Three Christians have been killed in an attack by Islamist militants on the village of Kautikari in Chibok Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State, northern Nigeria.
Gunmen from the Islamic State West Africa Province invaded the predominantly Christian area of the Muslim-majority state on February 25, causing many residents to flee.
One of the dead was identified as Bulama Wadir, the son of a traditional ruler. The other two victims had sought safety in Kautikari after fleeing violence elsewhere in the region.
Kautikari resident Barka Amos explained that attacks on the village had been recurrent over the years. “I was born here, I have no other place to go and I am tired of running. ... I think I should stop running at 56 years old,” he said.
Amos denied that his decision not to join relatives in fleeing the village on hearing gunshots demonstrated courage, saying, “It is not about being brave. It is about getting tired of running. I have seen people who run and get killed.”
Claiming that the government had abandoned the residents of the area, he added, “The insurgents always come and do whatever they want and go back to come back another day. There was no time that security operatives came to defend us here, none that I could recall. All you hear is the same story.”
Kautikari was one of three villages in Chibok LGA attacked by Islamist extremists in December 2021 and January 2022.
In these earlier attacks four men were killed and 24 Christians – 22 women and girls along with two men – were abducted. At least four girls have since been released by their abductors.
It was from Chibok town that Boko Haram extremists abducted 276 girls, mostly Christian, from a secondary school on April 14, 2014. Around 160 of the girls have subsequently escaped, been rescued or released.
Cry out to God for an end to the repeated violence towards Christians in Borno State. Ask that the bereaved will know His comfort and strength, and that the authorities will be directed in seeking the most effective strategy to protect residents from such attacks.