Group raises alarm over Southern Kaduna genocidal killings, seeks UN intervention


Photo: Deaths as Southern Kaduna turns to killing field

A group, Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has raised alarm over what it described as ongoing “siege and genocide” by Fulani herdsmen terrorists who are up in arms against them and wiping their communities Southern Kaduna with impunity.

The group, which made this known in a statement on Wednesday and signed by its spokesman, Luka Binniyat, decried the total siege and relentless massacre of its communities which it claimed had worsened in the past one week.

According to SOKAPU, their assailants are clearly on a genocide mission to annihilate them and take over their ancestral lands and property, having already killed countless numbers and displaced thousands recently.

- Advertisement -

The statement reads in part:
“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 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, the armed herdsmen attempted to burnt down St Pius 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.

“They same assailants returned and passed through 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 Catechist, simply known as Catechist 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 metres away and burnt down ECWA Church, Abuyab and the home of former ECOMOG Field Commander, Maj. Gen. Shekari Billyok (rtd) and 11 other homes. Their attempt to attack Runji Community, nearby was repelled by villagers who got reinforcement elsewhere. As they retreated, they attempted to destroy the main bridge linking Matyei with Zangon Kataf town and other Atyap Communities, but only succeeded partially.

“Prior to the night attacks, the same armed herdsmen came in Hilux vans and attacked the Atyap of Makarau and Kachechere Communities leaving 10 people dead and 12 houses burned after looting them.
The ECWA and the Anglican Church pastoriums that serve 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,” the group said.

Giving further details of the series of attacks in chronological order with exact dates and casualties, SOKAPU said that,”On Sunday, 11th July, Warkan Community, about 7 km east of Matyei, came under fire by the armed herdsmen, leaving 8 people dead. The village was looted and animals rustled before the invaders burnt 11 homes.

“On 9th July, 2021, Timothy Ayok, 35, from Makarau village was ambushed and killed dastardly by the armed herdsmen while returning 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, including her 6 year old grandchild, Yerima Godfrey, were wiped out by the herdsmen terrorists.

“Therefore, in the past 6 days, at least 33 Atyap natives of Zangon Kataf Area were massacred, 4 churches and 215 homes burnt by the armed herdsmen in a genocidal campaign that has become very intensive since 2016.

“SOKAPU condemns this wicked act and the complicit silence and inaction of government which has refused to take any step to stop this genocide and bring the perpetrators and their leaders to justice.

“Our Atyap members have been consistent in accusing the Fulani 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 in Atyap land complained that their cattle and sheep were killed by some unknown Atyap persons.

“In a swift move, 15 Atyap leaders from 4 communities were arrested by troops, detained for days and later handed over to the Kaduna State Police Command.

“The police alleged that the Atyap leaders, among them an 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 knows it is an 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 have 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. But not a single Fulani leader has been apprehended.

“We hereby call 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 also calling on NEMA and Kaduna SEMA to provide immediate relief materials to the displaced persons.”

Previous articleClimate change emergency worse than COVID-19 pandemic, experts say
Next articleGov Lalong signs judiciary, legislature autonomy bills into law


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.