With 222 dead in three months and thousands abducted, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el Rufai, is full of regrets that the considerable investments in security are yet to manifest in the defeat or at least the considerable degradation of the criminals.
His comments come as the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) in a statement by Mr. Luka Binniyat, put the number of the dead in the last six days in Zangon Kataf LGA at 33, with four churches and 215 homes burnt.
Said el Rufai: “We have just been presented with another set of sobering statistics on the state of security in Kaduna State. The data on security incidents in the state during the second quarter of 2021 reflects the real agony of our citizens and communities, their pains and losses, and the fears and anxiety that have created considerable distress. The report also outlines what the Kaduna State Government and the security agencies are doing to contain the situation and relieve the situation in our communities.
“The report just presented by our Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs shows that security incidents happened all over the state in the three months from April to June 2021. The Kaduna Central Senatorial District remains the most impacted by these incidents, as it was in the Security Incidents Reports for 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
“As Governor of this state, it is a matter of profound regret for me that our considerable investments in security are yet to manifest in the defeat or at least the considerable degradation of the criminals that menace our people. We have consistently supported the federal security agencies deployed to our state with logistics and equipment. Apart from these recurrent expenses, the Kaduna State Government has undertaken capital expenditure to provide facilities that can multiply the capacity of security agencies to deter crime and conduct effective investigations of those that do occur. We created the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs to provide a specialised institution to coordinate these investments and our liaison with the federal security agencies.”
But Binniyat said in his own statement: His statement reads: “For the 6th day running, armed gunmen, identified as Fulani herdsmen by victims, lay siege to several communities in Atyap land, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna and left no less than 33 people dead in an ongoing genocide and land grabbing in which 108 Southern Kaduna communities have been displaced and taken over by them since 2019.
“In the latest orgy of bloodshed, the invaders stormed Magamiya village, last night around 11pm and started shooting. The family compound of the traditional ruler of Atyap Chiefdom, Agwatyap of Atyap Chiefdom, Sir Dominic Yahaya was attacked. Several blocks of flats and rooms that make up the family compound of five households were looted of valuables and foodstuffs which were carted into four waiting Hilux vans. The houses were then set ablaze. A relation of the revered traditional ruler, Mr. Toma Tauna, 70, was killed by the assailants.
“They went further to loot 6 more homes which they also burnt leaving Mathew Pama, 62, dead in the same village.
“After putting in about 2 hours of unchallenged murder, looting and arson, they armed herdsmen attempted to burnt down St Pious Catholic Church in the village, but help came from other villages and attackers retreated in the Hilux vans for another village.
“Magamiya is about 3km from Zangon Kataf semi-urban town where combined troops of soldiers and other security men are camped complete with patrol vehicles and armoured tanks.
“The same assailants returned and passed besides Zango Kataf town and drove 5km west of the town and attacked three other villages from around 1:30 am this morning. In the attacks, Matyei made up of 156 homes were all burnt. The Catholic Church in Matei and its pastorium was burnt. The Catchiest, simply known as Catchiest Yau, and an infant, were killed in the attack. In all, 8 persons were killed last night in Matyei in a violence that lasted for over an hour.
“The armed Fulani herdsmen then went down to Abuyab Community about 500 metre away and burnt down ECWA church Abuyab and the home of Former ECOMOG Field Commander, Maj. Gen. Shekari Billyok (rtd) and 11 homes. Their attempt to attack Runji Community, nearby was repelled by villagers who got reinforcement elsewhere.
“As they retreated, the attempted to destroy the main bridge linking Matyei with Zangon Kataf town and other Atyap Communities, but only succeeded partially.
“Yesterday, before the night attacks occurred, the same armed herdsmen came in Hilux vans and attacked the Atyap of Makarau and Kachechere Communities leaving 10 people confirmed dead, 12 houses burned after looting them.
“The ECWA and the Anglican Church pastoriums that serves the communities were set ablaze.
“In a nutshell, 20 Atyap natives were killed by attackers (who all the villagers that saw them) identified as armed herdsmen between afternoon and today’s morning, Tuesday, 13 July, 2021.
“The previous day, Sunday, 11th July, Warkan Community, about 7 km east of Matyei, came under fire by armed herdsmen, leaving 8 people dead. The village was looted and animals rustled before 11 homes were burnt by invaders.
“On 9th July, 2021, Timothy Ayok, 35, from Makarau village was ambush and killed dastardly by armed herdsmen as he returned from his farm that afternoon.
“On 8th July, at Kibori village, about 1km from Zangon Kataf town, a widow, Mrs Esther Patrick, 65 and her family of three were wiped out, including her 6 year old grandchild, Yerima Godfrey.
