Sortor shared how schools with farmers’ children
attending alongside Fulani children are “creating a new
and peaceful relationship between” the farmers and the
Fulani herdsmen. “One afternoon, on the Bobi Grazing
Reserve where we have five schools, some boys were
playing ball after school. Things got a little rough at one
point, and a farmer’s son pushed a Fulani boy. The Fulani
boy fell hard, hit his head on a rock and died shortly
afterwards. The whole reserve froze in fear — fear of
major retaliation with Fulani killing the farmers’ families.
But that didn’t happen. What happened was actually
The parents of the deceased Fulani boy went to the
home of the boy who had accidentally killed their son.
“The Fulani father told the farmer that they understood
what had happened. They knew it had been an accident,
and they did not hold this against the farmer’s son or his
parents. The farmer and his family asked for forgiveness
from the Fulani parents, which they freely gave,” Sortor
said. “In our schools, the teachers, parents and children
are living peacefully with one another. This is peace
that passes understanding, and I know it’s straight from
Click here for more information and to support Schools
for Africa. Visit kidnappedredemption.com to support and
watch a trailer for “Kidnapped Redemption,” a forthcoming
documentary film about Sortor from Free Methodist Elder
Mike Henry and Director Andy Yardy.
December 2020 — pg. 25
which is an affiliate partner of FMWM. Her work with
educating Fulani people predates her kidnapping, which
happened on the property of a school.
“The kidnapping was mainly to stop my work with
the Fulani because we had very bitter Muslim extremists
who did not like the fact that we were opening Christian
schools for Fulani children, but they didn’t succeed in
stopping us,” she said.
The Fulani people are frequently portrayed as radical
Muslims in Christian publications and other news media,
but Sortor disputed the accuracy of that coverage.
“I do not agree with those articles. Yes, there are bad
and good people in every tribe and every race,” she said.
“The articles that are written are all written by people who
are of a different tribe than the Fulani. This situation in
Nigeria is really bad because the Fulani are hated. They’re
despised. They’re sidelined by every other tribe.”
The Fulani people face discrimination in Nigeria and
other West African nations because they’re uneducated,
poor and do not own land.
“They’ve had to just trek around the country with
their cattle and try to find pasture wherever they can,
and, wherever they go, they meet up with opposition,”
she said. “There are things that every human being needs
in this life to be able to have hope, dignity and respect.”
A Nigerian minister of agriculture listened to these
concerns and opened federal land to grazing reserves in
“It’s a huge victory, and now we’re just going through
one by one and opening schools and helping the Fulani to
have the dignity and respect that they deserve,” she said.
“In our schools, the teachers, parents and children are living
peacefully with one another. This is peace that passes understanding,
and I know it’s straight from God.” — Phyllis Sortor