful seizure and occupation of ancestral, worshipping, farming and dwelling lands of the indigenous Christians and other indigenous religionists in Northern Nigeria.
“The situations have worsened with loss of lives in six months of 2018 of no fewer than 1,750 Christians and other non Muslims to terror herdsmen. “No fewer than 8,800 Christians have also been targeted and killed in Nigeria in the past three years of June 2015 to June 2018.
“The Christians killed in Nigeria since then by security forces were 1,014 out of 2,265 killed; including 1,130 members of Shiite Muslim sect; herdsmen killed 275 while Boko Haram insurgents killed over 2,450, out of no fewer than 4,000 killed. Zamfara bandist killed 80 out of no fewer than 160 killed in Kaduna State along Birnin Gwari Federal Road and its surroundings in six months of this year targeted at travellers and other road users.
“From our general evaluation too, no fewer than 2,360 innocent Nigerians were killed. 1,750 by herdsmen, 250 by Boko Haram and 360 by Zamfara bandits in the first six months of 2018 (Jan-June 2018). No fewer than 13,221 defenseless Nigerians also got killed by the trio as well as the security agencies in the past three years.”
According to the group, “the number of churches and other sacred places of worship destroyed or burnt in the past three years were not less than 1,000 and they did not include the over 13,000 burnt or destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents between 2009 and 2014 as contained in the 2015 special report of the Open Doors International Report, USA.”
It said, “from our general evaluation of the killings by herdsmen, Benue State recorded the highest number of rural Christian and other non Muslim deaths in first six months of 2018 with no fewer than 600, followed by Plateau State with 400; Taraba 250; Nasarawa 200; Southern Kaduna 100; Adamawa 100 and Kogi State 100; totaling no fewer than 1,750 Christian and other members of non Muslim population.
“The total death toll in Plateau State following the 23rd and 24th June 2018 coordinated attacks and killings in eleven villages may most likely have hit 300, from its present 250, out of which 218 bodies have been recovered and buried in mass graves. The activists on the ground said dozens of people are still missing after the head count was carried out. Those still missing are presumed to have died. This is more so when they are not among the injured and survivors.
“The 218 recovered and buried dead bodies, according to Middle Belt activists and authorities of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, included 80 recovered from Nhyer, 40 from Akwati, 34 from Ruku and 5 from Kuzen, all under Gashish District.”