From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA) on Saturday said 42 persons were killed, 7 wounded and 338 houses set ablaze in the latest attacks in several communities in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State.
The association which rolled out the statistics when its leadership addressed journalists at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna Council, added that 8 cars, 13 motorcycles, generators, food and domestic items were either looted or razed within what they described as “onslaught” against Atyap Chiefdom.
President of the association, Samuel T. Achie, who read the press statement, therefore, called on the government of Kaduna state to without fear or favour come alive to its responsibility to put an end to the “dastard” and “condemnable killings” of its citizens, by way of fishing out and brought the perpetrators to justice.
According to him, until the latest attacks, the Fulani and Atyap communities had earlier signed a peace pact which has been so far respected by all and sundry, hence, finding it difficult to unravel the provocations that have sent scores to their early grave and property worth millions destroyed.
Samuel said, “in all the attacks in the 12 different villages as of July 15, 2021, a total of 42 people were killed and 338 houses burnt with 7 people wounded. Several other valuables were not left out as 8 Cars, 13 motorcycles, generators, food and domestic items were either looted or consumed by fire
“Our revered places of worship were not spared as 7 churches and their pastorium razed down by fire in various locations.
“Among the houses razed down by the activities If these Fulani Militia are the family compound of our paramount Ruler, His Royal Highness Sir Dominic Yahaya in Magamiya and also the Family Compound of Retired Major General Shekari Biliyock in Abuyab a former commandant of the Nigeria-African Peace Keeping Arm, the ECOMOG.
“The entire Atyap Nation seems to be at loss to these senseless killings by the Fulani Militia, as we have bend over to implement the decisions of the peace accord reached with the parties involved.
“The question is what else were we supposed to do that was not done? It seems apparent that these attacks are being sponsored with larger motives than meet the eyes” he queried.
He continued, “with all these being said, in concrete terms we can submit that the resolution of our desire for peace is under threat by this Fulani Militia. We felt that we will be better off if we stay in peace as brothers as was the case in time past.
“It is a well-known fact world over that all crises are not won at the battlefield, but at the round table through discussions that could lead to amicable resolution of the crisis with the parties determined to bring an end to it.
“The Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria once said that anybody found in possession of deadly arm be shot at sight. But as I am talking to you, Fulani Militias still graze in Atyap land with AK47 hung on their shoulders and shot at any sight of a Kataf man.
“There is no any place in all the areas attacked that has a distance of more than 10 to 15 minutes drive from one security checkpoint to the other. It is not only lives and houses that were destroyed, but crops and places of worship inclusive.
“Our people are known to be purely peasant farmers, but at this season of farming have to abandon their farms for fear of being killed. All schools in the area are closed down hence our children can no longer go to school, therefore, creating a humanitarian crisis for all the displaced people in the land, which in turn create an urgent need for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp to cater for those that have been left at the mercy of the weather both in rain and sunshine without any roof on their heads since the renewed persistent attacks.
“These whole things look like the Fulani Militia wants to grab and occupy our land. The Atyap people are law-abiding citizens that have been loyal to all successive governments to date and wonder why we should be left alone to carry our cross now.
“Based on these, we ask that government provide more troops, humanitarian relief materials and a peaceful atmosphere for all, else we will be left with no other option than to protect ourselves using all legal means”, he added.