From Abdullahi Hassan, Kaduna
The condition of some Fulani families, who are victims of a recent clash between the herders and members of the vigilance group in Kidandan, Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State, is deteriorating. Mostly women and children, they are displaced, having relocated to Yadi from their previous abode in Sabon-Sari, Sabon-Layi,
Yadi and Madaro villages.
But even in their new but temporary home, there are no guarantees. A cross section of them confessed that they are afraid for their safety adding that they are concerned soon they would no longer be welcomed in the community where they are squatting.
Malama Hussaina Gambo, a widow and mother of 10, alleged that members of the vigilance group killed her husband and carted away their cattle: “The killers drove me away along with my 10 children. Where will I take these children to?”
Malam Hadiza Gidado, yet another victim narrated: “They confiscated
our property including 120 cattle as well as burnt our houses.
Presently, we are here in this village, sleeping in the open. We have no food to eat, no cloth to wear and worst of all, no peace of mind.
We have lost everything to these attacks.Ibrahim Mustafa, 15, told his story: “They killed my father, who was already an old man.
They killed him alongside his brother. And they took away our cattle, including sheep and goats. We ran away when we discovered they were coming. We are not criminals, we committed no offence, we don’t deserve this treatment.” He disclosed his late father had more than 20 young children from his four wives. He feared they may never be able to survive on their own.
One of the elders of Fulani community in Kidandan, Alhaji Tukur Muhammad, disclosed that they recently held a reconciliation meeting with the chairman of Giwa LG. He added, however, that meeting ended in a deadlock as they could not arrive at a common ground on the way forward:
“We are appealing to the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government to come to our rescue. They should be kind enough to provide us with adequate security in this area as well help us recover all our stolen cows.”
National president of Miyyati Allah, Alhaji Abubakar Kiriwa, said they heard about the crisis, but were yet to receive any formal complain from their state secretariat in Kaduna: “So, I don’t want to comment on something that we are not in the true picture of…more so at this crucial time of general elections. But as soon as we receive a detailed report on the matter, we will get back to you.”
State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Yakubu Sabo, said: “We have deployed our mobile police officers to Kidandan and other villages around Giwa council to forestall any attack or violence.”
On issue of their resettlement: “It is not the responsibility of police to provide or to resettle displaced persons.
“It is the duty of state government. Our duty is to provide security in the area where the displaced persons are relocated. Therefore, the victims should talk to state government on that.”
He appealed to the elders of the town to assist the police with useful information on impending attack in the area while reiterating that only those with the approval of the government or the community can operate as vigilance group.
He advised that any community that feels threatened by the activities of their vigilance group should report same to the nearest Divisional Police Officer.
Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1st Mechanized Division, Kaduna, Col. M.M Dole had earlier dismissed the allegation of the involvement of their personnel on attacks on Fulani herders in the community.