Despite the Southern Kaduna Peace Summit, armed Fulani herdsmen invaded Zango Kataf yesterday, setting houses on fire and injuring several villagers in a shootout.
The intervention of the military under Operation Safe Heaven reportedly prevented what would have resulted in heavy casualties.
Officials of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) condemned the fresh attack in a statement.
“This morning, Manyi-Mashin village, in Zamandabo ward, in Atyap Chiefdom, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) in Southern Kaduna, was invaded by hordes of Fulani armed men who burnt down almost all the houses in the village, looting and carting away valuables,” SOKAPU said.
According to the National Public Relations Officer of the group, Luka Binniyat, “two people were burnt in their homes beyond recognition,” adding: “Their names are Cecilia Ishaya and Iliya Sunday.
The men of Operation Safe Heaven promptly responded, but the militia fled before their arrival”.
Binniyat added: “Fulani militia on the September 8, 2020, laid ambush for three Atyap youths from Atakmawei village in same Zamandabo Ward in Atyap Chiefdom as they went to clear weed in their Sugar cane farm about a kilometre from their village.
“Suddenly, armed herdsmen came from hiding and struck. They descended on them with daggers and machetes. Anthony Magaji, 25, a final year HND student with Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, was hacked down. They axed his neck and head with macabre wounds and killed him instantly. Isaac Thomas, 24, also an OND student of the same school, managed to escape with life threatening injuries and is now under intensive care in a hospital, while the third escaped with less injury.
“We have received complaints of farmers in Gora axis of Atyap Chiefdom, who said that Fulani men occasionally sneak into their farms to destroy large swath of growing food crops, thus leaving them with a bleak prospect of hunger in the near future. All these gory development is taking place after a much publicised peace deal was reached between natives of Atyap Chiefdom on one side and their long time settled Hausa and Fulani representatives on August 23, 2020, in Unguwan Wakili, close to Zangon Kataf town.”
SOKAPU called on the Federal Government to, through Operation Safe Heaven under the Command of Maj. Gen. Chukwu Emeka Okonkwo, expedite action and expel and bring to book all the Fulani militia that are currently occupying 101 Southern Kaduna communities in four local councils of the area.
“We have furnished the world with the details and we are happy to note, that eight of the displaced communities in Zangan District in Kaura local council are now returning home as a result of more presence of men of OPSH. We are appealing to our youths to shun all forms of provocation and conduct themselves in manners that will not make them fall short of the law, not compromising their rights for self-preservation under the law,” SOKAPU said.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Kaduna Command, DSP Muhammed Jalige, did not pick several telephone calls placed to him to speak on yesterday’s attack.