Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Barely 72 hours after a peace summit recommended immediate ceasefire over killings in Southern Kaduna, suspected militiamen attacked a community in Zango Kataf local government area of the region, killing two persons and burning several houses.
As part of efforts at restoring peace to Southern Kaduna, the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) in collaboration with other inter-faith groups and Friends of Southern Kaduna had organized a 3-day peace summit held at Throne-room, Kafanchan, Jema’a local government area of the State penultimate Thursday. The summit had recommended immediate cease of killings, attacks, kidnappings and rustling to end unrests in the area.
However, in a statement on Friday by the National Public Relations Officer of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), Mr. Luka Binniyat said large number of gunmen suspected to be Fulani militia invaded Manyi-Mashin village in the early hours of Friday and carted away valuables as well.
The statement added that the two persons killed were burnt to ashes in their homes, pointing out that the month of September has been bloody in the area.
According to the statement, “Early this morning, (11th September, 2020) Manyi-Mashin village, in Zamandabo ward, in Atyap Chiefdom, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) in Southern Kaduna, was invaded by hordes of Fulani armed men who burnt down almost all the houses in the village, looting and carting away valuables. Two persons were burnt in their homes beyond recognition: They are Cecilia Ishaya, 62, a widow and mother of 6 children and Iliya Sunday, 56, who left behind 8 children. Though men of Operation Safe Heaven promptly responded, the militia fled before their arrival.
“This was after Fulani militia on the 8th September, 2020 laid ambush for three Atyap youths from Atakmawei in same , Zamandabo Ward in Atyap Chiefdom, as they went to clear weed in their sugarcane farm about a kilometer from their village.
“Suddenly, armed herdsmen came from hiding and struck. They descended on them with daggers and machetes. Anthony Magaji, 25, a final year HND student with Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, was hacked down. They axed his neck and head with macabre wounds and killed him instantly. Isaac Thomas, 24, also an OND student of the same School, managed to escape with life threatening injuries and is now under intensive care in a hospital, while the third escaped with less injury.
“SOKAPU wishes to once again request the Federal Government, through Operation Safe Heaven, under the Command of Major General Chukwu Emeka Okonkwo, to expatiate action and expel and bring to book all the Fulani militia that are currently occupying 101 Southern Kaduna Communities in four of our LGAs. We have furnished the world with the details and we are happy to note, that eight of the displaced communities in Zangan District in Kaura LGA are now returning home as a result of more presence of men of OPSH.
“We are appealing to our youths to shun all forms of provocation and conduct themselves in manners that will not make them fall short of the law, not compromising their rights for self-preservation under the law.
“Meanwhile, we have received complaints of farmers in Gora axis of Atyap Chiefdom, who say that Fulani men occasionally sneak into their farms, destroy large swath of growing food crops, thus leaving them with a prospect of hunger in the near future. All these gory developments taking place after a much publicized peace deal was reached between natives of Atyap Chiefdom on one side and their long time settled Hausa and Fulani representatives on 23rd August, 2020 in Unguwan Wakili, close to Zangon Kataf town.
“Similarly, on the 8th of September, 2020, an attack was launched again by Fulani militias at Kitsarapang village in Kizachi Chiwo of Kizachi community, Tsam Chiefdom in Kauru LGA in the Southern part of Kaduna state, Nigeria.
The attack claimed the life of Emmanuel David Yohanna, 13 leaving two persons with gunshot wounds. They are: Sunday Zango Stephen, 48 and Zakka John, 23.The two victims are now receiving treatment at a Hospital in Jos.
“Three decomposing corpses were found on Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday, 6th September, 2020. They were among four persons that were abducted during a brazen operation last week at Maraban Rido, a suburb of Kaduna under Chikun LGA all in Southern Kaduna.
They were killed after ransom was paid for their release. Among them is Pius Gargai, 20, and married with a child. He was a nephew of the 1st Vice President of SOKAPU, Mr. Dio Maisamari. The young man was buried last Wednesday in his native home Kufana, Kajuru LGA. The names of the other victims are yet to reach us.
“These bring to 8, the number of our members killed by armed Fulani militia within five days in Southern Kaduna in an ongoing genocide against the natives of Southern Kaduna”.
As at the time of filing this report, the Spokesman of Kaduna State Police Command, ASP Mohammed Jalige has not responded to the incident when our Correspondent contacted him through his phone number for a comment.