Protests erupted in Nigeria against abductions
Hundreds of protesters have gathered into Nigeria’s capital of Abuja on Monday after unknown gunmen, suspected to be criminal Fulani herdsmen or Boko Haram terrorists, conducted several kidnappings over the past week.
“Setting tires on fire, a crowd barricaded a section of the Abuja-Kaduna highway in the Tafa area of Niger state, bordering the federal capital,” an AFP journalist told the Guardian Nigeria.
“Five days ago, they kidnapped four people, and then they came back again yesterday and kidnapped 16 people,” one protester said.
Residents of the Gauraka community are demanding increased security from state and local government, to stop the incessant raids that have left at least 30 community members missing since January. Information Nigeria reports that kidnappers stormed the community over the weekend and abducted at least 15 people, killing three others.
Nigeria has dealt with significant internal violence for years, mostly at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group and militant Fulani herdsmen. These groups are motivated by extreme Islamic ideology, which desires to exterminate Christianity and impose Islam on the population. Many civilians in Nigeria are frustrated with the government that has had limited success in combating the insurgency’s reign of terror and seems to largely deny the religious component of the violence.
1,900 civilians and government employees were killed by Boko Haram and Fulani militants in 2020 alone, according to ICC analysis of the situation. Much of the violence is concentrated in Christian-majority areas of the Middle Belt region.