Gunmen kill seven in Southern Kaduna

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani militia on Thursday night reportedly invaded Agwala Magayaki of Doka Avong in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing seven persons, including an 85-year-old man. Some locals have been declared missing.

Several houses were also razed during the attack.

This was just as the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, earlier on Thursday said banditry attacks were occurring everywhere in the North-West states of the country. He, however, said the attacks in Southern Kaduna were laced with ethnic and religious colourations.

Giving the details of the latest attacks, a source told said that apart from those killed, scores were injured during the attack which took place at about 8pm when the villagers were sleeping.

The deceased had since been given mass burial while those who sustained varying degrees of injuries were admitted to the Idon General Hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.

Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen attacked the villagers with guns and machetes.

This was fourth in the series of attacks launched by suspected Fulani militia on Southern Kaduna communities in Kaura and Zango-Kataf local government areas of the state.

Recently, gunmen invaded Kukum-Daji village in Kaura Local Government Area at about 10pm and killed no fewer than 21 people at a wedding, mostly youths.

In another attack that took place last Monday in Gora Gan in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, 10 people were killed, while on Wednesday, five people were killed in an attack on Kizachi-Chawai community, Kauru Local Government Area.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command has yet to confirm the fresh attacks.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, did not take his calls or reply to a text message sent by our correspondent.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party minority caucus of the Kaduna State House of Assembly has said both the federal and state governments are not doing enough to stop the killings in the southern part of the state.

Emmanuel Kantiok, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers at a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat in Kaduna on Friday, said the citizens of Southern Kaduna whose lives were cut short deserved the President’s empathy.

“How would the government explain the killings in Zangon Kataf during a state government-imposed 24-hour curfew?” he asked, adding that it was high time the government deployed security operatives to unmasked the perpetrators of the killings.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the Presidency’s press statement dated July 21, 2020, on the spate of attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna which was signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.

“The Presidency must accept that it has failed woefully in its primary duty of the protection of lives and property. Sadly, it is also failing to demonstrate empathy as a basic instinct required in the art of governance, especially in troubled times.

“The Presidency’s statement is most unfortunate under a democratic dispensation that should hold and fulfil the promise of how inviolable and sacred human life is.

“Garba Shehu and his co-travellers need not be reminded that the first duty of every President is the security and protection of the citizens of the country, irrespective of their inclination. It is, indeed, the whole duty of the President.”

Also, a former member of the House of Representatives, Sunday Marshall-Katung, said the Presidency should accept its failure on the killings and destruction of property in Southern Kaduna.