Over 90 Killed in Nigerian Catholic Dioceses as Attacks Hit Record High in October 2022

Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of Nigeria's Makurdi Diocese. Credit: ACN

Over 90 people were killed in areas served by the Catholic Dioceses of Makurdi and Katsina Ala in the month of October this year as armed Fulani herdsmen continue to wreak havoc in Nigeria’s Benue State.

Compared to the month of September in which 29 people were reportedly killed in the Islamist attacks, the October 2022 statistics that the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi shared with ACI Africa is a worrying record high.

Sharing the statistics, which also cover the first seven days of November, Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi has expressed frustration that violence against Christians in Nigeria has continued unabated.

“I continue to ask your prayers for Nigeria. Like I remarked sometime in the past, how could a people be consistently subjected to these kinds of attacks without consequences?” Bishop Chikpa says in the Tuesday, November 8 report.

He adds, “Those of us who live with these killings know that the perpetrators of the genocidal attacks on us are connected in high places so they have been able to always get away with these atrocities.”


The report indicates that 23 separate attacks were witnessed in areas served by the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi and a few other areas served by Katsina Ala in the period between October 1 and November 7. This means that a day hardly passed by without an attack, including those that left dozens dead.

With 39 killed, the October 19 attack on the Gbeji community that is served by Katsina Ala Diocese was the deadliest. The attack is also said to have left scores injured and “many others” displaced, according to the report.

Other deadly attacks were the November 3 attack on Ukohol market in Nyiev council ward of Guma Local Government Area that left 12 dead, and the attack on Ahungwa community in Guma that left six people dead on the same day of the attack on Ukohol. 

Six people were also killed when armed Fulani militants attacked Yelewata community of Nyiev ward of Guma on October 12.

In Asongu village that is situated between Daudu and Gyungu Aze, along Makurdi – Lafia road in Guma, travelers were abducted in a bus, and according to the report, their fate is still unknown.

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In another incident, a man and his son were killed on their farm where they had gone to harvest yams for the family.

At the heart of the killings and displacements in Benue State is the Diocese of Makurdi, which also hosts the largest population of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the Nigerian State.

On October 11, Bishop Chikpa reported the Benue crisis to the European Parliament in Brussels.

“Figures from the Benue State government reveal that as of June 2022, Benue State has suffered more than 200 attacks with property loss [of] more than 500 billion naira and close to 2 million people displaced and living in camps across the state,” Bishop Chikpa told the gathering.

He added, “Many children have had their education truncated as their parents, unable to go to their farms, cannot cater for their school needs; there is a palpable food insecurity, there is the complete loss of human dignity as men, women, and children often resort to unsafe coping mechanisms for survival.” 


The Nigerian Catholic Bishop went to the European Union as part of a trip organized by the international charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), to Germany, Belgium, Holland, and Slovakia to give a voice to the suffering of Christians in Nigeria.

In the report that Bishop Chikpa shared with ACI Africa on November 8, the Bishop expressed gratitude to those international Church entities amplifying the cry of Christians in Nigeria.

“Thanks to the efforts and advocacy of the Aid to the Church in Need, (Kirche in Not), I was able to take the cry of my people for help to address this situation to some audiences and members of the European Parliament in Brussels,” the Catholic Bishop said.

He added, “I am equally grateful to Johan Viljoen of the DHPI (Denis Hurley Peace Institute) in South Africa and other news outlets who now constantly break the news of killings perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen to push forth their agenda of killing and displacement in Christian territories out here.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.