‘Stop Southern Kaduna Killings Now’, Nigerians to FG
NEWSMAN, Kaduna – At least twenty one persons were killed with many others still unaccounted for as gunmen again attacked villages in Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas of Kaduna State between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
While the state Police command placed the death toll at 21, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, a local human rights group in Kaduna, insists that 33 people were killed in Apyiashyim, Atak’mawai, Kibori and Kurmin Masara villages of Atyap chiefdom of Zangon Kataf area of the state by suspected Fulani militias appealing to the international community and other spirited individuals to come to their aid.
A source said because it rained heavily through the night, the attackers had killed and maimed unhindered despite a 24 hour curfew. The curfew was imposed by the Kaduna State government on Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Jema’a and Kaura LGAs to de-escalate tension but reports of midnight attacks and counter attacks have continued unhindered.
A resident of Atak’mawai (Kurmin Masara) village in Zaman Dabo ward, Irimiya Gandu, who confirmed the incident on Thursday, said no fewer than 12 persons had been killed and many houses burnt in his community, Daily trust reported.
He said “the attackers stormed the area around 1am when most of the villagers had fallen asleep. I rushed into my house and brought out members of my family and ran to a safer place when I started hearing gunshots. Twelve persons were killed, mostly children and women”.
Jonathan Ishaya, the Youth Leader of Apiojyim, one of the attacked communities under Kibori, said they were the first to be attacked around eleven o’clock Wednesday night as their people were on patrol. He appealed to the government to establish a security outfit in the area.
“Their intention was to take us unaware, but when they came, they saw our youths patrolling the village and they started exchanging fire, We have buried seven of our people today (Thursday), including an 80-year-old man” he said.
Meanwhile, Northern Governors Forum has condemned the recent attack in Southern Kaduna. In a statement, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong said the persistent attacks on villages in the area despite all efforts by the Kaduna State Government and security agencies to end the violence raises serious concern and condemnation.
“We are deeply saddened by this cycle of violence and blood-letting that is carried out against unarmed and helpless people. This is reprehensible and regrettable. While we call on the security agencies to rise up to the occasion and apprehend these criminals, we also encourage the citizens to assist with relevant intelligence that will lead to the arrest of these bloodthirsty people”. Lalong said.
Northern Nigeria has seen a series of gunmen attacks in recent months, leading to death of hundreds of troops and civilians hence citizens call for urgent intervention.