The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has said there are still continuous attacks by terrorists, jihadists, bandits and armed herdsmen terrorising the communities in the area.
Awemi Dio Maisamari, the President of SOKAPU, in a statement in Kaduna on Monday said, “There is still no breathing space for communities in Southern Kaduna. Terrorists, jihadists, bandits and armed herdsmen have continued to plunder and wreck communities in the Southern state. The latest are the mass abductions that took place on the 12th and 13th of September, 2022 at Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru local government area of Southern Kaduna.”
According to the statement, six persons were abducted in a night raid by the terrorists at Ungwan Fada part of the town on 12th September, 2022, saying that the following day, the terrorists abducted about 60 persons at the Bayan Kasuwa quarters of Kasuwan Magani town at around midnight while the Cherubim and Seraphim Church was in a night vigil programme.
“With no measures put in place to forestall recurrence, the following day (13th September), the terrorists stormed the Cherubim and Seraphim Church during a night vigil programme at the Bayan Kasuwa quarters of Kasuwan Magani town at around midnight. They succeeded in carting away more than sixty people from the church and neighboring houses. However, they could not be able to take all of them away because some were very little children, too aged or had health challenges,” the statement explained.
While retreating with their captors to their camps, the statement stated that they (terrorists) attacked Janwuriya village, few kilometres from Kasuwan Magani and abducted two more persons.
According to the statement, 45 persons have so far been confirmed to have been kidnapped.
On 18th September, 2022, the statement explained that they (terrorists) made contact with some persons in the town via phone calls and claimed that only 40 persons are being held by them and demanded a ransom of N200 million with negotiation ongoing.
The statement noted that the identity or the fate of the five missing persons are unknown.
In other communities in Kajuru and Chikun local government areas, the statement said the occupying terrorists cohabit with the locals where the locals are treated like captives, saying that they are terrorits at will, making it difficult or impossible for them to till or harvest their farms.
As a result, the statement explained that most early maturing crops are being left to rot on the farm, explaining that it is a daily experience in most occupied communities in Southern Kaduna.
“In the last few months Southern Kaduna has also seen an unusual influx of thousands of herds of cattle and herdsmen from neighbouring states. They indulgence in deliberate farm land destruction often at night; stealing of ripe farm crops and intimidation of helpless victim farmers,” the statement further explained.
It lamented that hundreds of hectares of crops bearing farmlands valued in millions of Naira have been destroyed, saying that worse hit are Sankwab, Gora Gida, Warkan, Ashong Ashui, Abuyab, Zamandabo, and Shiliam communities, in Atyap Chiefdom, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area in Southern Kaduna.
“Numerous, often clandestine agreements in many communities with suspected herdsmen and their fronts have yielded no positive result. The Sector S7 Commander of Operation Safe Haven held a meeting of herdsmen, host community leaders and farmers on Wednesday, 14 September, 2022 at Kafanchan. At the meeting, desperate victims of the herdsmen devastation told the Sector Commander that they were tired of holding fruitless meetings only for the violence to increase. This makes the meetings appear to serve the purpose of window dressing only,” it added.
SOKAPU, therefore, sympathised with the indigenous communities and peaceful Fulani herdsmen affected by this cruelty and called on all communities not to let down their guards at this critical moment but to arise and prevent last minutes devastation of their dear people and their precious ancestral homeland.