by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Five different Fulani bodies, under the umbrella of ‘Fulbe Associations in Kaduna state,’ stormed premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kaduna state council secretariat, decrying alleged mass killings of pastoralists in Zangon-Kataf and Kajuru local government areas of southern part of Kaduna in Kaduna state.
In apress conference jointly addressed by coalition’s chairmen and secretaries yesterday, the Fulani associations are accusing Atyap youths and others of being responsible for what they described as “wicked and brutal killing and destruction of properties of Fulbe pastoralists in Zangon-Kataf and parts of Kauru local government areas of Kaduna state.”
Briefing journalists, Secretary-General of Kaduna state Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, MOFDA, Barr. Nuhu Ibrahim, said the Fulbe communities in the area have been subjected to serial attacks and killing of helpless and defenseless Fulani women, children and the elderly since 11th June, 2020, hitherto, after the statement issued by Southerner Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU.
The coalition also said that, “We have received reports evidencing that several unsuspecting Fulbe communities were attacked by the Atyap youths with attendant losses of human lives, burnt houses, destruction of properties and several herds of cattle rustled in the nooks and crannies across the Kataf (Atyap) Chiefdom.”
They alleged that Atyap Youths and cohorts have so far killed almost 85 of Fulanis with 139 persons missing, 290 houses burnt, 429 animals killed and 4009 animals missing.
“In the past four days, beginning from 11th June, 2020 to date, our Fulbe communities have been subjected to serial and well-coordinated attacks, maiming and destruction at the hands of their Atyap attackers, who wickedly resorted to cowardly evil acts of killing helpless and defenseless Fulani women, children and the elderly in their homes, sleeps, roads and in their productive economic business of cattle herding.
“It is imperative to bring to the attention of the state government, the media, civil society organizations and the international community the unfortunate events that have been taking place in Zangon-Kataf local government area and parts of Kauru local government area, commencing from 11th June, 2020 to date, where our members are deliberately targeted and killed.
“We urge the state government to ensure that culprits and their sponsors are identified, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and executed to serve as deterrent to other intending culprits and their sponsors,” the said.
According to them, “The purpose of this press briefing, today, is to put the records straight and to clear certain mischievous misinformation regarding the incidence, especially as paraded by certain individuals and groups that have deliberately chosen to make misleading representations calculated at diverting the attention of public and the government from the true facts on ground and the actual level of carnage and wickedness meted on our peace loving and law abiding Fulbe communities in the Atyap (Kataf) Chiefdom and its surrounding villages.
“It is on record that the current crisis emanated from a land dispute between the native Kataf (Atyap) farmers and the indigenous Hausa farmers of Zango Town, which eventually metamorphosed to an allegation of killing of a farmer of Atyap tribe, who went to cultivate the disputed farmland, by unknown persons.
“This is a fact also acknowledged by the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, in its statement issued hurriedly by its National Publicity Secretary, who is also from the same aggressor Kataf (Atyap) tribe, on 11th June, 2020, following which the Kataf youths erupted in violence on the same date by launching simultaneous but ferocious attacks on unsuspecting Fulani communities across several villages in the Atyap Chiefdom,” they said.