BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – The people of Southern zone in Kaduna state have cried against the unholy activities of what they described “dark forces of evil” that have renewed terror attacks on the peace loving communities without any justifiable reason whatsoever.

They noted that the renewed attacks which was never anticipated have left many dead while others are left with different degrees of injuries.

At a press conference, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), told journalists that at about 6pm on Sunday December 8, 2019, there was an attack and killings at an annual football tournament aimed at fostering peace and unity between three communities at the football field of LEA Primary School, Zunurug, a peaceful, farming community close to Kagoro, in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna state.

The press conference which was addressed by the National President of SOKAPU, Hon. Jonathan Asake, noted that based on independent findings, the unwarranted attacks took place just as the last whistle was blown, signaling the end of the match around 6pm.

In the words of Asake; “That was when the rattling of what sounded like gunshots was heard followed by torrents of bullets fired at the crowd raised a gust of dust, confirming to spectators and players alike that the deafening sounds were not just some ‘knockouts,’ in celebration of coming attractions of the Yuletide but rather, a lethal murderous bullets from attackers, whose identities and reason for the attack are yet to be unraveled.

“Within a few minutes, four able bodied young men, all married with children, laid cold dead in pools of their innocent blood. Four others were critically injured and were rushed to the nearby General Hospital in Kafanchan.”

Asake lamented that in spite of a permanent police check point less than a Kilometre from the scene of the loud gun cracking sounds where the attack took place, no help came their way from either the police or any other security agency that have intimidating presence in and around the areas.

He further said; “For the records, those who were killed on the spot are as follows: Kefas Peter (39), Solomon Yohana (48), a secondary School teacher and father of five, who was also the football coach of the community.

“The others are Felix John (46) and Garba Barnabas, (37). It is pathetic to note here that Garba Barnabas had fled from his village Zankan to Zunurug as a survivor of herdsmen invasions of his communities in Takad Chiefdom only to meet his unfortunate death, the same circumstance he fled from, which indicates that nowhere is safe in our areas.

“The four others that were injured and were rushed to Kafanchan General Hospital are:  Kajang Babangida who was treated and is recovering. The other three victims, namely; Francis Abba, lshaku Dauda and Justice Dennis were referred to 44 Army Referral Hospital Kaduna. Again, the Army hospital referred two of them to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Shika, Zaria. Sadly Ishaku Dauda (26) couldn’t make it, he died on Tuesday morning, bringing the death toll to five.

“On the early morning of Saturday the 7th, just a day before the attack at Zunurug, one  Dogara Kazah, was killed in Agban Gida, Kagoro, about 2 km from Zunurug and not far from another military checkpoint. He was shot point blank by yet to be identified killers. Little was it known that this was just a precursor to the round of attacks that would later take place at Zunurug.

“Also in the past three weeks the following had been killed by unknown gun men in Agban, Kagoro: Yanbuwat Ayuba (34), father of 5 children, Clement Moses (31) father of 3 children, Felicia Hosea (31) mother of two children, killed with 5 months pregnancy and lshaku kazah (42), father of 2 children.”

“We have been told by wary and frightened villagers on the Kagoro-Gidan Waya flanks that they have been enduring severe suppression, molestation and extortion before they harvest their crops. Those who have farms far from their communities are forced to surrender parts of their crops to serve as fodders for herdsmen’s cows to graze. Failure to do so results in untold consequences.

“Also, the meandering Kagoro – Gidan Waya road has become a hotbed for armed robbery and banditry especially on market days.”

“Based on various community sources reaching us, one Buhari, once a Fulani resident of Agban, Kagoro has been linked with several violent crimes in the kagoro axis. Villagers said that with political will, he can easily be fished out and brought to book.

“Again, there is a certain mobile police Sargent, who resides in Zunurug, and is being fingered by many locals of the affected communities to be allegedly involved in violent crimes in and around the affected communities.  From our findings, he was apprehended by local vigilantes when he was found in the company of a fellow suspected to be of dubious character and both were handed over to the police for interrogation, villagers have continued to insist that he must be thoroughly investigated particularly on his where about during the attack at Zunurug.”

The SOKAPU leader further said; “We have heard that a special Force of the military has now been deployed into the affected areas. This is a welcome development. We urge all our youth, the vigilante service, community leaders and all the people of these areas to give full cooperation to the force and all security agencies in the discharge of their duties.”

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