“Therefore, in the past six days, at least 33 Atyap natives of Zangon Kataf Area were massacred, 4 churches and 215 homes burnt by assailants always identified as armed herdsmen in a genocidal campaign that has been become very intensive since 2016.
“SOKAPU condemned this wicked act and the complicit silence and in action of government from taking steps to bringing the perpetrators and their leaders to justice.
“Our Atyap members have been consistent in accusing the Hausa settlers of Zangon Kataf semi urban town of harbouring killer herdsmen, yet no authority has done anything about it.
“On the 31st March, 2021, some Fulani squatters on Atyap land complained that their cattled and sheep were killed by Atyap persons.
“In a swift move, 15 Atyap leaders from 4 indicted communities were arrested by troops, detained for days handed over to Kaduna State Police Command Headquarters.
“The police alleged that the Atyap leaders, among them 85 years old Waje Laah, killed 706 Fulani cows and 75 rams in a single day and buried them in a ditch same day, which every rational person know as impossible feat to accomplish. But all the same, they were kept in detention for three months without trial and only released on bail last week.
“Meanwhile not less than 100 Atyap natives had been killed and about 24 Atyap villages burnt and hundreds of hectares of farmland bearing growing food crops destroyed by Fulani cows since July 2020. Not a single Fulani leader has been called for questioning.
“We are hereby calling for humanitarian assistance for the thousands of displaced Atyap women and children who are still moving away from several villages to various places around Samaru Kataf, Zonkwa and environs.
“We are also calling on NEMA and SEMA to provide immediate relieve materials to the displaced persons.
“We call on the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty Internationals, the United Nations and all relevant international organizations. including local NGOs and Human Rights groups to bear pressure on the Federal Government and Kaduna State Governments to stop the genocide in Atyap land and bring the culprits to justice.”
Meanwhile, the second quarter security report released on Tuesday by the Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs.
The report said banditry, violent attacks, communal clashes and reprisals accounted for the deaths.
“Banditry, violent attacks, communal clashes and reprisals in the second quarter accounted for 222 deaths across the State.
“Of this total, nine were women and eight were minors (below the age of 18). Of the total number, 159 deaths were recorded in Kaduna Central Senatorial District (72% of the total recorded).
“156 of these occurred in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun and Kajuru LGAs. Igabi LGA recorded 44 deaths, and Birnin Gwari LGA 42. Chikun LGA had 37, and Giwa LGA 21. Kajuru LGA recorded 12 deaths in the second quarter.
“Southern Kaduna Senatorial District had 54 deaths in total, of which five were women and four were below the age of 18. Kachia LGA had 21 deaths, followed by Jema’a LGA with 14, and Kauru LGA with six.
“The Northern Senatorial District recorded nine people killed in the second quarter (around 4% of the total),” the report said.
According to the report, Kaduna Central recorded the highest kidnapping incidents in the state.
“Out of the 774 people kidnapped in the second quarter, Kaduna Central Senatorial District accounts for 555 (nearly 72% of the total).
“Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun and Kajuru LGAs recorded 550 of these. Chikun LGA had 148 citizens kidnapped, Igabi had 139, while 91 persons were kidnapped from Giwa LGA. Kajuru LGA had 89 kidnapped citizens, and Birnin Gwari LGA recorded 83.
“Southern Kaduna Senatorial District recorded 164 kidnapped persons, with Kachia LGA reporting the highest number of 111.
“The Northern Senatorial District recorded 55 kidnapped persons, with 37 of these from Zaria LGA. In total, 239 women, and 32 minors were kidnapped in the second quarter across the state,” the report said in part.
A week after the invasion and abduction of over 120 students of the Bethel Baptist High School, the police in Kaduna on Tuesday said they have rescued three kidnapped victims, including one of the students of Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kujama, Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement, Kaduna police spokesman, Muhammad Jalige, said, “The Kaduna Police Command’s mission to rescue all kidnap victims through intelligence-led Policing and rigorous patrol had yesterday yielded a positive result with the rescue of three victims to safety.
“On the 12th July, 2021 at about 1540hrs the Operatives of the Command alongside Civilian JTF on routine rescue patrol around the forest of Tsohon Gaya village of Chikun LGA of Kaduna State stumbled on three kidnapped victims roaming the bush extremely exhausted and weak.
“The victims were safely evacuated and rushed to Police Clinic Kaduna where they are currently being resuscitated and will subsequently be handed over to their immediate families.
“During the course of investigation, the three (3) victims were identified as Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, Nura Nuhu that were kidnapped recently along Kaduna – Kachia Road
“Abraham Aniya is one of the students of Bethel Baptist Secondary School, Kujama that were kidnapped the previous week.
“Thus, the Command is currently relentless in ensuring that more victims are rescued within the shortest possible time,” the police spokesperson said.