– International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on Thursday evening, August 1, 2019, Fulani militants ambushed and shot three young men, all members of the Baptist church in Ancha village of Miango District in Nigeria’s Plateau State. The three men were serving as part of the community volunteer watch. Thankfully, all three survived; however, they all suffered gunshot wounds and had to be admitted to the local hospital.
The three survivors, Akore Joseph (19), Nuhu Ishaya (21), and Achi Danjuma (22) shared their story with ICC. Akore began, “We had gone on patrol earlier [that day], and had left my mobile phone battery to be recharged in the next village. So I asked my friends to come with me to go and get it. On our way back from picking it up, we were walking and talking [when]… all of a sudden, sporadic gunshots erupted from the corn farms. I turned to flee. It was as I fled that a bullet hit me.” Akore was shot in his right shoulder. After fleeing, the three men hid from their attackers until they felt it was safe.
Corroborating the incident, Nuhu Ishaya said, “We tried to hide as secure as we could. They searched for a while, but didn’t locate us so they went away. We were bleeding. We eventually ran to the nearest village and told the villagers what happened to us.”Nuhu was shot twice, once on the left wrist and also on his upper thigh.
Achi Danjuma, the third survivor, recalled that they had been talking about a previous attack that took place in the village of Hukke, which they were returning from. As they discussed it, they were then attacked themselves. He explained, “The militants recently killed some boys at Hukke village. It was the memory of that attack that came upon us and we became uneasy and talked about it along the way.” A bullet struck Achi on his right arm.
Pastor of the local Baptist church, Rev. Nanchwat Laven, lamented about the toll that the attacks have taken on his congregation. Yet, he continues to look up to God to intervene and bring them relief and peace. He said that after he learned about the attack, he called Nuhu Ishaya’s cellphone. Someone else answered and eventually told the pastor that he was Fulani, and that they were attacking the Irigwe (the major tribe in Miango), because they are proving “stubborn” by not letting the Fulanis’ cattle graze freely.
Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “This attack is deeply concerning. Ancha village is a small community that has suffered on numerous occasions. They lost 20 lives during an attack in 2017 and have suffered several other smaller attacks since. I have personally prayed over the mass graves in Ancha that these attacks have created. The Nigerian government must intervene, protect their citizens, and prosecute those who are killing wantonly.”