Nigerian soldiers see terrorists slaughtering 18 villagers

The scene of the attack was well known to the traumatized villagers of Ancha in Bassa County, Plateau, Nigeria, on a cold night on January 11.

A unit of 30 armed Nigerian soldiers was placed in an abandoned school building in the settlement.

Thirty soldiers had assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, and two trucks.

However, the shock of 400 locals scattered by the sound of terrorist shootings at midnight kept the unit calm and the terrorists kept 18 locals, including many women, teens and babies. I didn’t fire the weapon because I killed him.

“The attack began minutes after 12:00 am and killed 18 people,” Stephen Andy Igmara, chairman of Bassa County, told The Epoch Times. “Seven people were injured and 107 homes were burned down,” Igmala added.

Epoch Times Photo
On January 12, 2022, a civilian guard strapped a homemade gun to his back in Ancha, Nigeria. (Masara Kim / The Epoch Times)

According to the survivors, the terrorists were chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is wonderful). They burned houses and barns, burned children and old men who could not escape, and were under the watchful eye of soldiers staying in the village.

Several local guards set the fire back with a single-shot rifle and shotgun, giving women and children some hoods to buy time to run out of the village.

According to witnesses attending the mass burial ground on January 12, two guards were found dead after the attack ended at 2:30 am.

“It was like a rain of shooting,” said John Livi, the leader of the alert patrol team, at a noon meeting with local officials attended by the Epoch Times in Ancha hours after the attack.

“They were over 500. They surrounded the entire village before we knew. They divided themselves into groups. Some went south and some went west. Some have gone east, others have hijacked the road for possible evacuees, “Ribi said.

Some of the attackers were known to the victims, Livi said, and the attackers spoke the Furani dialect, the language of the ethnic group often associated with such attacks.

The assault began when a civilian guard guarding the village with a slingshot and a short, locally made gun were overwhelmed in the northern corner of the town, Livi said.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman carrying a bucket of water to put out a fire in her devastated house in Ancha, Nigeria, January 12, 2022. (Masara Kim / Epoch Times)

Some of the attackers lived locally and were familiar with the inhabitants.

“We know them,” Livi said. “One of them is well aware that he escorted a woman from the village with her three children before returning to kill her husband, father-in-law and eldest son,” Rivi added.

Mary Bulls, 38, told the Epoch Times that she was taken out of town by a former Fula business partner when she led a gang to attack a family home.

“He came with five other Fula people,” Bruce said. “Some people had guns on the faces of my husband and father-in-law. My eldest son, 12 years old, was there too.

“He told me to follow him if I wanted to live. He said I shouldn’t worry about nothing happening to anyone in my family,” traumatized Bruce. Said to the Epoch Times.

“He took me and my three little children to a distant bush and returned to the village. He was told that it was he who killed my family in the house,” she said. Said.

Ask General Ali to resign

An Army spokesman for the Army’s “Special Task Force” claims that the Army responded to requests for help, but it was too late to engage terrorists.

He did not respond to inquiries from the Epoch Times, but apparently made a statement in the Epoch Times. Joss’s live newspaper reporter quoted him as responding “quickly” after the troops received the distress signal.

“Once we reached the community, the attackers fled the village. According to, the houses were destroyed and some villagers died during the attack,” Takuwa said.

The same claim was reprinted in Vanguard Newspaper, but was removed in a later edition.

The Managing Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross has called for the resignation of the Nigerian general responsible for the security of the Plateau.

“Major IS Ali, the commander of Operation Safe Haven, needs to be replaced and prosecuted for crimes against humanity,” said Kyle Abz.

“The inability to stop the ant’s negligence and the massacre of innocent civilians needs to be investigated,” Abts sent a text message to the Epoch Times.

“This case is one of the scores for such cases that have occurred under his command since January 2021,” Abts continued. “There are reports that when security forces arrived, they stood up and monitored the massacres of more than 25 civilians.”

Attackers include local Fula residents supported by hired mercenaries and are likely thieves fleeing military air strikes in northwestern Nigeria, a member of the Nigerian Deputy Senate Committee for Defense. The chief, Istifanus Gan, said.

“For over 20 years, there are people who have driven out our community, hijacked farmland, hijacked people’s ancestral homes, and they settled comfortably here.

“It is these people who have settled here, expelled people violently, and hijacked farmland reinforced by other people coming from elsewhere. They continue to come and their numbers are increasing day by day.” Said Gann.

The military refused to protect us: community leader

According to tribal leader Davidson Malison, the attack lasted for more than two hours without military intervention.

“From 12:00 to 2:30 am [the attack went] It’s not distracting and unchecked, “Marison, a national public relations secretary for the Irigwe Development Association, said at a press conference.

Livi said 30 military task forces in the town had refrained from the fire and protected their vehicles and equipment during the assault.

“We first saw a flashlight approaching the village from a nearby bush and notified the army. The guard captain took some of his men and with some of our youth. We moved in the direction of the flashlight together, but suddenly we heard a gunshot behind us.

“The guard captain was trying to fight back alone. Others only took a position to protect their cars while the Fula killed and burned our house,” Livi said. Told officials.

Ezekiel Bini, a youth leader of the Irigwe tribe, confirmed in the Epoch Times that Ancha’s soldiers had stood up.

“They were here when it happened, but they didn’t do anything,” Bini said.

Pre-warning is ignored

The day before the attack, the Development Association observed Fula militias armed in the bushes around the town and reported them to the local community.

“Around the situation [area] I’m nervous because the predators were found gathering to release another horror, “Danjuma Outta, the secretary-general of the association, said in a statement on January 10.

The alert followed the killing of a man who was working with his wife on a nearby farm the same night the three were killed in an ambush in nearby Liyom County.

Tensions continued in the town until the night of January 11, and rumors of planned attacks spread on social media.

Senator Gann, who represents Bassa County, questioned the military’s role in the attack.

“I’m confused about what happened and the necessary response that was supposed to be very large,” Gyang said.

President Muhammadu Buhari said the attack was retaliatory in a press statement released by spokesman Garba Shehu on January 13.

Buhari called on the Plateau Interreligious Council to “commit to a peace agreement and do everything possible to prevent it from collapsing.”

“All the groups that have the law claim to be in retaliation. There is no place for this kind of violence in society. This is unacceptable,” he said.

There are no known reports in the Nigerian media of recent retaliation attacks on Fula residents in Bassa County by armed Christian gangs.

Kim Masala


Lawrence Zongo


Lawrence Zongo is a journalist based in Jos, Nigeria. Specializes in reporting war crimes, terrorism, human rights abuses and abuse.