•My 70-year-old grandfather killed in my presence — Victim
•Says, I was also shot but miraculously survived
By Ibrahim Hassan Wuyo
Residents of Apyioj, in Zangon Kataf area of Southern Kaduna state will never forget the night gunmen stormed their community, killing, maiming, burning and looting. It was as if they were watching a horror film but it was real.
For four hours, the killers who were magnanimous to spare the women and children had a field day without any molestation. Women were wailing, children were crying, the domestic animals who were violently roused from sleep by the murderous visitors were running
helter-skelter. The community had been turned upside down. When the dust finally settled, the community was left to bury seven of their loved ones including a 70-year-old grandfather.
The grandson of the deceased, Jethro Joshua, who was also shot during the attack but miraculously survived to tell the story said five members of his family alone, including the patriarch, Papa Gora Mba Aboi, were slaughtered by the killers.
On his hospital bed in Kaduna, the survivor of the attack, Jethro narrated how the attack was carried out.
“My name is Jethro Joshua, I am 26 years old and completed my secondary education in 2014. The gunmen who attacked our village came from Zangon Kataf. They were more than 100, they came at night on foot through the bush path behind our community, wearing black clothes. They were armed with sophisticated guns and immediately they arrived, they started shooting sporadically.
“Some of them looked like Fulani, others looked like Hausa and so on. Curfew was imposed on our area, so we were not allowed to go anywhere. They carried big guns, the type that will be releasing bullets rapidly. It was with that type of gun that they shot me, the bullet penetrated my leg and went out through the skin.
“They looked horrible in black clothes. They were many, some were talking in Hausa, some in Fulani, and in different languages. I was with my 70-year-old grandfather when the gunmen came. They shot and killed him in my presence. I did not try to run away at first, it was when I was also shot on the leg that I tried to escape with the injured leg because it was bleeding. I managed to run away with an injured leg and escaped like that. I later met some people who helped me, they took me to the ECWA clinic where I was attended to. They later came and moved me to Kaduna but I’m recovering gradually, I’m managing to walk now.
“During the attack, they killed seven people and among the seven, five were members of my family. Apart from my grandfather, they also killed my uncle,Victor Usman, my elder brother, Innocent Joseph and my two younger brothers, Ezekiel and Joshua. In another family, they killed two people also but I don’t know why they killed more in my family.
“They killed only men. They even said they would not kill women. The women were just wailing and crying as well as children. As they unleashed terror on us, no single security operative came. Maybe after the attack, they came I would not know because I was in the clinic. The killers were in our community for four hours, they were killing, burning houses and looting. After leaving our village, the gunmen also went to a neighbouring community but I would not know the casualty there”,
The atmosphere in the village has become tense that some residents have left the community while others who were still remaining slept with one of their eyes open for fear of another attack.
According to Jethro, “no form of assistance has been rendered to those who are still in the village. I called the village, even today (Wednesday) they told me there was nothing, no single security agent to guard them. Some have left, others are still in the village, the attack has affected us so badly. Before the attack, our women used to go to the farm, but now, even men are scared, nobody is enthusiastic about farming activities again. Wallahi, (I swear to God), we are afraid”.