Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Barely two weeks after the bloody crisis in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State occurred, a survivor, Jafaru Shaibu has given a vivid account on how he escaped from death on that fateful day.
Shaibu, 15, a native of Ungwan Maro, one of the communities that was attacked in the area, disclosed that the attackers at about 9:00a.m in large number came and started shooting sporadically at anybody in sight, including domestic animals.
Speaking to Sunday Sun in Kaduna along with some of his kinsmen, the 15-year-old boy lamented over the missing of his father, uncle, siblings and five cows belonging to his parents.
He said: “In the early morning hours on the fateful day at about 9:00a.m, all of a sudden we saw a large number of people armed entering our village, and as I speak with you, my father, my uncle and my siblings are missing, more than two weeks after the crisis. My parents also lost five cows to the crisis. So, I don’t know whether they have been killed or they are missing.
“Immediately the armed people entered our village, they started shooting anyhow, shooting at our people, children and our cattle. They set our houses on fire”.
On how he escaped from the attackers, Shaibu said: “I managed to escape from the village with some of our people by running into the nearby bush, but the attackers still pursued us into the bush, but God saved us from their hands, even as they were carrying guns and cutlasses, they were not able to catch up with us.”
As to where his surviving people have relocated to after the crisis, he said: “We have relocated to a neighbouring settlement along Kachia road near the place called Crossing. Some of our people who were injured are still in hospital.
“We are surprised why the crisis happened because over the years we have not witnessed this kind of crisis in the area. Most of us grew up to witness peaceful coexistence in our community with neighbouring communities”.
Also, commenting on the level of havoc the crisis had caused the Fulani community, the Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Haruna Usman Tugga said: “The violence has created humanitarian disaster. The few survivors are left without food, shelter and clothings. They are depressed and perplexed with no hope for the future since the livestock are killed or strayed away yet to be recovered.
“In addition, hundreds of the surrounding families are fleeing due to fear of similar attacks.
“While these acts of violence are condemnable, our organisations collectively denounce the attempt by many individuals and organisations to deny this heinous crime.
“Since the news of the carnage first broke, some people without any iota of evidence began discrediting the reports from the security authorities. Furthermore, many others began to politicize this gruesome crime, where innocent lives were lost.
“Our organisation had taken time to interact with the victims and ascertain the level of death, killing of animals, loss of property. It is established that the attackers applied maximum violence, adopting total annihilation where all members of families were attacked and killed, irrespective of age and gender. For this reason, nobody was spared, except those who survived through the miracles of the Almighty God.
“The security agencies need to commence the process of detailed documentation of the violence, including the collection of exhibits and all relevant information to isolate the perpetrators of the violence, arrest and prosecute them for genocide; their action was the total extermination of the families.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to condemn the violence, and support the peace-loving people to embrace the spirit of brotherhood and peaceful and harmonious coexistence.
“The Kaduna State government, the Federal Government, humanitarian organisations and other public-spirited individuals to come to the aid of the victims so as to provide relief and succour and to help them to quickly recover from the shocks and trauma.
“The state and Federal Government to enhance security vigilance so as to guarantee the live and safety of all Nigerians in every nook and cranny of the nation.
“Fulani pastoralists in the affected areas and throughout the state to remain peaceful and to continue to have faith in the capacity of the government to address their plight.
“Again, the Kaduna State government, contrary to the previous practice of shielding information and denying the occurrence of similar type of violence, has come out openly to condemn the violence and initiate processes through which the carnage was contained.
“We urge and appeal for more efforts in this direction, as well as the strengthening of early response to halting forms of massacres in the future”.