BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – The people of Southern Kaduna have cried out against what they described as “continuous siege and violent attacks” on their communities by deadly armed militiamen believed to be Fulani herdsmen.

The Southern Kaduna people specifically said that the suspected Fulani herdsmen violent and deadly attacks have continued unabated, and presently taking a turn for the worse on a daily basis.

These were contained in a statement by the umbrella organisation of the Southern Kaduna people on aegis of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), which called on the attention of the Federal and State governments to as a matter of urgency deploy security agencies to curtail the escalating killings on daily basis.

The statement which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of SOKAPU, Mr. Luka Binniyat, noted that the violent attacks and devastation of communities is better imagined.

Binniyat said; “The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), is once again constrained to draw the attention of every government authority, the general public and the International Community to the continuous deadly siege and violent attacks on Southern Kaduna Communities by armed militiamen believed to be Fulani herdsmen. The deadly attacks have continued unabated, and taking a turn for the worse on a daily basis.”

SOKAPU noted that on January 6, 2020, armed militiamen sacked several Gbagyi communities in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state, forcing them to flee their homes into exile in neighbouring Niger state.

The statement added; “On the very same day of 6th January, 2020, Kasso, a peaceful Gbagyi community in Chikun LGA on its eastern boundary with Kajuru Local Government Area, was again raided by these invading terrorists.

“In that attack, Mr Yusuf Sule (39) and his family were hard hit. The bandits killed his younger brother, Eli Sule (35) a father of five children, Danjuma Bulus (30) a father of four children, his cousin, Istifanus Auta (31) a father of three children.

“Also, his wife Ladi Yusuf, a nursing mother was abducted with her six month’s old baby. His younger brother Bulus Sule and his wife Rebecca Sule were also kidnapped.”

SOKAPU said Irmiya Yusuf, the son of Yusuf Sule, who survived gunshot wounds, is receiving treatment at a local clinic.

It also said; “On January 11, 2020, Yususf Sule received a call from the kidnappers. They used the phone of his kidnapped brother, Sule Bulus and called him. The kidnappers are asking for a ransom of N5 million. The brother told him that they are not in a good condition and that the six months old baby is critically sick because of the kind of condition they are being held captive.

“Yusuf and the community have no means of raising that money after the bandits looted the little they had gathered including two motorcycles owned by Yusuf Sule. 

“On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, armed gunmen, again attacked the defenceless Good Shepherd Major Catholic Seminary, Buwaya, Kaduna. The school authority in an official statement said the attackers barricaded the school for over 30 minutes unchallenged. After they left, 4 seminarians were missing, having been taken away by the vicious attackers

“In Badna, Guruku Ward, still in Chikun Local Government Area, another Gbagyi community, 40 people were kidnapped in one fell swoop around the same time. Rev, Samaila Yusuf of the local Baptist church was among the victims. Till date, the fate of the victims is yet unknown.

“Around the same time, bandits raided Rumana Gbagyi and Rumana Hausa where they looted the villages, carted away livestock and other valuables. Still in Guruku Ward, a community called Bademi was ransacked and looted. One Idi Halidu was killed and two people kidnapped. 

“Again, the invaders struck at Unguwan Buji and killed one Sani Buji. In a display of brazen impunity, they kidnapped 15 people and vanished into the bushes with them. In nearby Maloma community, the invaders robbed and ransacked the village and burnt a large quantity of rice and other grains before disappearing into the unknown. All these happened in a span of four days without any response from any security agency,” SOKAPU said.

It also said that on the December 16, 2019, in Chidunu Village near Maraban Rido in Chikun Local Government Area, Raphael Ayuba (40), married with five children was killed by assailants, stressing that other casualties of the attack include Habila Auta (40), who left behind a wife Tina and two children. 

“Also killed was Buhari Abubakar (41) married with four children. From available information, the armed men went from house to house killing and maiming these hapless victims with no help coming from anywhere.

“Also on December 18, at Doka village in Kajuru LGA, the invaders struck. One Danbaki Gashi (35) was killed. He is survived by two wives and two children.” 

SOKAPU lamented that the spate of killings, arson, kidnapping, looting, raping and amounts being paid in ransoms to the terrorists by the communities is traumatising and impoverishing the people on a daily basis, thereby making them susceptible to hunger and disease.

SOKAPU noted that the recent attacks underscore the urgent need for a vibrant, government funded and staffed vigilante organization for every community in Southern Kaduna and indeed the entire Middle Belt Region. 

It further said; “It is evident that in states and regions where such organizations exist, as we have the Hizbah in Kano state, the Civilian JTF in Yobe and Borno states and the recent Amotekun established by Oduduwa states, there is greater assurance of safety for the people.

“Adopting this security measure for our communities will not only improve security but ensure greater safety for our people. 

“We strongly support what the Yoruba states have done by establishing Amotekun to secure and protect all law abiding citizens in their domain. We look forward to PANDEF and OHANEZE N’DIGBO toeing the same path of the Yoruba States to assist Security Agencies in protecting their communities,” SOKAPU said. 

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