Page Nav


hide author name





Christmas: Funerals,Tears At Christmas As Fulani Herdsmen Sustain Killing Spree In Southern Kaduna

DECEMBER 30 , 2022 | EASTERN PILOT Report By: Israel Bulus | ISRAEL BULUS writes on the renewed killings in Kaura communities of Kaduna Stat...


Report By: Israel Bulus |

ISRAEL BULUS writes on the renewed killings in Kaura communities of Kaduna State as the federal and state governments’ efforts failed to yield desired results.

Over the years, Southern Kaduna has been on the receiving end, facing incessant ruthless attacks on its communities by assailants identified as armed herdsmen. The attacks, which in most cases have resulted in the loss of many lives, especially the breadwinners of many families, children, and women, have forced them to become internally displaced persons in their own land. The lives of these survivors of attacks and those of the victims’ families are irreparably damaged; they don’t know when they’ll recover physically from their injuries or come to terms with their losses, and many remain deeply traumatised.

The Kaura Local Government communities have been subjected to the most heinous attacks and unending killings of their loved ones. The most deadly that became more pronounced and now poses a daunting challenge that must be tackled was the one that occurred on September 26, 2021, in Madamai Community, where 38 people were killed, and the recent one that took place on December 18, 2022, where another 38 lives were gruesomely killed and 104 houses were completely razed down. Life has become so brutal and nasty for the people of southern Kaduna, who are mostly farmers. They can no longer boast of their lives, farm crops, or even their settlements.

While other states take terrorism very seriously as a security threat in order to provide assistance to victims, the Federal and   Kaduna State governments, on the other hand do not render adequate support to victims and their families. Most of these victims of terrorism and their families are left at the mercy of their own predicament. Their rights as individuals are not upheld and protected. Some of the victims, in separate interviews that recounted their ordeals, described the carnage in their communities as the worst they have experienced.

Mr Rikichi David, who narrowly escaped the attack, told The PUNCH that before the day that the incident took place, the military usually comes around for patrol throughout the day and leaves by 10pm, but on that day, the military patrolled the community till after 10.30pm, which we even applauded them for adding 30 minutes to the time. “We saw one of the trucks leisurely cruising inside the community, and we thought they came back to continue with their patrol, but suddenly they went out again at a very slow speed toward the town.”

“We didn’t know if they were observing if our people are sleeping or not, and at that time I vowed to myself that I am going to stay out till 11pm because other days, from 10pm to 10.30pm, I retired  home.” Rikichi, who said he lost six family members during the sad incident, said the army trucks left the community a few minutes before 11pm and he went back home 10 minutes later, lied down on his couch, and  started hearing gunshots. According to him, they were preparing to bury one of their family members on Wednesday, and people came from outside for the burial and became victims. About three women were sleeping in my house when they were all killed.

He explained that when the attack took place, “the military was close by because gunshots can be heard from kilometres away. The soldiers couldn’t have gone anywhere because they were moving at a very slow pace,” Rikichi said. “We manage to crawl into the bush for safety. From where I was, I could see the attackers having a field day inside our community, killing people, burning our houses, and shouting “Allah Akbar.” “While they were perpetrating their evil act, they were advancing towards the hill, which was their escape route because they started from the highway. When they got to the hill, the last person shot into the air for a while and left,” he further narrated.

According to him, they’re suspecting foul play by those who are supposed to be their defenders. When the attack was going on, these people were moving as if nothing were happening, and when it got to the village, it fired four times after the attackers had already left. “The attack was well coordinated, orchestrated, and executed by professionals because all the entry points to the village where help can come from were blocked and the men used sophisticated weapons and shot sporadically,” Rikichi, who is also the Chairman of the Kagoro Development Association, Malagum 1, stated.

Another victim, Mr. Linus Utung, a traditional title holder, described the carnage infiltrated into his community as ruthless to the sanctity of humanity. He said, “The community was thrown into disarray when they heard gunshots and some of the locals were killed while the military was present.” According to him, a village head told him that they saw how two boys who were running for safety were gunned down by the military. He said his house and motorcycle were burnt down while he watched helplessly.

Also, Rev. John Hayab, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter, captured the agony of the people of Kaura during the 60th birthday anniversary of Apostle Emmanuel Kure, saying the killing of the 38 innocent, defenceless people of the Mallagum community was another piece of evidence that the killers have yet to be neutralised, as claimed by the government. Amid the bloodletting, a series of peace talks have been organised by the traditional institutions, religious leaders, politicians, and other critical stakeholders to identify the conflict triggers and chart a way forward.

Some sympathisers who spoke to our correspondent in separate interviews during the funeral mass for the 38 gruesomely killed in Malagum and Sogwong communities lamented the neglect of the Kaduna State government in providing relief materials to the victims. Their reactions echoed, “This has shown the ineptitude of the government towards the people of southern Kaduna.” The councillor representing Malagum 1 community, Hon. Atuk Stephen, who spoke to our correspondent, said residents had deserted their communities to seek refuge in neighbouring villages.

He called the situation “barbaric” and urged the government to act quickly to provide relief materials to the victims. “As I am talking to you now, none of these villagers escaped with a single cup of beans; all of their food stuffs were burnt down. Atuk expressed concern that the carnage perpetrated by the communities would prevent the elections from taking place. However, he noted, “There are ongoing plans to disenfranchise our people from participating in the 2023 general elections, and the government must show its might in ensuring these terrorists are crushed while sanity returns.” He said there has been no security stationed in the affected communities until now, calling on the government to deploy security in the vulnerable communities to help reduce tension.

In one of their emergency meetings, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Southern Kaduna chapter, through its chairman, Alhaji Haruna Usman condemned the ceaseless killings among farmers and herdsmen in the state and resolved to do everything possible to ensure that the people live in mutual respect, understanding, and peaceful coexistence irrespective of any difference. He noted with sadness that the lives of farmers and herdsmen are wasted incessantly in the communities over trivial issues that can be solved amicably.

The chairman reiterated the association’s willingness to contribute and support efforts to restore normalcy and lasting peace to all nooks and crannies of the area, against which he appealed to all associations to organise meetings and dialogues that would aid in uniting the people. On his part, the Catholic Bishop of Kafachan, His Lordship Bishop Kundi, lamented, during the burial of the 38 victims, the level of killings and government ineptitude towards the people of Southern Kaduna.

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, in a press statement issued to newsmen over the weekend, said that during the mass burial for the slain victims, they heard very disturbing allegations against the personnel of the Nigerian Army in the massacre. The union lamented that there was no representation by the Kaduna State government.“No message of any sort was sent. No relief material has been sent to the displaced,” the union stated.

According to SOKAPU, six families were wiped out and 102 houses were totally burnt. Homes were looted of grains and valuables before being burned down by the assailants, whom survivors identified as armed Fulani herdsmen working with men they claimed to be from the Nigerian Army. “After the burial service, scores of youths from the affected villages, including members of the Christian clergy from the affected communities, rushed to meet us with stories of how the army may have been used in the killings.”

No comments