BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There has been a steady increase in verified reports of Christian killings, rapes, mutilations, and abductions in Nigeria since the advent of the twenty-first century, with a horrible acceleration in recent years. During these attacks, houses, churches, towns, and agricultural fields are frequently set on fire. According to a headline on July 15, 2020, 1,202 Nigerian Christians were killed in the first six months of 2020. (Samuel S 2020 cited NGO report 2020). This is in addition to the 11,000 Christians who have been slain since June 2015. (Premium Times 2015). Experts and watchers are now predicting a progressive genocide as a result of the attack, which appears to be a “slow-motion war” targeting Christians and churches in Nigeria’s northeast.
Fulani herdsmen attacks have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, with the employment of various sorts of weapons and communication gadgets. As a result, sedentary rural communities have turned to local vigilante groups for self-defense (Abass 2012; McGregor 2014). This has exacerbated the violence, resulting in the loss of life and property. According to Nte (2016), the majority of the extremely violent conflicts and banditry crises created by Fulani Herdsmen happened in Nigeria’s middle belt in general, and Plateau, Benue, and Taraba States in particular, where Christian communities were disproportionately targeted. Fulani Herdsmen in communities of local government areas such as Agatu, in Benue State, have sparked highly destructive clashes that have taken many lives and properties.
In the first half of 2014, communal violence instigated by Fulani herders in Benue State claimed the lives of over 5000 people (Nte, 2016).
However, recent banditry attacks in the South East and South Western parts of Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen on their hosting communities (mostly Christian communities) in Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, and Ondo States have prompted proactive measures, as many souls have been brutally murdered, churches have been burned, and landed properties, such as agricultural land, have been completely destroyed by these marauding Fulani herdsmen.
As a result, the purpose of this study is to investigate the threat of Fulani herdsmen banditry attacks on Nigerian churches.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Herdsmen’s regular banditry attacks on Christian villages and their farmlands are extremely concerning these days. Several studies attest to this fact, claiming that herders were previously known to cause havoc in particular towns in Nigeria, but that the pace at which they conduct these crimes has recently escalated enormously. This endangers the nation’s peace, security, and unity as a single geographical entity, as well as stifling progress and development in many aspects of people’s life. In the midst of the herdsmen attacks, which appeared to be both recklessness and a “religious cold war” between Muslim and Christian. Initially, climate change was blamed for Fulani violence against Christians. It has been widely reported that, as a result of the drought and the receding of the water table,
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The goal of this study is to conduct an empirical analysis into the threat of banditry attacks on Nigerian churches by herders. This research aims to determine the various forms or methods by which herders attack their host Christian communities. The researchers also want to know if the herdsmen’s attacks on churches are motivated by religion. It will also look into the frequency of herdsman banditry attacks on Nigerian churches.
In what ways do herders assault the Christian communities they live in?
Do you believe the herdsmen’s attack on churches has a religious motivation?
Do you believe that herders assault churches on a regular basis?
What is the extent of the damage caused by herdsmen attacks on churches in Nigeria?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will be useful to the general population, particularly Christian communities experiencing banditry attacks by herders, and will educate them on the importance of being attentive and self-defensible in the lack of prompt security intervention. This study would also be useful to Nigerian security agents in terms of the necessity to be exposed (via periodic training) to globally tenable counter-banditry tactics and know-how. It will raise government awareness of the critical need to develop credible and actionable policies to combat the ongoing attacks on churches and Christians. Finally, it will add to the corpus of knowledge and provide space for future research.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this research is to conduct an empirical investigation into the threat of herder banditry attacks on Nigerian churches. However, the study is limited to Kaduna State’s Kaduna South Local Government Area.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During the course of this inquiry, the researcher came across a few variables that were a hindrance. Financial and time constraints are two of them.
Financial constraints – A lack of funds impedes the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data gathering procedure (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will be working on this subject while also doing other academic tasks. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
A threat is something that threatens to produce evil, hurt, or injury. 2. a person who is being judged for their behavior, attitudes, or views
Herdsmen, also known as Fulani pastoralists, are nomadic or semi-nomadic people who primarily raise livestock.
Outlaws commit banditry, which is a sort of organized crime that usually involves the threat or use of violence. A bandit is a person who engages in banditry and commits crimes such as extortion, robbery, and murder, either individually or in gangs.
A church is a public building dedicated to Christian worship.