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In Nigeria, survivors of terror attacks smile for the first time after rare Christmas fanfare

Survivors of recent wild massacres in northern Plateau State were Wednesday treated to a spectacular Christmas fanfare by a non-governmental organization seeking to ease their traumas.

500 women and children who narrowly escaped armed invasions on August 24 in Yelwan Zangam, a small Christian town on the north of Jos, the state capital danced and shared gifts at the ceremony organized by Emancipation Center for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN).

36 people including a family of nine were killed in the attack which followed weeks of sustained murders in Bassa, a nearby County on the west of Jos.

Happy children at a Christmas fanfare in Yelwan Zangam on Dec 22

The fanfare was organized to relief the survivors of the traumas from the attacks, said Programme Manager of ECCVN, Mrs. Rose Samuel to The Light Bearer.

“We decided to come to Yelwan Zangam to give the children a cause to smile after the loss of lives,” said Samuel. “It is a routine activity of the NGO to give hope to communities ravaged by attacks,” she said.

The event has brought relief to the grieving locals, said Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Yelwan Zangam, Rev. Yusuf Sati.

“After what happened here, we became helpless and hopeless but this is a huge relief,” he said, noting the event was the first Christmas fanfare ever organized in the town.

An only survivor in a family of nine, Ms. Happiness Joshua said she felt happy for the first time since the attack. “The Fulani killed my parents, my grand parents and my siblings bit I am happy today,” she said.

ECCVN on Dec. 15 organized a rally in a troubled Riyom town, 16miles south of Jos to demand a terror free Christmas.

Mrs. Sarah Ochepe, a former Minister in Nigeria leads march against attacks on 15 Dec in Riyom

A former Minister of Water Resources in Nigeria, Mrs. Sarah Ochepe who led the rally said Christians had had enough of armed attacks without government intervening.

The rally followed rumors of planned massacres by Fulani terrorists during the yuletide.