Following the killing of 13 persons by suspected herdsmen on Easter Sunday at Asso, in Kagoma Chiefdom, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, eyewitnesses recounted to Forefront how, for nearly an hour, gunmen unleashed mayhem on the town without any help from security personnel deployed to the troubled area.
According to an eye witness, “Even before the attack, the town of Asso was left bereft of security presence, aside from three soldiers. So, when the attackers arrived in large numbers, the three soldiers could not withstand their overwhelming presence and fire power.
“As the gunmen went about killing people without any form of resistance, the only option left for the residents of the town was to flee. A retired soldier, who is yet to receive his gratuity, was shot dead during the raid. Three of the killed villagers were not from Asso.”
Another eyewitness, who gave his name as Garba, said before the attack, the Fulani living near Asso town relocated to another settlement and community occupied by other herdsmen.
“Even before the Easter Sunday Attack, Fulani living close to Asso relocated. It was clear that they had prior knowledge that an attack was on the way. It however took the deployment and arrival of a new set of security team to intervene and allay the fear of fleeing residents.
“You needed to see how the attackers went about killing their victims without any form of mercy. As they were shooting, they were screaming that they were on a revenge mission. Our Asso people never attacked the Fulani, so we are shocked why we are being attacked,” the eye witness declared.
Renewed killings in Southern Kaduna commenced on Saturday night at about 7pm. Apart from the 13 killed, there were scores of villagers injured and rushed to Kafanchan General Hospital for treatment.
Reacting to the pre-Easter holiday killings in Asso, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack, describing it as ‘inhuman and callous’.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, the State Governor condoled with the victims’ families. He assured the victims that security operation aimed at flushing out the criminal gunmen and bandits is set to commence.
The statement also disclosed that a new security measure, called ‘Operation Harbin Kunama (II)’, would soon be launched to help the Army deal with persons responsible for the attacks and urged the security agencies to double their efforts in fishing out those behind the killings