More than 1,000 villagers driven from their homes by Islamist herdsmen have received urgently needed food and medical assistance from Christian Solidarity International (CSI) in response to the worsening humanitarian situation in central Nigeria.
CSI’s local partner – the Justice, Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan (JDPC Kafanchan) – reports that CSI support funded the distribution of foodstuffs to 1,005 Christians now living in host communities or camps for the displaced following attacks on their villages by Fulani herdsmen at the end of last year. While the bulk of the funds was spent on basics such as rice and salt, five people also received medical treatment.
The recipients of medical aid included 13-year-old schoolgirl Jessica Bitrus from Ungwa Audu.
Shot trying to escape
“When the attackers came, I was outside with my younger sister”, recalls Jessica. “Before we could realize what was happening, I was shot on my shoulder and on my leg”. Tragically, Jessica’s mother died as she tried to rescue her daughter. Jessica’s two sisters, brother and father were lucky to survive the attack.
“Thank you for assisting us to pay the hospital bill. I will go back to school when I get better”, says Jessica, who is currently still in hospital.
John Ibrahim of Ungwa Magaji, a 42-year-old farmer, was also shot and injured when his village came under attack on the evening of November 21, 2020.
“The attackers came in large number and started shooting sporadically. On hearing the gunfire, people started running for safety”, he tells us. John, his wife and three school-age children also fled, but John was hit by two bullets and fell to the ground where he lay until neighbors were able to take him to hospital. John underwent surgery but his family were unable to afford the huge medical bill.
“I had heard about JDPC Kafanchan and I’m happy that I have received assistance to pay my medical bills”, says John. “I am getting better and will continue with farming if I become stronger”.
The JDPC extended its thanks to CSI, on behalf of the victims, for the aid received.
Fulani militants have killed thousands of Christians and driven thousands more from their homes in central Nigeria. As the attacks show no signs of abating, CSI has warned of a possible genocide.