On 7 January Ephraim Ezekiel (19) and Joshua Ladi (41) were murdered by Fulani terrorists in the village of Tsonje in southern Kaduna. Two other people have been declared missing. Confirming the deaths, the senator for Southern Kaduna, Danjuma Laah, gave cause for alarm when he suggested that the latest round of anti-Christian violence is an indication that Boko Haram are joining forces with the Fulani militants.
With Muslim Fulani herdsmen on the rampage, spreading murder and mayhem, Nigerian Christians have had enough. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called on all Christians to fast and mourn on Sunday 8 January, and wear black mourning clothes in solidarity with Christians being brutally killed in southern Kaduna by “unknown Fulani Herdsmen”. The CAN called upon all churches across the nation to assemble at 1 p.m. at given points to protest the carnage.
Peaceful protests to present petitions to the government took place in dozens of centres. In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, hundreds of Christian clerics and laypeople marched on Government House to demand an end to the genocide. Former Kaduna State attorney-general Mark Jacob says of the CAN campaign: “It is symbolic of the cause. The prayers and mourning shall surely reach God and the government of Nigeria has to take decisive action to stop the killings. That even children have obeyed the CAN directive shows that the Christian body is united as one on this issue. This is also a call to the government to wake up.”
Even with a massive influx of government troops flooding the area, dislodging Boko Haram is proving difficult, in spite of some notable government successes. Chief of Army Staff, General Tujur Buratai, said that in a recent operation in the Sambisa forest area of Kaduna, the Boko Haram stronghold of “Camp Zero” had been captured and some 1,240 Boko Haram terrorists accounted for. But with the killings continuing unabated, CAN is unconvinced and questions whether the government is merely paying lip service to the plight of Nigerian Christians.