“Atmosphere of Anarchy and Despair”: Recent Attacks in Kaduna State, Nigeria Leave At Least 23 Nigerian Christians Dead and Many More Wounded

Throughout one week in mid-May 2020, numerous Adara communities of southern Kaduna State, Nigeria, were relentlessly attacked by suspected Fulani militants, leading to the gruesome and untimely deaths of at least 23 Nigerian Christians and injuries of tens of others who sustained brutal injuries from guns and machetes.

Gonan Rogo village was the first to be ambushed on Monday, May 11, as a group of Fulani militants surged first into the home of Jonathan Yakubu, his wife, and the couple’s three young children, all of which were brutally hacked to death before the assailants ventured to other households in the village. Interestingly, non-militant Fulani individuals and families who lived in the community vacated their homes the night before the attacks, according to the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, suggesting that they were warned about the upcoming massacre.

Awemi Dio Maisamari, National President of the Adara Development Association, sent a press release  listing the daily attacks and destruction from Monday to Thursday in the remote settlements of Magunguna, Idazo, Ungwan Galadima, Ungwan Guza, Etissi, Ungwan Maaji, Ungwan Dantata, Ungwan Araha 1 & 2, Ungwan Goshi, Ungwan Shaban, Ungwan Jibo, Ungwan Maijama’a, Ungwan Sako, Ungwan Maidoki and Ungwan Masaba. These are all satellite settlements of Kallah, Libere and Gefe towns. He stated, “We simply lack the words to properly describe the atmosphere of anarchy and despair that is fast taking root in our communities with women, children, the sick and the elderly fleeing with the little belongings they can salvage. Our brutalized, dehumanized, terrified and traumatized community members are reeling in pains, ever wondering why this contrived anarchy is still being condoned by the powers that be. We have since realized that the usual silence of government when most of these atrocities are being committed actually means consent. Consequently, several occupiers of high public offices have in unison spewed out rationalizations and justifications why mayhem is and must be visited on our timid people. We are therefore shocked that government has become brazen enough or descended so low as to justify terrorism, butchery and savagery of monumental proportions on such flimsy and illogical grounds.”

In a series of heart-wrenching photos taken by Alheri Bawa Magaji, daughter of Nigeria Crisis Delegation member Adara Waziri Bawa Magaji and advocate for Nigerian internally displaced persons, the extent of the physical and emotional trauma experienced by the victims of the attacks is unimaginable:

A picture of a baby with bandages on his head from a grazed bullet and whose parents and two siblings were killed in the attack
Photo provided by Alheri Bawa Magaji
Above are photos of the baby’s only two surviving siblings, sister Zipporah (pictured top) and Isaiah (pictured below), both of whom are recovering from deep gashes to their arms and don’t know about their parents’ and siblings’ deaths.
Photos provided by Alheri Bawa Magaji
This is a picture of two-week-old Salama (5 days old on the night of the attack) whose mother was brutally murdered in front of the baby’s grandmother
Photo provided by Alheri Bawa Magaji
A photo of Salama’s 80-year-old grandmother who begged the attackers to kill her in exchange for her daughter-in-law’s life but whose pleas were rejected by the attackers
Photo provided by Alheri Bawa Magaji
Devastating picture of 3-year-old Evelyn Magaji who bravely survived a machete slash wound to the head and whose mother was killed
Photo provided by Alheri Bawa Magaji
Another young girl named Evelyn who- since the attack during which she sustained an extremely severe injury to the skull-remains in a speechless trance and experiences uncontrollable jerking limbs when she sleeps.
Photo provided by Alheri Bawa Magaji

These ruthless attacks are not one-of-a-kind, there are weekly reported attacks by Fulani militants and Boko Haram and its affiliates. There are at least  2.5 million internally displaced person in Nigeria due to the violence.

In a report released on May 15, 2020 by Nigerian civil society organization called International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, it is revealed that at least 620 Nigerian Christians have been brutally murdered so far in 2020, some fear around 1000 as many go unreported, along with the countless homes, churches, and farms destroyed and decimated. Perhaps most noteworthy is that “the atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked and risen to alarming apogee with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists.”

You can download their report here:

If you pray, please pray:

  • For the survivors of these violent attacks, for healing, peace and for comfort.
  • For God to supply the physical needs of shelter and food, and also the spiritual needs of the internally displaced in Nigeria.
  • For an end to the violent attacks.
  • For the church in Nigeria to remain strong and that the churches worldwide would stand with the Nigerian church in prayer.
  • For Alheri Bawa Magaji – and others like her – who courageously report on the atrocities and raise the voice of those affected by the violence.

80% of the people living in Nigeria’s IDP camps are women and children.Internal Displacement Monitoring Center