A joyous celebration turned bloody when suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 16 Christians after a baby dedication in central Nigeria on April 14, 2019.

The vicious attack took place in Konshu-Numa village, a predominantly Christian community, around 7 p.m. on Palm Sunday. Christians gathered in church following an infant dedication service when the militants attacked the group and fired indiscriminately, reports Morning Star News.

I need to know who are the perpetrators of this act and I have given about seven days maximum because we want to use that as a deterrent to any group of people who have this propensity for killing people unnecessarily. —Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Governor of Nasarawa State

The mother of the baby, Safaratu John Kabiru Ali, was killed and the father is in critical condition. Those slain were between the ages of 10 and 80.

A witness disclosed that 17 people were killed, including “10 members of the Ruhaniya Baptist Church, five members of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), one member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), and a musician playing for guests.”

The chairman of the Akwanga Local Government Council, Samuel Meshi, said the Christians did not provoke the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, a group known to be hostile against Christians.

“They just started shooting sporadically on a community that was just having a feast of dedication of a child after a church service earlier in the day on Sunday, 14 April, at a Baptist church in the area,” Meshi said. “The killings occurred in the evening of that day. Unfortunately, these persons were killed in cold blood for just no reason.”

Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura denounced the horrific attack. He ordered security agencies to apprehend the perpetrators immediately, reports Nigerian outlet Channels TV.

“I need to know who are the perpetrators of this act and I have given about seven days maximum because we want to use that as a deterrent to any group of people who have this propensity for killing people unnecessarily,” Al- Makura said.

He assured that the government will provide the necessary support for the families of the victims.

“The government has taken full responsibility for Medicare. We have also packaged relief materials that will be taken to the village and the surrounding villages for the welfare of the people.”

Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.