nigeria report

Escalating Sectarian Violence in Nigeria

Latest uploads: 

-  Amid fears of civil war in Nigeria, agitation for restructuring goes north, writes Moses E. Ochonu. Read the commentary here

- The reign of impunity in Nigeria is the scaffolding on which the persecution of Christians in Nigeria has been built, says Onyemaechi F. E. Ogbunwezeh. Read the interview here

April 2021: Nigerian “bandits” as terrorists by another name?


Farooq A. Kperogi lifts the mask on the bandits terrorising northern Nigeria. Click on the button below to read his commentary.




Conflict in Nigeria

An increasingly bloody dispute over land use is exacerbating religious tensions in Nigeria, which is roughly equally divided between Christians and Muslims with a small percentage adhering to indigenous religions. Displacement and the effects of climate change are driving nomadic herdsmen, predominantly Muslim, southwards into largely Christian farming lands. Since 2016 Islamist inspired Fulani militias have stepped up their brutal attacks across swathes of central and southern Nigeria, laying waste to mainly Christian villages, killing the villagers or driving them from their ancestral homes. Meanwhile, the threat from the radical Islamist Boko Haram persists in the northeast where there are regular clashes with the military, and sporadic violence continues in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. The growing conflict poses a threat to stability and unity in the Country. See the Context to conflict section for more Information.


Church in Nigeria

Dr. John Eibner

Introduction to Nigeria Report by Dr John Eibner, Chairman International Management CSI


Welcome to Nigeria Report, a project of Christian Solidarity International (CSI). This is an internet platform for informed discussion of the various aspects of sectarian violence in Nigeria, and for the presentation of policy recommendations aimed at ending it. CSI’s intention is to provide space especially for the perspectives of Nigerian civil society representatives, regardless of tribal or religious identity. Such voices are currently only faintly heard outside Nigeria.

Respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a foundational pillar of CSI. Conversation on this platform will be conducted in the spirit of that international instrument. The views expressed in the Commentaries section are those of individual authors and are not necessarily those of CSI.


Trouble hotspots


The northeast and Middle Belt of Nigeria are the areas where political and religious violence are concentrated.


In one of the worst incidents, at the end of June 2018 more than 200 people were killed in attacks by Fulani militias on mostly Christian villages in  Plateau State. Numerous houses were burned down and entire villages were destroyed. To read the stories of some of the victims of these and other attacks, see the  Victims' Stories section.


In an echo of the kidnapping of 276 female students from a school in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014, a faction of Boko Haram on 19 February 2018 abducted 110 schoolgirls from a boarding college in Dapchi, Yobe State. Five of the girls were killed and 104 were subsequently released. But the group, ISWAP, continues to hold one girl, Leah Sharibu, who refused to renounce her Christian faith. Two aid workers captured by the same faction in March were later killed. See the Background, Conflict - Issues and actors section for more information on Boko Haram and the Fulani.

Map of the conflict in Nigeria
Map showing states most prone to religious and ethnic conflict (@CSI)

Children displaced by Fulani attacks in Kaduna/Plateau
Attacks on Irigwe communities have left over 60 children fatherless. @ECCVN

Latest developments

Dozens of children orphaned following Fulani attacks on Kaduna/Plateau border


Around 60 children below the age of 10 have lost parents following attacks on Irigwe communities living on the border of Southern Kaduna and Plateau State. Over one week in February nine villagers were killed, according to the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN).


ECCVN said five men aged between 32 and 50 from the villages of Kishisho and Zirshe in Kauru local government authority (LGA) Kaduna, and Bassa LGA, Plateau respectively, died after being attacked by militiamen on 7 February. 


On 14 February, ECCVN reported that a further four people were confirmed dead after Zirshe was invaded for the second time in a week by suspected Fulani militants who opened fire on residents and torched houses.


The latest killings have deprived families of their main breadwinner and left many children fatherless. These children now face an uncertain future after their education was disrupted.


Recent violence

Some of the worst incidents reported by local media:

  • 19/03/2021: Bandits kill 13, injure 7 in Kaduna attacks
  • 02/02/2021: Bandits kill 27 in attacks on Niger communities
  • 14/01/2021: Gunmen kill 26 in Katsina, Zamfara attacks
  • 29/12/2020: ISWAP kills 5 Christians taken hostage on Christmas Eve
  • 24/12/2020: At least 10 killed in Boko Haram attacks in Borno State
  • 28/11/2020: Boko Haram slaughters more than 40 farmers in Borno State
  • 12/10/2020: Boko Haram kills 14 farmers in Borno State
Protest to stop killings in Nigeria
Photo: @CSI

Christian Solidarity International (CSI)

CSI is a human rights organisation campaigning for religious liberty and human dignity. It is active throughout the world where religious minorities are persecuted. In Nigeria CSI delivers food and medical aid to victims and support to displaced families.


This website provides an overview of the conflict situation in Nigeria since 2018, which has affected so many lives. It offers space for victims to share their personal testimony and a platform for different views on the nature of the crisis and how it can be resolved. 


To support the work of CSI in Nigeria, visit the Donate page.


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