Sept. 3, 2013
FRESH waves of killings have swept through Borno, Kaduna and Plateau states, leaving at least 33 persons dead.
In Kaduna State, gunmen killed 10 persons in an attack in Adu village.
The tragedy in Borno occurred yesterday morning when gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram’s members attacked a nomadic Shuwa-Arab village and shot dead 17 herdsmen.
The village, according to police sources in Maiduguri, is near Damboa where suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed 18 local hunters at a market early this year.
A resident of Shuwa-Arab, Madina Azaki, told The Guardian that all the slain herdsmen were her relations that had lived and reared cattle in the village for over three decades.
On how the village was attacked, an anonymous resident said: “The violence commenced when attackers killed one of our herders and whisked away another to an obscure camp located some kilometres away.”
Azaki also said that a day after this, the herdsmen mobilised themselves and traced the attackers in order to rescue their abducted kinsman.
“When my people approached the camp of the attackers, they were ambushed which resulted in the death of 16 people. The victims include the district head of Amune, Ba Lamin, who was my uncle. His son, Abdallah, was also killed and we strongly believe that the killing was carefully planned. Most of the victims were very rich and had no fewer than 500 cows,” she said.
According to Madina, the killing marked the end of a generation in the settlement.
“The assailants have wiped out the village because they killed the bread-winners. If you go there, you will only see women and young men who need help,” she lamented.
The Spokesman of the state Police Command, Gideon Jibrin, said there was an attack on one of the villages in Southern Borno, where over a dozen herdsmen were slain by armed hoodlums.
He said no arrest had been made by either the Joint Task Force (JTF) or the police.
In Plateau State, the killing of the six persons was done by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Kungte village of Jos South Local Council.
A source, who spoke with journalists on condition of anonymity, said the gunmen stormed the village at the early hours of yesterday and opened fire on the residents.
It was learnt that those killed were all from two families. Confirming the incident, the state government said it had received reports of attacks on some communities in the state with great indignation.
This was contained in a statement made available to journalists by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yiljab Abraham.
The statement reads in parts: “The unprovoked killing of six members of two families in their home in Kungte village, Kanadap (near Marraraban Jama’a) in Kuru District of Jos South Local Council by gunmen yesterday, is an evil and wicked act that should be condemned by all members of society.
“It is also a display of cowardice by the perpetrators who under the cover of darkness deliberately chose to visit violence on vulnerable members of society – women and children to achieve clearly devilish designs.”
Abraham added: “Such an attack, coming when the state has been mostly peaceful for quite some time, appears a desperate attempt to reverse the gains of our efforts in breaking down the barriers of ethnic and religious intolerance and thereby rebuilding the bridges of communal consensus.
“Such intentions will fail because Plateau people have made up their minds to live in peace with one another – and, together with the state government and security agencies, they will frustrate every attempt aimed at taking the state back to the days of bloodshed and gloom. The current level of peace in the state is for consolidation, not evaporation.”
The statement further noted that government shared the pains of victims of these heinous crimes and declared that those behind such acts would face justice in the long run. “We call on communities to remain alert always and work closely with security agencies in the sustenance of peace,” it said.
Authors of this article: Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) and Bankole Orimisan (Lagos)