Washington D.C., Feb 16, 2023 / 14:15 pm (CNA).
Clement Usoo, a 65-year-old Christian Nigerian farmer whose family was massacred by Fulani herdsmen in 2019, shared his story in a testimony published Wednesday by Aid to the Church in Need-USA (ACN).
Usoo described what transpired on June 1, 2019, in an interview with ACN. He and his brother, he said, were on their way to a nearby farm when they heard gunshots and screaming coming from their village.
Hoping to save their family, Usoo and his brother immediately ran back. As they approached their home the sounds of violence and agony grew louder.
“I rushed inside and saw my son’s head in one corner of the room and the rest of his body in the center,” Usoo said. “I was confused; I quickly took his head and placed it on his body. I cried and shook the body, to see if God would have mercy and bring him back to life — but that never happened.
“I was about to run out of the room; four Fulani herdsmen ambushed us. They grabbed me, and one of them shot me in the chest, while another slashed my hand with a machete. I was also stabbed in the back.
“They grabbed hold of my brother and mother, tormenting her, telling her to watch them slaughter her son. One of them had an AK47 and shot my brother, who died instantly. My mother could not hold back her pain and collapsed,” Usoo said.
“On seeing that, I fell unconscious, and the attackers thought I was dead and left. Soon after they left, villagers began to collect all the dead bodies for mass burial; that was when they found out I was still breathing. They rushed me to the hospital, where I spent a few months,” Usoo told ACN.
When he left the hospital, Usoo was told four other relatives had been killed in the attack.
With his remaining family, Usoo left his home village to seek shelter in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp known as “Guma Camp.”
IDP camps in Nigeria are known for extreme hardship and poverty. At Guma Camp, his wife and three more of his children died.
“Whenever I remember the loved ones I have lost, it is very hard. My son was my breadwinner, and he is gone. I always feel sad,” Usoo said.
According to the reports of survivors like Usoo, attacks by Fulani herdsmen on unarmed and unsuspecting villages have become more common in recent years.
The Fulani, a radically Islamic nomadic people, have been responsible for a series of attacks and massacres on Christian farmers going back to at least 2016.
As recently as October 2022, 71 Christians were reportedly massacred by Fulani herdsmen at St. Michael Catholic Church in Nigeria’s Benue state.
According to ACN, Fulani herdsmen attacked 93 villages in Benue state, killing 325 farmers in 2022.
“Fulani attacks on farmers in [Nigeria] are too numerous to be counted,” Usoo said. “The most upsetting part of this is that the government is not doing anything to stop the attacks. It almost seems as if there is a plan to kill all the Christians here.”
Aid to the Church in Need is a pontifical foundation that provides pastoral and humanitarian assistance to the persecuted Church around the world. Visit churchinneed.org to learn more about ACN in the USA.
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How does God guide us to walk in righteous paths?
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
This is how God wants the believer in Him to live.