A letter from… Jos, Nigeria
Bishop Benjamin Kwashi reports from Jos, Nigeria
Christians in the north of Nigeria have long faced attacks from Boko Haram, but now they are being attacked by Fulani, nomadic cattle herders, armed to the teeth. They slaughter Christians in their villages, often on the pretext of revenge attacks for cattle rustling. Thousands of people have been killed in lieu of three people, or ten people, or 20 people. My appeal to our government is to step up its justice system, beginning with ensuring the security of lives and property of people, whoever they are, whether they be Fulani, Christian, Muslim – anybody. People have a right to a government that provides security, so that, when anybody is wronged, security can step in and justice can take its course.
Once the government allows people to take the justice system of their own choice and mete it upon their fellow neighbours, there will be revenge. I have heard people say: ‘The Fulani people always take revenge.’ Now, revenge is not only a Fulani thing, it is a human failure. People will take revenge, regardless of who they are.
The current system of governance in Nigeria does not give Christians any hope beyond their trust in God. Any Christian you see living in northern Nigeria, where Christians are a minority, is only hanging on God. I don’t know of any government in the north of Nigeria that cares about any life that is not Muslim. That is a strong way to put it, but these things have happened too many times for me to say otherwise. If they care, they are unable to protect…
This is an extract from the April 2017 edition of Reform