Fulani herdsmen

OBINNA EZUGWU

A report, ‘Working Document — Fulani Militias’ Terror: Compilation of News (2017-2020), has revealed that between 2017 and May 2, 2020, Fulani herdsmen conducted 654 attacks, killed 2,539 and kidnapped 253 people in Nigeria.

According to the report which is authored by José Luis Bazán, an independent researcher and analyst, based in Brussels, Belgium, blood-curdling statistics of vicious attacks, deaths and kidnappings by the herdsmen.

It stated that the herdsmen assaults against farmers in Nigeria were “regular, systematic, targeted attacks.”

“Nigerians are suffering widespread and systematic terrorist attacks by, mainly, Boko Haram, the ISIL-aligned Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), Fulani militias and Ansaru,” the report said.

“The Global Terrorist Index 2019 published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, indicates that the primary driver of the increase in terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa was a rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria attributed to Fulani extremists: in 2018, Fulani extremists were responsible for the majority of terror-related deaths in Nigeria (1,158 fatalities), with an increase by 261 and 308 percent respectively from the prior year.”

The report noted that most of the “Fulani attacks were armed assaults” (200 out of 297 attacks) against civilians (84 percent of the attacks).

The report indicates that in 2017, there were 99 attacks resulting in the killing of 202 people while 12 were kidnapped. In 2018, the attacks intensified rising to 245 resulting in bloodbath that caused 1,478 deaths.

The number of those kidnapped during that period rose to 29. Last year, 169 attacks, 524 killings, and three kidnappings were reported.

So far, in 2020 as of May 2, according to the report, there were 141 attacks, 335 people killed and 137 kidnapped.

But behind the figures, the document said the attacks, killings, and kidnappings were targeted at farmers who were “predominantly Christians.”