Nigerian military may be complicit in massacre

New details emerged concerning the massacre committed on Sunday, July 8 in the Matsi cemetery in Barkin Ladi, a town in Plateau State. The massacre occured during a funeral for victims of an attack on July 7 in nearby villages in Nigeria.

Legislator Mwadkon Simon, who escaped the cemetery massacre, told Nigeria's Tribune newspaper that he believes that the country's military was somehow involved in the massacre. He alleges that the attack appears to have been coordinated. He also alleged that the military closed the only access road from the cemetery before the attack.

When the bloodshed began, the military retreated, leaving behind a policeman to directed the civilians who were blocked by a military vehicle. From the testimony gathered by the Tribune, there were delays in rescuing Federal Senator Gyang Dantong and the Parliament majority leader of Plateau State, Gyang Fulani, who were killed in the massacre. According to local authorities, the two politicians were not actually shot by the attackers, but were trampled to death in a human stampede that followed the invasion of the village by gunmen.

According to Mwadkon, the recent massacres committed by the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, are "on the agenda of the Fulani since the jihad of Usman Dan Fodio, who declared it in order to Islamize the entire north. It has been on our agenda since 1804, when the jihadis were unable to take possession of the Middle Belt region (which is part of the Plateau State). It is their belief that once the northern minorities are captured, they would be willing tools for the capture of the south".

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.


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