- Priest calls for action after death of up to 130 people within six weeks
A state governor in Nigeria’s Middle Belt stands accused of collusion in what a leading priest describes as a “genocide” against a mainly Christian ethnic group.
Father Williams Kaura Abba, coordinator of the Coalition Against Kajuru Killings, has made a public appeal for government action to halt violence in the Kaduna region, amid reports that 130 people from the Adara, a mainly Christian ethnic group, have been “slaughtered” and 10,000 displaced.
In a report on the attacks, which he sent to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Father Abba calls for a government-led inquiry, accusing Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of colluding in the attacks, which have been blamed on Islamist Fulani herdsmen.
“We call on fellow Nigerians and the international community to mount pressure on the Nigerian government to come to our aid by ending the genocide that is rippling across Adara communities in… southern Kaduna”.
Father Abba said: “Following [Governor El-Rufai’s recent] re-election, over 500 rampaging Fulani terrorists left in their trail blood, death and sorrow.”
In a speech delivered at a march against the killings, held earlier this week in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, Father Abba said: “We call on fellow Nigerians and the international community to mount pressure on the Nigerian government to come to our aid by ending the genocide that is rippling across Adara communities in… southern Kaduna”.
In the speech, which he also sent to ACN, he added: “We cannot remain silent in the face of these gruesome killings and deliberate agenda to annihilate Adara people, whose only crime is being natives.”
He described caring for a five-year-old boy whose life had been saved when the herdsmen’s guns had not worked.
They resorted in the end to beating the boy with a big stick in an attack that had left him “effectively” paralysed.
Describing the boy’s survival as “a miracle”, Father Abba said: “As I write, this little boy cannot stand. Blood doesn’t circulate.
“The boy lost two of his sisters in the attack and the mother is struggling for her life. This act was pure undiluted evil.”
The priest also called for the release of Adara elders, who have been “unjustly incarcerated”.
According to Father Abba, the most recent spate of unprovoked attacks began on 10th February, when 10 people, including a pregnant woman, were killed.
The killings he said were not acknowledged by the Kaduna State government.
The priest said the second wave of attacks came after Governor El-Rufai announced on national television the discovery of the remains of more than 100 Fulani, killings which he claimed had been carried out by Adara natives.
But Father Abba said that no investigation had been initiated and the allegation remained unproven.
He challenged the government to produce the bodies.