The subsisting curfew notwithstanding, gunmen, yesterday, invaded four communities in Zangon Kataf council area, killing 22 persons and setting ablaze a number of buildings.
The victims were mainly women and children, while scores scampered for safety. The affected settlements are
Apyiashyim, Atak’mawai, Kibori and Kurmin Masara, all in Atyap chiefdom.
An Atak’mawai resident, Irimiya Gandu, who spoke to reporters, said no fewer than 13 persons were slain.
He said the armed “herdsmen” invaded the settlement around 1a.m.
His words: “I stepped out from our house and we could hear gunshots around Zango urban and Apiokim Kibori villages that were already under attack with houses burning at around 1a.m.
“I rushed into my house and brought out my family to a safer place.
“So far, 13 persons were killed, mostly children and women.”
Also, an indigene of Apiashyim, Jonathan Ishaya, said six lives and several homes were lost to the onslaught in his community.
“The Fulani militia invaded the community at about 11pm on Wednesday night, shooting sporadically,” he clarified.
Ishaya regretted that help came too late, alleging: “The security agencies are not here to protect us, but to serve the interest of those attacking us.”
“It rained all through the night and the attackers had unchallenged operations from around 10pm on Wednesday to the early hours of Thursday (yesterday).
“By the time they were done, 22 corpses were recovered at about 12p.m. on Thursday (yesterday), while the search is still on. They also burnt several houses,” he added.
Secretary to Atyap Traditional Council, Stephen Akut, submitted: “The attackers were said to be in their numbers, but the casualty figures are still sketchy. Security operatives have been mobilised to the affected communities.”
The council chairman, Dr. Elias Manza, said three bodies had been recovered from Kurmin Masara, six in Apyia Shyam (Asha’a Wuce) and another 10 at Takmawai where destruction of properties was massive.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state commend, ASP Muhammed Jalige, declined comments, promising to get back by 2p.m. yesterday after reaching out to the divisional police officer (DPO) in charge of the area.
He, however, did not respond at press time.
Expectedly, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has condemned the onslaught, contending that the casualty figure had risen to 33.
Its reaction was contained in a statement issued by its spokesman, Luka Binniyat.
Also yesterday, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Reverend Yakubu Pam and the officials of the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) met to end the killings.
Pam regretted that the mayhem had gotten to an alarming point, adding that the relevant stakeholders must brainstorm and stop the blame game.
The state CAN chairman, Reverend Joseph Hayab, told the NCPC boss that, “interestingly, you are coming when we lost 22 people in Zangon Kataf today (yesterday) and several houses burnt.
“This is the kind of thing s we have been battling with in the state. Everyday we receive calls and reports of all these problems. We have been consoling the people and reassuring them.”