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UK-Based Religious Entity Condemns Death Threats on Christian Volunteer in Nigeria

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Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights organization, has condemned the issuance of death threats on one of her collaborators serving in Southern Kaduna, Nigeria.

On July 12, Pastor Gideon Agwom Mutum received an anonymous letter from alleged members of the Fulani militia, also referred to as Fulani herdsmen, threatening to kill him along with his family.

“CSW is deeply concerned by the death threat made against Pastor Gideon Agwom Mutum, which comes as the Fulani militia continue to show just how dangerous they are,” the Founder President of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, says in a Wednesday, July 14 report

Mr. Mervyn calls on the government of the West African nation to address the threat posed by the Fulani herdsmen “swiftly and decisively, prioritizing the protection of vulnerable individuals and communities, and bringing attackers to justice.”

In the July 12 letter, members of the militia accuse Pastor Mutum of insulting the Fulani tribe in the media for a long time. 

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“We will kill you like goats and your family. We know your house, your church and even your family,” they write, addressing themselves to the Nigerian Pastor, and further threaten to destroy schools, which Pastor Mutum has constructed. 

“Your movement is known by us. Tell your people to get ready for us. Inshallah we will come except you go back to tell the world you are sorry for all you […] said concerning the Fulanis. We are coming. Nigeria is our land. Southern Kaduna is our land," they write, directing the threats to the Pastor.  

The members of militia reportedly further threaten to kill Steven Kefas, a journalist and activist from Southern Kaduna. 

Reports of insecurity in Nigeria’s Kaduna State have been on the rise since the beginning of the year. 

On Tuesday, 13 July, members of the militia reportedly attacked Matyei village, torched down 156 homes, along a Catholic Church. 

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A July 12 report from the Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs indicates that at least 220 have been murdered, and 774 others abducted from the region between April and June 2021. 

In a Wednesday, July 14 virtual address to the 2021 International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese faulted the Federal Government of the West African nation for failing to handle insecurity in the country. 

Bishop Kukah also told the U.S. Congress that the failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to address insecurity in the West African nation is either due to helplessness or disinterestedness.

While 68-year-old Bishop admitted that he shares the “pessimism” of those who say Nigeria is collapsing amid rampant insecurity, nepotism, and government corruption, he said that “as a Christian, I believe in the Resurrection.”