By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has raised the alarm over 22 natives killed in fresh attack on communities in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area amidst tight curfew.
The group in a statement on Sunday, July 12, 2020 by its National Public Relations Officer, Luka Binniyat, expressed dismay the attack was carried out in the communities despite ongoing 24 hours curfew imposed in the LGA.
SOKAPU called on Governor Nasir El-Rufai led Government and the Federal Government to show more commitment in securing communities in Southern Kaduna.
SOKAPU also requested that relief materials be taken to displaced communities across the local governments in Chikun, Jema’a, Kaura, Kauru, and particularly, Zangon Kataf which it said is presently in the eye of the storm.
The statement read; “In the early hours of Friday, 10th July, 2020, precisely around 1:30 am, the suspected Fulani militia invaded a remote, peaceful farming community called Chibob in Atyap Chiefdom, Gora ward of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area.
“The unprovoked attack ended in the massacre of Nine (9) Atyap natives, mostly women and children who were murdered in their sleep in the most barbaric manner imaginable, adding that the invaders also burnt down over 20 houses, destroyed farmlands, rustled 24 cattle and other livestock, looted foodstuff and other property of the villagers.
“As the curfew persisted, in the early hours of the following day, being Saturday the 11th July, 2020, this militia continued their attacks in neighbouring remote communities. In particular, they attacked Kigudu community which is close to Chibob, located at the boundary between Zangon Kataf and Kauru LGAs.
“This led to the death of 10 women, an infant and an old man who were burnt to death inside a house they had taken refuge. Some of the corpses were burnt into ashes. Four homes were razes. This brought the death toll to twelve (12) in that community.
“With the curfew still in rigid enforcement, Anguwan Audu, a Surubu village, still under Gora ward was invaded this morning of 12th July, 2020, where the village was looted and entirely burnt and one person killed.
“This brought to a total death toll of 22 persons in three days of unbroken attacks under a 24-hour strictly imposed curfew that has been running for 31 days today.
“We believe that the curfew should have been lifted or relaxed a day or two after the killing of a young school teacher, Mr Moses Magaji on a farm disputed by Hausa settlers of Zangon Kataf town and their Atyap long time host generated tension around the area.
“These attacks, have come to confirm a veiled, but documented threat issued on the 17th June, by leaders of five (5) Fulani supremacists groups at a Press Conference in Kaduna, led by Alhaji HarunaTugga Chairman, Mayetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Kaduna State.
“It is pertinent to note here that after the threat by the Fulani elites and about 20 days into the 24 hours curfew, SOKAPU made a press statement where we passionately pleaded with the state government to lift the 24-hour curfew imposed in Zangon Kataf and Kauru local government areas, having observed that the curfew imposed was becoming more of a tool to weaken and tie down our people for Fulani Militia to have an easy ride in invading our vulnerable communities.
“We also observed that our people were being brutalized on their farms by some overzealous security personnel who, under the guise of enforcement of the curfew, always chased Atyap natives to their farms, intimidate, arrest, detain and brutalize them.”