The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union declared that it had become weary of pleading with Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai to put an end to the bloodshed in the region.
The group bemoaned the status of security in Southern Kaduna and said that the area was now dealing with wanton killings, which had been a “reality” for them for many years.
The group’s declaration of sorrow follows armed herdsmen attack on Maikori and three other Adara villages on June 5 in Kajuru Local Government Area, Southern Kaduna, which resulted in 32 fatalities and the abduction of 27 residents.
On the same day, a group of gunmen entered a Catholic church in Owo, Ondo State, and started shooting, leaving 40 people dead.
The villagers in the Kajuru LGA incident stated that a gun-mounted helicopter helped the invaders, and more than 30 individuals were kidnapped.
According to reports, the kidnappers want N100m in exchange for their release.
Under the condition of anonymity, one of the survivors, a local of the Chikun Local Government Area and a previous resident of Maikoro, told our correspondent that the villagers now reside in bunkers out of fear of additional attacks.
“I can tell you that we have fled our homes and now hide in bunkers. It is sad. It is like we are fighting a war in Southern Kaduna and no one is coming to our rescue. They have abandoned us to suffer.
“If we stay a week without an attack, then we are lucky. These people are not afraid anymore. They come in broad daylight and attack us, chase us out of our lands and kill anyone who tried to resist.
“There is evidence, but I don’t know why the government has refused to do anything to help us overcome this challenge. It now looks like the government is complicit,” the native said.
Our lives are over, a local resident who also happens to be a teacher at one of the neighborhood’s elementary schools stated. We cannot allow these militias, who are determined to return us to the Stone Age, access to our ancestral territories. On that particular day, I was attending church. These people arrived in the morning during the day.
“Earlier in the year, they stormed a community around 11 am and killed every man. Any man who survived that attack must have not been around when they came. They also captured our women. Do you know that till today, nothing has been done? We are tired of begging (Nasir) El-Rufai to end these killings.”
In response, Jonathan Asake, the National President of SOKAPU, told Saturday PUNCH that the Federal Government must step in because the state government has demonstrated its complicity.
“On the June 5 attack, the villagers were already winning the battle against these militias before a white helicopter suddenly showed up in the sky and rained bullets on the helpless villagers. No terrorist died, but 32 villagers died. Now, the state government is telling us that the white helicopter came for a rescue mission of some sort. How is that even possible?
“An Evangelical Church Winning All Church was bombed and many other homes destroyed. I don’t know what the government wants us to say again. El-Rufai has said he will not pay any ransom. So, he has left us to our fate. How do we raise N100m to bail these villagers?
“We will involve the international community. We will write to the European Union, African Union, United Nations, Amnesty International and others that a war is going on in Southern Kaduna but is being neglected by the government of the day. We are dying every day; they should come to our aid.”