A Christian grandmother in Nigeria has shared her heartbreaking story of losing much of her family to a Muslim Fulani attack and being made homeless.
Talatu Gado told Morning Star News through tears on Wednesday that her 35-year-old son, 21-year-old daughter-in-law and 5-year-old granddaughter were all killed after Fulani herdsmen, which some groups say have been radicalized, attacked their village.
The attack on Aug. 3 happened in Angwan Kauna village in Bassa county of Plateau state, part of a series of violent raids this past year which has seen thousands of Christians killed and their villages and homes burned down.
“Prior to the herdsmen attack on us, they had while grazing their cattle around homes and farms threatened us,” said Gado, a member of the Evangelical Church Winning All community.
“One of them once told me that a day would come that I will weep, that is if I’m still alive to cry. I never knew they’ll carry out their threat. Now my heart bleeds."
A fourth relative, 7-year-old Gado Monday, was injured by a gunshot but survived.
“Those of us who were able to escape from the house survived the shooting, but we were displaced as we have been forced to flee the village,” she said.
“Many in the community who also survived have fled to other areas. Some are living with relations in Miango town, while others are living in Internally Displaced People’s camps in the city of Jos.”
The grandmother revealed that she and other relatives who managed to flee were taken in by another family in Jebbu Miango village, but their room was destroyed by torrential rains.
“You can see that we now sleep in the open,” she pointed to their circumstance.
A church leader identified as Pastor Birih shared of another attack on Zanwra and Angwan Kauna in late January, where several members of his church were killed, but he managed to survive.
“It was during this first attack that my house was burnt down,” the pastor revealed.
“The herdsmen after this attack thought they had killed me and my family as they went round and proudly spread the news that the pastor and his family were burnt alive. But unknown to them, me and my family escaped during the attack before the house was burnt down.”
The continuous attacks on civilians throughout Nigeria by the Fulani and terror groups like Boko Haram have led to the displacement of millions of people in the past several years.
In August, leading persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA told The Christian Post that Christians are losing their families and their homes all over rural towns in Nigeria's Middle Belt.
"Just the idea of being trapped with your family in some of these villages and knowing that your village is about to get raided, and essentially having to run, leave everything behind and knowing that you are about to become an internally displaced person, you're not sure what you're going to do because your entire village is forced to leave," Chris Summers, senior writer at the relief group, told CP.
"So any kind of community you had is stripped away. Your church is gone, which for many of these Christians in the Middle Belt, their church is the center of their community and the center of their social structure. So the church is gone, it is burned, and they may not ever see it again."