The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, has said 33 people were killed in the fresh attacks carried out by suspected Fulani militias in five villages of Atyap Chiefdom, in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State.
The union explained that this is happening under a 24-hour curfew imposed in the area for the past 65 days since the unrest in Zangon Kataf following the alleged killing of a 32-year-old man in a farmland.
The SOKAPU National Public Relations Officer, Luka Binniyat, while explaining the situation in a statement, said the villages affected are: Apiashyim, Kibori, Apiako, Atakmawei and Magamiya, stressing “Prior to now, they were all shut down with fierce armed military men patrolling and enforcing the 24 hours curfew. But when the gunmen struck, they were not on ground.”
The statement added that four Atyap youths from Majuju, and Kibori villages who went to farm under the curfew were arrested by soldiers after being thoroughly beaten and handed over to the Police who whisked them to SCID, Kaduna, stressing that they have been denied bail since 26th June, 2020 which is the trend of brutality that have forced the people indoors for nearly two months today.
The statement regretted that the Fulani herders have been moving freely and grazing over large swaths of maize farms of the locked up farmers.
According to the statement, on Wednesday night around 11pm, trucks loads of armed Fulani militia made their way through military checkpoints under the curfew and stormed Apiashyim and Kibori villages, adding that they laid siege to Apyaishyim, killing, looting and burning houses and left six people dead, and 20 houses burnt.
In nearby Kibori village, the statement further explained that 7 persons were killed by the armed Fulani militia.
It added that around 12am, they (Fulanis) struck Atakmawei sleeping community and carried out another carnage in which 12 persons were killed and ten houses burnt.
The statement explained that the attackers also went to Apyiako and killed 3 people, and burnt houses, including the home of late Col. Bobai Ishaku among others, saying that at the same time, Magamiya village was also attacked and 5 people killed and seven houses burnt.
The statement explained that Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state has tied up the law abiding people under what it called an irrational, protracted curfew “which is obviously intended to cause maximum harm to our communities”, pointing out that they are inundated by daily cries for food, medicine and money, with rising cases of child malnutrition and kwashiorkor as parents cannot go out and look for food for their starving children.
The statement said that no one wants to risk the brutality of the military that are enforcing the curfew, adding that even if the curfew is lifted, freely grazing cattle herded by armed Fulani men have eaten up and trampled over thousands of hectares of grain farms, yam farms, sugar cane crops, among others.
The union appealed to the international community, men and women of conscience, and all lovers the world to come to the aid of the affected people as there is what the group described as a government-sponsored genocide against Southern Kaduna communities.