by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Barely 48 hours after peace summit, gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias allegedly invaded a village in Atyap Chiefdom, in Zangon-Kataf local government area of Southern Kaduna, in Kaduna state, and burnt down almost the entire village.
Two persons – a woman and a man – were reportedly burnt to death during the invasion, which occurred Friday morning, in a place known as Manyi-Mashin Village in Zamandabo ward, in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon-Kataf local government.
A statement issued by Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), the umbrella body of the Southern Kaduna natives, and signed by their spokesman, Luka Binniyat, stated that men of Operation Safe Heaven, Army, promptly responded but the invaders fled.
“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,” the statement stressed.
The statement also stated that 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,” it stated.
According to the statement, “This was after Fulani militia, on the 8th September, 2020, lay ambush for three Atyap youths from Atakmawei Village 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.
“Meanwhile, we have received complaints of farmers in Gora axis of Atyap Chiefdom, who say that Fulani men occasionally sneak into their farms and destroy large swath of growing food crops, thus leaving them with a prospect of hunger in the near future.
“All these gory developments are 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 Ungwan 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 one Emmanuel David Yohanna, 13, leaving two persons grievously with gunshots. They are, Sunday Zango Stephen, 48, and Zakka John, 23. The two victims are now receiving treatment at a hospital in Jos.
“Meanwhile, 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, 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 grisly killed by armed Fulani militia within five days in Southern Kaduna in an ongoing genocide against the natives of Southern Kaduna.
“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,” the release stated.
Contacted, the Kaduna State Police Command spokesman, Muhammed Jalige, could not respond.
It’s recalled that the peace summit organized by national Christian Pilgrims’ Commission (NCPC) in Kafanchan was boycotted by Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders, Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, and CAN Kaduna State.