Muslims in Nigeria butcher 200 Christians on Christmas—Reuters blames climate change

A massacre in Nigeria left nearly 200 people dead over the weekend in what Reuters has dubbed the "bloodiest violence since 2018" in the country. Reuters then proceeded to suggest that the conflict was caused by climate change.

The perpetrators of the planned violence were reportedly nomadic Muslim Fulani herdsmen wielding machetes and guns. They made their way through the villages in the central Plateau state housing mainly Christian farmers, attempting to slaughter anyone in their path. 

Grace Goodwin, a Nigerian mother in one of the villages, was preparing a Christmas Eve meal when the attackers were spotted nearby. She recounted the horrific incident:

"We returned at 6 the next morning and found that houses had been burnt and people killed. There are still people missing," Godwin said.

"There is no one in Mayanga (village), women and children have all fled."

Violence in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria between the two ethno-religious groups is not uncommon. In 2018, an attack left more than 200 people dead.

Reuters has claimed that "experts and politicians say climate change and expanding agriculture are creating competition for land, pushing farmers and herders into conflict."

They said that climate change has caused the regions of northern Nigeria where the herdsmen are from to become more prone to both drought and floods which has "forced" them to massacre Christian farmers over their land.

However, the governor of Plateau called the violence "unprovoked" and described damage that went far beyond what would constitute a seizure of land. Houses, cars, and properties were left scorched from arson.

President Bola Tinubu stated the attacks were "primitive and cruel."

Magit Macham who is originally from one of the villages and had returned to celebrate Christmas with his family stated: "These attacks have been recurring. They want to drive us out of our ancestral land but we will continue to resist these assaults."

"We were taken unawares and those that could run ran into the bush. A good number of those that couldn't were caught and killed with machetes," he said.

The Christian Daily International/Morning Star News paints a far different picture than Reuters, describing much of the violence as being directed toward churches and pastors.

Villager Dawinzo Mallau told outlet: “Some pastors were killed, and another pastor and his wife and five children were killed during these attacks ... These terrorists who attacked these Christian communities were in the hundreds, and they carried out the attacks as the hapless Christians were preparing for Christmas programs lined up by their pastors.”

Another resident, Alfred Mashat, added: “About 160 Christians in these villages were killed by the terrorists ... We believe they are carrying out these attacks alongside armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen.”

French writer Eric Zemmour posted on X Wednesday:

"More than 130 Christians massacred in Nigeria on Christmas Eve, by mercenary groups linked to Boko Haram and the Islamic State, in 20 coordinated attacks in villages. Among the victims were a large number of women, children and Protestant pastors and their families. They were preparing for Christmas celebrations. The most extraordinary thing is that this horror is nothing extraordinary: more than 5,000 Nigerian Christians have been murdered in 2022 because of their faith, and thousands of Nigerian Christian women have been raped and kidnapped. Never in all of human history has the number of persecuted Christians around the world been so high, and no other religion is so persecuted today. Western silence on this planetary catastrophe is deafening."

Media company Visegrád 24 reported that the death toll sits at 198.

Image: Title: Nigerian massacre