Scores of communities in Lere Local Government Area, LGA, of Kaduna State, especially those in Kahugu District said that they have been under intensive raids by strange Fulani men who kill their young men and abduct women in exchange for millions in ransom.
Kahugu District is about 4 hours drive to Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna State capital. Findings yesterday by Saturday Vanguard which visited Kahugu District – one of the most affected– showed that the initial victims were resident Fulani herdsmen who were extorted between N500,000 and N2 million per family in exchanged for their lives and cattle.
But, in recent times, the bandits have extended their crimes to the native Kahugu who are mainly subsistent farmers. In Kaduru, an isolated village of about 200 homesteads, sited on a flat plain bounded by low woody hills, a group of mourners had gathered under the canopy of mango trees in the compound of Pa Danjuma, whose son, Buhari Danjuma, 29 was shot point-blank on the head by the assailants, before kidnapping an 8-month pregnant mother of four, two days earlier.
“They wrote this village a letter last week that we must keep N3 million for them”, Ester Duniya (not real name) told our reporter amidst sobs, “but we have been giving them money before”, she said of the alleged Fulani invaders.
“Our men have been meeting over this problem when they came in the night around 12 midnight. They shot Buhari in the head, shot another woman in the leg, and went to another house and kidnapped one woman (Gloria Bala) who is 8 months pregnant”, she said.
“They have been calling the husband to bring N1.5 million, or they will kill the wife”, she said. Saturday Vanguard found the husband of the abducted woman, Yusuf Bala, 32, under a tree surrounded by folks as he awaited to receive communication from the outlaws. He refused to speak to our reporter.
“He has neither eaten nor slept for the third day today”, an unkempt looking fellow in farm clothes told reporters. “His four children have been crying to him for their mother and he does not know how to raise that kind of money”, he observed, “so please leave him alone and go and tell government to come and save us from this hell”, he said with a wave of his hands. Speaking on grounds of anonymity for their personal security, it was revealed that local Fulani residents are fleeing Kahugu villages after paying so much ransom to secure the release of their abducted women, and to stay from being attacked.
They said that they thought the problem was a Fulani versus Fulani affair, until the criminality started hitting the natives early this year. They insisted that the robbers were Fulani, but strange to the area. The villagers said that it was rampant issue all over the place, as the bandits seemed to have turned the villages into some kind of Automated Teller Machines, ATM.
It was estimated that the brigands usually number between 8 and 12 and all had Ak 47 riffles each, pairing themselves on motor bikes. At times, according to the natives, they set up roadblocks in broad daylight and robbed, leaving death casualties behind in some cases.
There is imminent fear and frustration in the community visited, as they complained that the police and government had done nothing to protect them since the violence and extortion started around November last year.
Reacting on the issue, Kaduna State Police Spokesman, DSP Zubairu Abubakar, said that he had been briefed by the police in Lere LGA on the matter, saying there was only one of such incidents in Kahugu Chiefdom.
Kidnapping, cattle rustling have overwhelmed us – Miyetti Allah
The Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Herders Association, North West Zone, Ardo Ahamadu Suleiman last Tuesday complained to Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), that the spade of abduction of elderly Fulani men and young women had reached an overwhelming level not only in Kajuru LGA, where he was on a visit to the herdsmen, but in the entire state. Sani who had driven deep into the bush to a village, Rafin Roro, Kasuwan Magani Chiefdom of Kajuru LGA, met a throng of herdsmen, who said that live was getting unbearable.
Said Suleiman: “There is no day that an elderly man and young woman are not kidnapped. It is not only in this local government, but all over the state. We have paid so much ransom that we don’t know what to do. Some families have sold all their cattle, including sheep and chicken to meet the demand. “Right now they are holding an old man from among us here. They are asking for two million naira. Despite that, they still come over and raid our cows. As if that is not enough, we cannot move our animals freely without farmers accusing us of trespassing. So, we are asking for government to find a place that we can carry out modern ranching. We are tired of wondering around”, he said.
Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/04/kidnapping-cattle-rustling-overwhelmed-us-miyetti-allah/