Nigerian Christians in “Plateau Peace Walk” Want Armed Terrorist Militias Proscribed

Christian leaders during the 8 January 2024 "Plateau Peace Walk” to demonstrate against the 23-26 December 2023 attacks that left nearly 200 Christians dead. Credit: CAN Plateau State

Christians in Nigeria, who took to the streets on Monday, January 8 in what was dubbed “Plateau Peace Walk” to demonstrate against the 23-26 December 2023 attacks that left nearly 200 Christians dead have demanded that armed terrorist militias be proscribed in the West African nation.

Organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Plateau State, the peaceful demonstrations saw Christians and their leaders, including Archbishop Matthew Audu of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, march to the Plateau State governor’s official residence, Rayfield Government House.

Speaking on behalf of CAN, the President of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Stephen Baba Panya, called upon Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice “to initiate the process of officially proscribing the armed terrorist militias responsible for these mindless killings.”

By designating the militia groups as terrorists, Rev. Panya said that the military will have “the power to fully engage them as provided in the Terrorism Act of 2022.”

He said that since the 2015 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) named the armed Fulani militias as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world, “Nigeria must urgently act and treat them as such while also engaging other West African countries, through ECOWAS, to do the same thing.”


“A regional approach, consensus, and action have become extremely imperative to deal with the menace of the Fulani militias,” the Nigerian church leader said.

Rev. Panya also called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, through the State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, “to provide adequate security for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Bokkos who are today located in various temporary Camps and houses of relatives.”

He further called for the rebuilding of destroyed homes and the resettlement of all those affected by violence.

“All communities destroyed should be rebuilt and the displaced people relocated and resettled back in their ancestral homelands as soon as possible,” the CAN official said.

He added, “We call for an end to the intentional dispossession of land and the current land grabbing through militarization and the activities of these armed militias and bandits which have gone on for too long now in Plateau State,” he said.

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“Records show that several indigenous villages have been taken over; the people displaced and some of these villages are currently being occupied by these armed militias,” Rev. Panya further said, adding, “This sad reality and social tragedy must change. The displaced people should be resettled back to their ancestral lands and given adequate security.”

He continued, “We demand an end to the intentional destruction of farm produce and cattle rustling which have become huge security issues.”

The church leader went on to urge Governor Muftwang “to look into this and find ways to tackle these issues once and for all.” 

“We also call for the construction of food barns which were burnt down with farm produce in the communities attacked. By implication, even if the survivors return to their communities, there would be no food left. Unless there is timely intervention, the people will face hunger and starvation.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.