US Terror Alerts Ignoring Terror Attacks in Nigeria’s ‘Breadbasket’

JOS, Nigeria — US officials in Nigeria have come under fire for ignoring a series of armed attacks in central Benue State that have displaced thousands of local farmers and threatened US citizens in the country.

The state is widely acclaimed as the “breadbasket” of Africa’s most populous nation.

But its productivity is slowly being strangled by radicalized terrorist groups seeking to establish a caliphate, according to Michael Burton, an American missionary in Benue who has researched the situation.

In recent years, US terror alerts in Nigeria have failed to acknowledge threats in Benue, Burton said.

Kidnapping for ransom

As of Nov. 4, the US mission in Abuja had yet to list Benue in its latest travel advisory referring to heightened danger to US citizens in the country’s capital and 11 other states.

The notice published on October 27 notes a variety of threats, including kidnapping for ransom.

But it ignores a mass of terrorist raids just 200 miles from Benue that have claimed at least five lives a day since October, according to Daniel Adakole, program manager of Benue’s Civil Societies, a network of local watchdog groups.

“Benue state has been turned into a killing field with over 150 people killed between October 3 and November 3 alone,” said Adakole, the national youth leader of Idoma, a dominant tribe in Benue.

“Sometimes we record up to three attacks a day,” Adakole told The Epoch Times.

In the latest incident on November 3, at least 11 people were reportedly killed in two separate attacks near the state capital, Makurdi.

Both attacks targeting members of a local Christian tribe were blamed on Islamic extremists who identify as ethnic Fulani.

Fulani terrorists have been accused of thousands of murders in Nigeria.

Motorcycle terrorists

A highway ambush on the northern approach to Makurdi killed at least one person on November 3, according to Adakole. Later that day, terrorists on motorcycles killed at least 10 villagers in a remote town 40 km northwest of Makurdi, he told The Epoch Times in a text message.

“It happened in [the] Ukohol and currently more than 800 displaced families have camped in the communities of Ortese and Daudu,” he wrote.

Guma County Chairman Nyieakaa Mike told The Epoch Times on November 4 that the death toll from the Ukohol attack is expected to rise as many people are still missing.

“The Fulani militants came and surrounded the village during its weekly market day and opened fire on everyone in sight,” Mike said. “Many people could also have been killed in the tall bushes surrounding the village.”

Two weeks earlier, more than 70 people, including two policemen, had been massacred in neighboring Ukum County.

In this October 19 incident, 200 terrorists on motorcycles attacked the farming town of Gbeji, witnesses said.

The town had previously received threats following a clash on October 17, when four Fulani cattle herders were killed by local farmers eight kilometers from town, according to the Reverend Fila Samuel, parish priest of the Catholic church. Saint-Michel de Gbeji.

“Farmers were fed up with herdsmen bullying them and grazing their crops,” Samuel told The Epoch Times.

“They then took out their shotguns and faced a group of herdsmen who first fired at them with assault rifles after they were advised to move their 200 cattle off some crop farms. blackberries.”

revenge attack

But the apparent revenge attack on October 19 targeted a group of worshipers attending a morning mass at Samuel Parish, located in the northeast end of the city, he said.

“Congregants ran out of the church as soon as they recognized the troop running towards the town. The assailants started shooting at them, killing two people in the church premises,” Samuel said, who was in another city on an official mission the morning of the attack.

The terrorists, dressed in black, shouted “Allahu’akbar” [God is great] and spoke the Fulani dialect, according to witness Ujiir Hyev.

“They have now started burning other houses and shooting people all over the village,” said Hyev, who is currently hospitalized with injuries sustained in the attack.

A military base a mile away in the town of Kente did not respond to distress calls until two hours later after the attack had ended, according to Samuel.

Despite the presence of a large police division in the city, only a 50-man civil defense team with their homemade single-shot rifles attempted to repel the invaders, according to Teryima Ulaha, the city’s youth leader. .

But the defense team was overpowered by the terrorists and their assault rifles, Ulaha told The Epoch Times.

“We had no choice but to run for our lives,” he said.

70 killed in the attack

When the attack ended, two police officers were among more than 40 bodies initially recovered from the scene, according to Kartyo Tyoumbur, the chairman of Ukum County.

“Over the next week, we collected more corpses every day from the surrounding bushes,” Tyoumbur told The Epoch Times, noting that more than 70 people were killed in the attack.

But Benue Police Commissioner Wale Abbas insisted only 27 people were killed, including a policeman.

“We had 10 corpses on the first day, but thanks to the searches carried out in the following days, we were able to recover more corpses with the help of the locals, which makes … 27 in total,” Abbas told The Epoch Times.

More than 90% of the town’s 15,000 residents have fled since the attack, which leveled several homes, according to Samuel.

“I haven’t been able to celebrate Mass in my parish since the attack because everyone fled,” he said. “There are only about fifty young people left to watch over the city.”

Benue police reportedly identified the attackers. But Abbas told The Epoch Times he was negotiating a peace deal to provide safe passage for residents to return home.

“We have more than enough of my patrol teams there combined with Operation Whirl Strokes, which includes police and other security agencies, including the military,” he said.

“But the important thing is that we were able to engage both communities in a discussion to see how we can find a lasting solution to these things and make sure we don’t have a repeat of a fight.”

“They came for the blood”

Burton, international director of Ignition633 Ministries USA, wrote in a text message to The Epoch Times, “I passed through villages where Fulani terrorists had just attacked.

“They came without cattle. They arrived in the middle of the night while the villagers were sleeping. They shot and killed several people, then left. They did not return for their land. They came for their blood.

The aim of the terrorists is to establish a caliphate in Nigeria, according to Burton.

“If the current course of events continues to run out of control, it is likely to go in that direction,” he said. “However, I am aware of many behind-the-scenes efforts that will soon surface to prevent this from happening in Nigeria.

“Rest assured that countries like the United States of America have organizations with real influence and resources that have a vested interest in what is happening with the ongoing genocide in Nigeria. The efforts are unified and the plans are elaborated.

However, Burton blamed the state’s omission of recent US terrorism advisories on “political interests.”

“Make no mistake, this is a highly organized and coordinated effort by Fulani extremists and their collaborators,” he wrote.

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