In the interview with ACI Africa, the Nigerian Catholic Priest said that the killing was the latest on the list of attacks that he said have been on the rise since early February. He said that unlike past incidents, the May 20 attack happened in broad daylight.
“We have been suffering from the Fulani herdsmen for a long time now but the attacks have been going on since the beginning of February. They happen almost on a daily basis. This time, the Fulanis struck in broad daylight. Usually, they attack at night or in the early hours of the morning,” the JPC official said.
He said that most villages in Benue State and other Nigerian States in the Eastern and Southern regions experiencing attacks from Fulani herdsmen have become desolate.
“People have abandoned their homes in the villages and run to safer places in the township,” Fr. Ihyula said, and added, “Many of our local farmers have been displaced and left their farms for the herdsmen. Some have been displaced several times when the Fulanis attack them in places they have gone to seek refuge.”
Displaced people are living in constant fear and extreme poverty, he further said, and added, “Locals are abandoning their work and sources of livelihood and life is becoming very difficult for them. Most of them are now relying on aid and donations to survive.”
Fr. Ihyula lamented that the international community has turned a blind eye on the suffering of the people of God in the West African country that is experiencing “perhaps the worst Islamic terrorism at the moment.”
“It is not that the international community doesn’t know what is happening in Nigeria. They know that the situation here is that of displacement and occupation. The perpetrators are Islamists who don’t believe in the western lifestyle. The world knows this but for some reason, they just don’t want to help,” the Nigerian Catholic Priest told ACI Africa May 21.
Attacks in Nigeria have left the populations desolate, “almost hopeless”, the JPC Director in the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi said.
“We in the justice department are tired of reporting these incidents. We feel that the world has abandoned us to die. We have cried until our tears ran dry,” he lamented.
Fr. Ihyula further bemoaned, “The Church has tried everything in her power but nothing seems to be working. Authorities are not making any arrests and this has created a hostile environment for the innocent civilians.”