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'We know your house, your church and even your family': chilling death threat received by Nigerian pastor following new wave of attacks

by Heather Preston
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A pastor who assists displaced communities in southern Kaduna, Nigeria, has received a death threat on the same night local communities were attacked by armed assailants thought to be Fulani herdsmen.

Pastor Gideon Agwom Mutum received a threatening letter on Monday, accusing him of insulting the Fulani tribe in the media. The author claimed they would kill him and his family "like goats".

"We know your house, your church and even your family.

"Your movement is known by us. Tell your people to get ready for us. We will come unless you go back and tell the world you are sorry for all that you have said concerning the Fulanis. We are coming. Nigeria is our land. Southern Kaduna is our land," the letter warned.

Pastor Mutum founded Nehemiah Camp in Kafanchan, Jema'a Local Government Area (LGA) in October 2016 to help displaced villagers after a surge in attacks by armed Fulani assailants in southern Kaduna. 

The letter, which also mentions threats to destroy a school constructed by the pastor, was delivered on the same evening that armed assailants targeted nearby communities in Zangon Kataf for the sixth day in a row.

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), of which Pastor Mutum is a member says the recent attacks have left 33 people dead, 215 homes destroyed, and four churches demolished.

According to SOKAPU, assailants "identified as Fulani herdsmen by victims" attacked local communities and villages, looting, killing people and setting fire to churches and homes.

The attacks come after allegations that villagers had killed Fulani cattle, including 706 cows.

Statistics released by the Kaduna state government reveal that 545 people were killed and 1,723 people were kidnapped in Kaduna during the first six months of 2021.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling on the Nigerian Government to "address the threat posed by this militia swiftly and decisively, prioritising the protection of vulnerable individuals and communities, and bringing attackers to justice".

CSW's Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: "It is unacceptable and inexcusable that attacks on Zangon Kataf LGA continued for six consecutive days without interception, indicating a comprehensive failure of both security and governance. The security crisis in Nigeria, and particularly in southern Kaduna, has gone on for so long that stemming it now seems beyond the capabilities of the state and federal authorities.  

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