A pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) King James Dapar, has raised alarm that Christians in Jos, Plateau State, are fleeing their homes out of fear of attacks by Hausa-Fulani Muslim militants.
The Christian leader, according to allAfrica.com, raised the alarm when The Middle Belt Dialogue (MDB), an NGO, presented donations of relief materials to the church whose members have been affected by the ongoing crisis in Jos, Nigeria.
The pastor, while receiving the materials, said the Christian community was besieged by Hausa-Fulani Muslim militants who attack at the slightest provocation. The pastor said Christians in the Chwalnyap area live constantly in fear of Hausa settlers, and many were relocating to safer zones and selling their homes to Hausa buyers:
"We are surrounded by the Hausa people and they harass and intimidate us at will. At the slightest provocation, they will just start attacking us. But God has been helping us. Many people have relocated from Chwalnyap. Our people are relocating and selling their houses to the Hausa people. But our fear is that once the Hausa people buy the houses at the strategic route that is serving as escape route for us during crisis, we are finished."
The pastor called on wealthy Christians and the state government to buy the houses relocating Christians were abandoning rather than allow the houses to be bought by their "Hausa oppressors." The pastor said the Plateau State government, intending to set up security outposts in the area, had bought some of the houses Christians left. The state government, according to the pastor, has, however, so far not done anything to establish the security outposts.
Pastor King James Dapar thanked the MDB for its support. He urged the group to help bring condition of Christians in the area to attention of Nigerian authorities and urged the group to pray for Christians in the area. The leader of the MDB delegation Mr. Rima Shawulu, expressed his regrets at the situation in Chwalnyap area of Jos. He said the group identified with travails of Christians in Jos and promised MDB would assist the Christian community and help to pressure the authorities to address the problems.
Digital Journal recently reported the violence in Central Nigeria between indigenous Christians and Muslim Hausa-Fulani settlers. Jos has been troubled in recent times by bloody reprisal violence between the two groups.