Baroness Caroline Cox, U.S Bishop Stuart Ruch III, and Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust CEO Corinna Loges narrowly escaped a potentially fatal ambush at the hands of Islamic Fulani militants in the village of Jong, near Jos in Plateau State, last Monday, whilst on an annual visit with a larger delegation.
Shortly after leaving the village, the delegation were contacted and informed that armed men had come into the valley (the village’s sole exit point) and shot at people driving through. The events occurred a mere 30 minutes after the delegation had departed. It is believed by locals that the delegation was the original intended target of the attack.
Christian minister Rev Gyang Boyi stated to the delegation: ‘The Fulani Herdsmen killed the traditional ruler Sad Ron Kulere, Lazarus Agai in July, in a similar ambush. We thank God you escaped this.’ It is believed that the civilians who were subsequently caught in the crossfire were returning from a wedding.
Baroness Cox, and her delegation of eight, had travelled to Jong to visit destroyed villages and listen to survivors testimonies. Jong is just one of the villages that have been subject to devastating attacks at the hands of the increasingly lethal Islamic Fulani militants.
Whilst Boko Haram’s violent impact is widely reported in the international press, the lethal attacks of Fulani militants is a growing issue that mostly goes unreported.
Howevr, Islamic Fulani militants are known to have killed many – including women and children. They also systematically force vulnerable rural communities to abandon their homes and grab their land, leave children orphaned and destroy houses and churches.
The delegation spoke to numerous individuals who had survived the horrors of the Fulani militants.
Baroness Cox commented on the events: “We count it a privilege to visit with Nigerian Christians who are on the frontline facing death and all kinds of dangers every day. Many in the West have no idea what kind of persecution they go through. Islamist terrorism in Nigeria is an emergency that is woefully underreported.”