There are reports that a November 2018 killing of a Pastor in the Kaduna State of Nigeria was carried out by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen who shot and killed the church leader, as well as injuring his son.
The Elder, 50-year-old Yakubu Musa, belonged to the Dogo Awo village congregation of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA). His son, 20-year-old Believe Yakubu, was with him when the attack occurred.
In an interview with Morning Star News, published on Christian Headlines (see here), the Elder’s wife, 49-year-old Ladi Yakubu states that the church elder was with her, their son and nephew on their farm harvesting rice with their fellow church members before the entire ordeal.
According to Yakubu, the attack came as they had stopped for lunch at noon.
“As we were eating, a Fulani man came over to where we were sitting under a tree, we offered him food, but he declined to eat with us. When my husband asked the Fulani man whether he needed help in any way, the man said he was only out to find areas he could take his cattle to for grazing.”
Soon after the herdsman left, gunshots were heard near the farm. The church members assisting Yakubu and her family fled in fear to the village, while Musa and his family stayed behind to gather the harvest and move the tools and equipment.
Yakubu mentions that as they were doing so, the Fulani herdsman, now armed with a gun, returned with another armed Fulani and shot at them. “They shot at us, killing my husband and shooting my son on the leg, while me and my husband’s nephew narrowly escaped being shot. My husband was shot twice in the stomach”, she said.
The herdsmen then left the area, only to return the next morning to destroy the crops, irrigation system, herbicide sprayers and food warmers that they (Yakubu and family) had taken with them.
Yakubu now feels burdened to provide for her family, as she no longer has the assistance of her husband, and afraid of returning to the farm due to the macabre activities there.
Her children, with the exception of Believe, are 15, 18, 23, 26 and 28, however, her eldest children have no access to the farm outside the village, and thus, no large income.
In previous years, specifically 2016 and 2017, the herdsmen also attacked the farm and destroyed the crops. Although Musa reported the raids, no action was taken by the police or the Fulani leader, thus emboldening the herdsmen to strike again. Musa told his wife to
‘Leave judgment of every evil act against you to God’, and Yakubu says that “…We will never avenge his death, as God says, ‘Vengeance is mine.’”
Musa’s death, as well as the constant attacks, have also impacted the church, as the pastor of the ECWA, Rev. Ali Ndaks said that “Before this incident, our church, even though a small congregation, had 50 members, but with the incessant attacks on our community, we now have only seven members left. Almost all Christians in this village have fled out of fear of the attacks by the herdsmen.” The Reverend also mentions that the herdsmen had also destroyed his, and others villagers’ farms.
Musa’s body was recovered by the church members, and laid to rest within his home.