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Terrorism: We are suffering ethnic cleansing in Southern Kaduna, SOKAPU cries out

People of Southern Kaduna senatorial zone under the auspices of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) on Thursday said that killings by terrorists in the region are outright ethnic cleansing of the people in the area.

Addressing a press conference on the impact of banditry and terrorism in the area in the last six years, SOKAPU President, Jonathan Asake said 200, 000 of his kinsmen and women were displaced.

Asake added that over 148 communities were destroyed by the bandits and terrorists, rendering the communities uninhabitable.

“We are calling on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Foreign Missions, European Union, United Nations, among others, to beam their searchlight on the atrocities, crimes against humanities, ethnic cleansing being perpetrated against the people of Southern Kaduna.

“These horrendous attacks on Kaduna State, especially the southern flank, have become glaring, with both government and security agencies seemed incapable of reining in the activities of these vicious bandits.

“From the ongoing, it is clear that the bandits/terrorists have taken over many villages and town and are closing in on the Kaduna city centre.

“SOKAPU believes that these bandits may soon take over the Kaduna metropolis, including the Kaduna State Government House, if the government continues to show lack of capacity or willingness to stop them,” Asake said.

On what factors that are responsible for killing in the region, SOKAPU leader said, “Mineral deposits and green areas for cattle rearing in the entire Middle Belt are responsible for killing in Southern Kaduna. We have concluded plans to take over our ancestral land because what is going on is ethnic cleansing in Southern Kaduna and the entire middle Belt. Several communities have been attacked in Southern Kaduna at genocidal proportion”.

He added that, “it is very clear that Kaduna State is under siege by a combination of killer Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers, bandits and other criminal groups who have continued to terrorise peaceful, vulnerable and defenceless Nigerians resident in the state.

“There is no single day that passes without an ugly incident of attacks and massacre in rural communities or mass abductions of people in both rural communities and suburbs of urban areas. These ceaseless attacks have continued to leave in their trail tales massacre, maiming, destruction of property and crops, raping of women and mass displacement of persons from their homelands.

“The spates of insecurity shredding Kaduna State recently hit the peak when on March 28, 2022, an Abuja-Kaduna bound train was bombed, less than 48 hours after the Kaduna Airport was attacked and an official of the airport killed.

“During the attack on the train, no less than eight passengers were murdered. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is yet to account for the whereabouts of 165 passengers that were on the ill-fated trip. While mourning the attacks on the train and the airport, another group of bandits launched yet another deadly assault on a military base located in Pole Wire Village in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State, killing 12 soldiers and injuring 19 military personnel.

“Just this week on Monday, April 25, 2022, heavily armed killer Fulani herdsmen in their large numbers riding on motorbikes invaded some communities in Kamaru ward, Chawai Chiefdom of Kauru Local Government Area where no fewer than 25 persons were murdered in cold blood.

“By 4:30pm of that fateful Monday, the attackers commenced their assault on Ungwar Rimi community, and continued to kill, maim and destroy property of the community without help from the security forces. The attack on Ungwar Rimi lasted for over three hours.

By the time the attack was over, 12 persons were murdered, and no fewer than 52 houses were burnt after the village was looted of foodstuffs and animals, among others.

“After three hours of attack on Ungwar Rimi, the invaders proceeded to Ungwar Magaji; a community that has been attacked at least four times since 2014, where the rampaging herdsmen commenced yet another round of violence.

“When the killer herdsmen attacked Ungwan Makera, one Audu Tulu, a resident of the village was severely injured, while no fewer than eight houses were burnt, foodstuffs and valuables were looted by the attackers. Most pathetic is the killing of a 102-year old man, Pa Garba Akur, in Kitakum. He was shot as he tried to run, the heartless herdsmen hacked him down with their machetes and left his mutilated body in the pool of his blood.

“Also, 32 houses were reduced to rubbles and many displaced. These recent attacks in Kauru LGA is just one of the series of attacks that have been waged against Southern Kaduna communities since January this year.

“In January 2022, Kurmin Masara and surrounding communities were attacked where no less than 16 people were murdered and 38 houses razed down by these killer Fulani herdsmen. On February 2, 2022, Zamandabo was attacked, resulting in the death of one person and 15 houses destroyed.

“In Kajuru LGA communities, between January 4, 2022 and April 12, 2022; no less than 38 persons were killed across 40 communities, and about 200 abducted for ransom.

“Most of these communities are forced to cough out millions of naira without any intervention from the government.

“Worthy of note is the unacceptable kidnap incident of 22nd February, 2022 when these armed bandits invaded Idon Hanya market in the heat of business and took away at gun point and 22 persons, mostly women into the bush, like a herd of sheep. Till date, no one has said anything about their fate.

“On March 16, 2022, in Agunu Dutse community, Kachia LGA, armed Fulani militia stormed the village around 12:30am and kidnapped 46 people, mostly women and children. Till date, their whereabouts is still unknown.

“On April 6, 2022 in Akilbu village of the same local government, another terror gang left eight persons, mostly women and children, dead, and abducted 28 persons. There were several other unreported murders and kidnappings across Kachia communities.

“On February 5, 2022, an attack was carried out against Maraban Kagoro-Gidan Waya Road where 11 people were killed and many homes destroyed. There was another attack on March 22, 2022 on four communities of Tsonje, Agban, Katanga and Kadarko, all within Kagoro Chiefdom in Kaura Local Government Area. No fewer than 34 were murdered and 35 homes razed down.

“Most of the villages in Chikun LGA have been sacked, with scores killed and hundreds kidnapped, while the villages destroyed. Thousands of these displaced people are living under dehumanising conditions in various IDP camps. The invaders have become so daring that they now invade Kaduna suburbs, few kilometres to the Kaduna Government House.

“In Mararaban Rido, Chikun LGA, and a suburb of Kaduna city, no less than 12 kidnapping incidences have been reported between January and April 2022, with scores abducted whose whereabouts are still unknown. No fewer than seven lives have been snuffed out by these deadly bandits.

Daily Sun

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