Nigerian Pastor Receives Death Threats After Helping Christians Flee From Fulani Militants

A pastor and humanitarian who helps assist displaced communities from assaults by armed Fulani assailants has recently received death threats against him and his family.

Pastor Gideon Agwom Mutum, the founder and director of Nehemiah Camp in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State, found a two-page letter near his car around noon. In the letter, an anonymous writer accuses Mutum of insulting the Fulani tribe in the media.

According to U.K.-based persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the writer threatened the pastor with the following message, “We will kill you like goats and your family. We know your house, your church and even your family.”

In the letter, the writer further threatened to destroy a school constructed by Mutum in Pasakori village in Kaura LGA in Kaduna State. A journalist and activist from southern Kaduna, Steven Kefas, was also threatened. He was previously detained for 150 days back in 2019.

“Tell Steven Kefas we will also hunt him,” the letter tells Mutum.

“Your movement is known by us. Tell your people to get ready for us. Inshallah we will come except you go back to tell the world you are sorry for all you said concerning the Fulanis. We are coming. Nigeria is our land. Southern Kaduna is our land,” the letter concluded.

On the same day the letter was sent, Fulani herdsmen targeted communities in Zangon Kataf LGA for the sixth day in a row. 

According to a statement by the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, the aftermath of the daily assaults left 33 people dead, 215 homes destroyed and four churches flattened.

In response to the death threats, CSW Founder Mervyn Thomas called on the Nigerian government to address the militant threat “swiftly and decisively, prioritising the protection of vulnerable individuals and communities, and bringing attackers to justice.”

“It is unacceptable and inexcusable that attacks on Zangon Kataf LGA continued for six consecutive days without interception, indicating a comprehensive failure of both security and governance,” he argued.

“The security crisis in Nigeria, and particularly in southern Kaduna, has gone on for so long that stemming it now seems beyond the capabilities of the state and federal authorities,” Thomas said. “It urgently requires concerted efforts by the international community to assist Nigeria in combatting it wherever possible, whilst also holding the government to account for its failure to assist targeted communities.”

According to persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern, The Fulani Militia is the fourth deadliest terror group worldwide and has surpassed Boko Haram, another terrorist group, as the greatest threat to Nigerian Christians.