At least 160 dead bodies were recovered on Christmas day in 20 different villages after a brutal attack in central Nigeria. Dead bodies are still being found. Human Rights groups have called this the worst outbreak of violence this year in the region.
This is one the bloodiest Christmas Day slaughters in recent memory.
In a seeming effort to distance the violence of the Christmas slaughter from radical Islam, the attackers have been referred to as “bandits.” Almost every news article is repeating the same description of the attackers, merely describing them as bandits, as if they were a group of cowboys robbing a train, but they are far from it.
Bandits is the new word to describe Muslim attackers in Nigeria.
From the reports, it is clear that the attacks were not spontaneous or opportunistic as the term ‘bandit’ would insinuate. These attacks were carefully coordinated in 20 villages across Bokkos and Barkin Ladi areas of the Plateau State, beginning on Saturday and continuing into Christmas Day.
Who are these bandits? Ayisha Osori, director at Open Society Foundations and former chairperson of Open Society West Africa, told Al Jazeera, “The bandits are a motley mix of the displaced – those displaced by the over a decade-long violence in the northeast and those displaced by climate change – unable to farm, fish, trade.”
In truth, the bandits are made up of Muslim groups ranging from Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram, and other extremists now directly linked to the Islamic State, now designated as Islamic State’s West Africa Province or ISWAP.
In the grossest perversion of reporting, Christian men, women, and children murdered on Christmas by Muslim extremists is being blamed on climate change.
Muslims in Nigeria are killing Christians at an alarming rate. This Christmas is a time to remember our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.