Noah Ebije and Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Following renewed attacks by gunmen in Kajuru and Kachia Local Governments of Kaduna State, 27 bodies have, so far, been recovered.
When contacted to confirm the figure of the recovered bodies, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Yakubu Sabo, said he would get back to Daily Sun, adding, “I want to go to the mosque and pray first.”
The police spokesman, however, never got back to Daily Sun at the time of filing this report.
There was similar bloody attack in the area about three weeks ago, when the State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, announced that over 130 people were killed.
But, in the latest attack, it was gathered that four communities of Karamai, Gidan Gajere, Gidan Auta and Chibiya, all under Maro, a border town between Kajuru and Kachia Local Governments, were, yesterday, attacked by gunmen.
A competent source within Karamai community, who prefered not to be named, told Daily Sun that immediately reports of the attack got to the state capital, a combined team of security agencies were deployed to the place and were able to go into the villages where the bodies were recovered.
He said most of the bodies were found mainly in Karamai and Gidan Auta villages.
The source said the 27 bodies included one policeman believed to have been shot while the security agencies were on the trail of the attackers.
Daily Sun learnt from another source that over 40 houses were burnt in the affected communities.
Gunmen were said to have stormed Maro and four other communities at about 5:30a.m, yesterday, setting many houses ablaze and attacking many of the villagers.
A source in Maro said the armed men were more than 400, and that they came to the village very early with various types of weapons.
“As I’m talking to you, many have fled their homes and are hiding in the bushes,” said one of the villagers who called Daily Sun on telephone.
The Kaduna State Government, in a statement, said it received reports of renewed attacks in Kajuru and Kachia local government areas.
It condemned the recourse to violence, and called on all communities to support the efforts to restore calm in the area.
The statement signed by the senior special assistant to the Kaduna governor on media, Samuel Aruwan, reads in part: “Today, the Kaduna State government was briefed by security agencies of renewed attacks in Kajuru local government area, and in parts of neighboring Kachia LGA.
“The Kaduna State government has been assured that the security agencies are working assiduously to contain the situation.
“The government is saddened by these attacks, condemns the perpetrators and urges all residents of the area to support the security agencies in their efforts to protect communities.”
Regardless, reports of the attack created fresh tension in communities around the Kaduna-Kachia road as well as the State capital.
As at the time of filing this report, statistical details of the attacks were not available.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Officer, Colonel Muhammed Dole told Daily Sun, via telephone call, that policemen and soldiers were on ground at Kasuwan Magani, to respond to distress calls from the environment.
The army officer cautioned locals and interest groups to be wary of how they use statistics to avoid misconception and distortion of facts and figure before investigation.
“They should know that there are policemen and soldiers in Kasuwan Magani. Already they have been mobilised there. So, if there is any issues, instead of sending message to people outside, let them go the police or soldier in Kasuwan Magani, it’s quicker. And they should not exaggerate,” he cautioned.
However, a report reaching Daily Sun said there was an ongoing attack on Maro, a community in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State.
A native of the community, who put a telephone call to Daily Sun, at about 10:00hours, yesterday, alleged that the armed men, numbering about 200, stormed the area, moving from one community to another, attacking and burning anything in sight.
He said: “I’m not sure who they were because we didn’t see their faces, as most of us were not in our houses when they arrived, but we could see flames emanating from our houses.
“As at now, I cannot give you any figure because the assailants are still very much around.” Security authorities were yet to confirm the development at the time of filling the report, as Daily Sun still awaits response to short messages sent to their mobile phones.
But, spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, however, promised to get back to Daily Sun.