By Richard Ogunsile
A Pastor identified with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and three other persons have been reportedly killed and 39 others abducted after bandits stormed Kuduru town, Bwari area council, Abuja, Garam community, and Azu community in neighbouring Niger State. Reports revealed that the attacks were carried out on Saturday, December 23. Vanguard quoted witnesses to have revealed that the bandits attacked Garam town in Niger state, about five minutes from Bwari town Abuja, killing a pastor and abducting 13 people. On Thursday, December 28, another group of bandits attacked Kuduru town in Abuja, sharing a border with Garam, abducting 18 people. On Friday, December 29, bandits again invaded the Azu community, still in Niger State, killing three persons and abducting eight others. A Garam resident simply identified as Juliana said the bandits initially missed their intended target and went to the wrong house, where they kidnapped two children. “The bandits entered the wrong house, and kidnapped two boys who later led them to the house of their target. “When they got there, they kidnapped the entire family, but while leaving the house, they shot the man (their target), who is a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, in the presence of his wife and their three children,” she said. It was also said that when the woman realized that she had forgotten the baby, she asked the bandits for permission to return for the baby, and was accompanied to the home by the only woman among the banditry. “However, when the female bandit ran out of patience, she left the woman, joined the others and went with the other kidnapped persons who were 13 in number,” an eyewitness said.…………………READ MORE
By Jerry Wright-Ukwu
Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang has stated that the latest violence in the state is not a farmers-herders clash but a genocide. The governor expressed regret that the state ended the year 2023 with sadness, as more than 400 citizens were killed between April and December. In a New Year broadcast to the people, Mutfwang said that it’s unbelievable that “From small eruptions of conflict sometime in 2001, no one could have imagined that our dear state would witness such unquantifiable bloodshed of innocent lives, some known and others unknown.” He also expressed sadness that Plateau State has become the cynosure of the whole nation and the world for the wrong reasons. His words: “While it is true that we ended the year 2023 on a sad note because of the many precious lives we lost, including but not limited to over 400 between April and June 2023, as well as the over 160 in the recent Christmas genocide. “These unprovoked and simultaneous attacks in different villages were clearly premeditated and coordinated. “These series of attacks on our people are a clear case of criminality, insurgency and terrorism and must be seen and handled in that manner if we must succeed in halting this wanton destruction of lives and property. “For the avoidance of doubt, it is a misrepresentation of facts to describe these needless and unprovoked attacks on our people as a Farmer-Herder clash, as has always been the traditional narrative. Let us call a spade a spade; this is simple genocide! …………………READ MORE
Pope Francis has prayed for Nigeria over the spate of killings and insurgent activities in the country in recent times. Recall that the murder of over 200 lives in rustic communities in Plateau State by insurgents has continued to attract local and international attention. “Let us pray together for the victims of the severe violence in Nigeria’s Plateau State. May God free Nigeria from these horrors!” the Argentine pontiff said Sunday in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “Let us #PrayTogether for the victims of the severe violence in Nigeria’s Plateau State. May God free Nigeria from these horrors! Let us also pray for those who lost their lives in the explosion of a tanker truck in Liberia.” The octogenarian also prayed for “people who suffer because of war: the martyred Ukrainian people, the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, the Sudanese people, the martyred Rohingya, and many others. May those with a stake in these conflicts listen to the voice of their conscience”. Dark-hearted assailants conducted blood-curling simultaneous attacks on communities in the Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas of the Plateau State on Christmas eve. The attacks have so far claimed over 200 lives with hundreds of houses and farmlands burnt. That the assailants were not repelled by security agents irked many Nigerians. …………………READ MORE
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