Islamic oppression Nigeria | 19 April 2024

Nigeria: Fulani militia kidnap 35 civilians in 48 hours

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On Easter Sunday evening, 31 March 2024, villages in Southern Kaduna were attacked in an area heavy with military installations. Rare eyewitness detail of the attack as it unfolded was published by Truth Nigeria on 2 April 2024 and reveals that government forces failed to respond to repeated calls for help.

Kachia County – the scene of the attack – is home to several military facilities housing soldiers. On the night of the attack, a platoon of between 40 and 50 armed Fulani militia on motorbikes raided a series of villages over a 7-8 hour period. Eyewitnesses describe young women resisting and fighting before being seized and handed out as wives to individual fighters as the village burned.  According to village chiefs, repeated calls made to the military went unanswered. 

World Watch Research analyst Naomi Williams comments: “The motives of attacking an area full of military facilities is a question energizing many security observers. The Nigerian Chief of the Defense Staff, Christopher Musa, is from Southern Kaduna himself; one aim may have been to personally humiliate him, and to smear his leadership of Nigeria’s armed forces. Notably, military failure is not uniform across Nigeria; in some areas, troops do energetically respond to emergency pleas for help. Security analysts suggest one aim of the Fulani militia attacks is to send a political message: ‘The state is unable to protect you.’”   

Naomi Williams continues: “Security is the first responsibility of the state; by demonstrating state failure, the compact between the state and the people is broken. Some observers believe a campaign to persuade the population that the Nigerian state itself is illegitimate, and should be removed, is underway. Other analysts suggest the reason for military failure is the infiltration of the armed forces by terror financing, and Islamist sympathizing officers; or political interference at state government level. Other analysts suggest that officers may doubt the commitment of their men, and fear their refusal to obey orders, or their rout at the hands of militias. Whatever the reason, the Christian community in Kaduna – an estimated 35% of the state population (see: WWR, WWL 2024 Full Country Dossier Nigeria, March 2024, p.33) – fears that such attacks can be repeated with impunity later in 2024.”


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