Earlier this month, an orphanage in Nigeria’s Plateau State was torched to the ground by radical Fulani rebels.
Thankfully, the 156 orphans who lived within its walls were safely evacuated, but now, they have nowhere to live, the Nigerian Tribune reported.
What’s particularly heartbreaking is that many of the children who found refuge at the Binta Orphanage had lost their parents in similar attacks at the hands of the Fulani or Boko Haram militants who have been ravaging Africa’s most populous nation over the last few years.
This kind of violence has taken a sharp upward escalation in Nigeria and across West Africa in 2021.
“And I am telling you that no sooner had these children were evacuated than the assailants came, attacked and razed down the Orphanage as you can see,” the state’s coordinator for the Association of Orphanage and Home Operators in Nigeria, Daniel Asama, said of the attack as recounted to him by the orphanage director.
“We thank God that no life was lost in this Orphanage home except those we lost in the community. However, the property destroyed is worth over N200million. And if consider the situation, you would agree with me that we are in a predicament,” he said.
“We actually need assistance. We are in pain and in a precarious situation. Can you imagine having 156 children and they have to eat every other day, they have to sleep in a place and we have to ensure they are warm and comfortable? It’s not a situation you would want to imagine. As I talk to you, I don’t even know how we would cope up tonight.”
Pastor Bill Devlin of New York has answered this urgent call for help.
The Christian Post reported that he pledged on his Facebook page to donate $50,000 to rebuild the children’s home, also praising the Lord that the children were unharmed.
“Thank God the … children were evacuated prior to the destruction by these demonic terrorists,” Devlin, the co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, New York, wrote.
The Post notes that Devlin describes himself as an “international humanitarian in the war zones,” and Nigeria is certainly a nation where such aide is sorely needed.
According to one witness account quoted by the Post, the Fulani rebels were enabled by the Nigerian army, which has been criticized for not doing enough to respond to the violence.
“The attackers came when the place was becoming dark around 7 p.m.,” a civilian neighborhood watchman reportedly said. “The Fulani got support from the Nigerian army. They were escorted by the army on three army vans. We saw them from afar coming in numbers,” the watchman said. “The soldiers did not help us. They allowed Fulani to burn down our houses.”
It has been estimated at over 1,400 Christians have been killed in such attacks this year alone, and another 3,000 kidnapped.
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