Suspected herdsmen ambushed and killed a 26-year-old Catholic on Thursday (May 2) in north-central Nigeria and two others in the same manner on April 27, sources said.
After a herdsmen assault in March 2018 that left 27 Christians dead in the predominantly native community of Dong village north of Jos, assailants on Thursday (May 2nd 2019) killed David Musa, 26, at 5:25 p.m., said Nuhu Ako, 42-year-old youth leader at the area’s St. Monica’s Catholic Church.
“We heard the sound of gunshots around the stream west of Dong village, where you’re now talking to us,” Ako told Newsmen. “We rushed there to find out what happened and found again the killing of a member of our community.”
As herdsmen have been attacking Dong and Nzehrivoh villages for two years, Ako and other natives suspect they are behind the slaying of Musa and the April 27 killing of Sunday Adi, 45, and Jonathan Joseph, 29, at 7:25 p.m. on that Saturday.
“We were returning to Dong village after the day’s work at Nzerivoh village, our former village where we were displaced last year, and we heard gunshots,” he said. “We decided not to proceed with our movement and remained where we were. A few moments afterwards, two people riding on a motorbike came to where we were and told us that they saw two corpses not far from the spot where were standing.”
The natives went to the site and found the two bodies, he said.
“We immediately phoned soldiers of the Special Task Force (STF) and informed them about our findings,” he told newsmen. ‘They told us to wait for them at the spot. We waited for them and they never showed up. We left the spot and returned to our homes at Dong, until the following morning, which was Sunday, 28 April, before the soldiers came to the spot and left without picking the two corpses.”
Adi, member of a Catholic church, was buried in the now desolate Nzehrivoh village. Joseph, a member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), was buried in Dong village, Ako said.
He said armed herdsmen have been attacking residents of Dong and Nzehrivoh villages for the past two years for no reason.
“We are farmers and have not been able to continue with our vocation because of these attacks,” he said. “We and our elders and church leaders have met several times with these herdsmen to understand what is prompting them to attack us without finding any real reason for such acts against us.”
Herdsmen leaders have often assured villagers that “they would impress it on their people to end such attacks on us, but it appears they only do this in order to perfect their plans to attack us the more,” he said.
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