Herdsmen Attack: Police Confirm 32 Dead In Kaduna

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BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – The perceived relative peace in Kaduna State was within the week thwarted following clashes between headsmen and youth group in Kajuru Local Government Area which led to 32 deaths.

Confirming the casualty figure in Kaduna on Wednesday, Kaduna State Police command said 32 persons killed in fresh clashes were mostly women and children.

Kajuru Local Government, which is about 50 kilometres from Kaduna, the state capital, had enjoyed relative peace until July 11, 2017, when a young herder and his father were attacked by a group of youth in the area.

The father of the herdsman was believed to have gone to rescue his son when he was also assaulted and later died in a hospital where he was rushed to for medical attention.

The development however transformed into fresh round of confrontation between the group of native youth farmers and herders and as at July 17, 2017, 32 people were confirmed dead with two others that sustained injuries.

Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Agyole told journalists that the crisis started when some youths claimed that they saw a Fulani with a bag which they alleged to contain military camouflage and ran away while being accosted.

According to him; “On their way coming, they saw a young grazing herder and they attacked him. But while that was ongoing, his father came in to rescue his son and was subsequently assaulted but later died in a hospital where he was rushed to.

“We must not assume or conclude that because in recent past, in some communities of the state where attacks had taken place by suspected Fulani herdsmen and therefore for every violent attack, the aggressors must be Fulani herdsmen. I do believe that in this particular incident, that assertion is not true.

“Police was informed and we immediately swung into action but before we could reach the place, 26 Fulanis, who were mostly women and children, have been killed and their huts razed. This took place at a remote settlement.

“This form of unprovoked attack is not only barbaric, it must be condemned especially when the state is experiencing some level of peace. Police will continue to render all legitimate service to ensure peace in the state. We will not rest until those behind the dastard act are brought to justice and we will do all we can to prevent escalation of this.”

The police boss then implored the media to verify their information before going public saying that misleading information may escalate the situation if not properly managed.

But eyewitness account captured the story differently from the police, saying the crisis started when some Fulani youths stormed a village called Ungwan Uka to avenge the death of a certain herdsman allegedly killed by some village youths at a farm in the area.

Earlier, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Dr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the previous attack which left four herdsmen dead followed the abduction of two Fulani indigenes in the area.

Dr. Ibrahim added that the gunmen had also attacked Tsonho Damishi community in Chikun Local Government Area of the state where they destroyed houses.

He had described the attacks as unwarranted and provoking and appealed to members of the association to remain calm while calling on security agencies to bring the killers to justice.

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