Suspected herdsmen write Ogun communities, threaten attack lWoman, 3 others escape from kidnappers in Plateau
By Ibrahim Hassan, Marie-Therese Nanlong, with agency report
No fewer than 28 persons have been reportedly killed by rampaging bandits in Southern Kaduna communities.
The bandits, who attacked the communities on Sunday night, also razed several houses.
The affected communities included Malagum 1 and Sokwong of Kagoro, in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Confirming the killings, the council Chairman, Mr Mathias Siman, said seven persons were gruesomely killed in Sokwong community and their houses completely razed.
Also, Speaker of Kaura LG, Mr Atuk Stephen, said over 22 persons were killed in the Malagum 1 community.
Killers still on prowl —CAN
Reacting, the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN said it is mourning the death of over 28 innocent defenceless people of the Mallagum community in the Kagoro area brutally slaughtered on Sunday night.
CAN chairman in the state, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, said “This massacre has further proven that the killers of the Southern Kaduna people have not yet been neutralized as claimed.
“The federal government and the security agencies must not let the killers escape. Those who committed this evil must be fished out, arrested, and brought to face justice.
“These renewed killings may be a strategy to scare the people from exercising their rights and to further increase fear and impoverish them.
“Accordingly, CAN condemns this barbaric act in the strongest terms but appealed for calm, calling on the government and security to rise to the duty of protecting lives and property.”
Kaduna govt condoles victims
On its part, the Kaduna State Government has sent heartfelt condolences to the Malagum and Sokwong communities in Kaura LGA.
Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said “the military and other security agencies reported that bandits attacked the locations and killed several citizens while burning houses and other properties.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai expressed deep sadness at the report of the incident and prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed, while offering condolences to their families. The Governor condemns the attacks as inhuman, considering the efforts of government, security forces, and the traditional institution and other critical stakeholders in the last one week.
“The Governor has also directed the State Emergency Management Agency , SEMA, to urgently provide relief materials to the communities.
“An urgent security intervention is being conducted by the Defence Headquarters Operation Safe Haven, as the Commander who is also the GOC 3 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Ibrahim Ali, and Sector 7 Commander, Colonel Timothy Opurum are presently in the location.
“The Kaduna State Government will make public further details on the incident as it receives feedback from the security forces.”
Scores killed in Zamfara
Meanwhile, several terrorists and some Nigerian Army personnel have been feared killed following an ambush by armed terrorists in Zamfara State.
The incident is said to have occurred on Sunday when the land troops were responding to distress calls from villagers, following a terrorist attack on Malele community within Mutumji district of Maru LGA.
It was gathered that the troops fought gallantly to repel the ambush, which led to the death of several terrorists and some men of the Nigerian Army.
Three gun-trucks belonging to the troops were said to have been set ablaze by the terrorists
According to the villagers, bandits from different camps in Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna states stormed Malele, Ruwan Tofa, Zaman Lafiya and other neighbouring communities under Dansadau Emirate because the communities refused to dialogue with the bandits.
A resident of Dansadau, Nuhu Dansadau, said as the residents learnt about the impending attacks, a distress call was put across to the security agencies who responded promptly.
Mr Dansadau said the joint security forces that came to the people’s aid, forced the terrorists to flee into the neighbouring Mutumji community.
He noted that during the course of repelling the attack, an airstrike of the Nigerian Airforce targeted at the terrorists group around Mutumji area dropped at a location within the community, killing several residents.
As of the time of filing this report, the authorities were yet to make a formal statement regarding the attack.
Herdsmen threaten Ogun communities
In a related development, suspected killer herders have allegedly written to residents of some communities in Ogun State, threatening to attack them.
The Ogun State Police Command, which confirmed the threat, yesterday, assured residents of adequate protection.
The herders’ letters were reportedly written to the residents of Asa, Agbon, Ibeku and Oja-Odan communities in Yewa-North LGA of Ogun State in English and Hausa languages.
The letter which was posted on a few walls in the communities has caused fear among the villagers as some are already considering relocating from their communities.
The suspected herdsmen in the letter informed the residents of their planned attack between December 2022 and January 2023.
The letter reads “Attention! Attention!! Attention!! to the following communities; Asa, Agbon, lbeku, Oja-Odan and its environs.
“You think you can send away our people from the land they bought in Nigeria, our fatherland. You killed our people, you killed their cows, you took over all their properties, you think you can go scot-free. It’s high time we came for revenge.
“All the above-mentioned communities’ leaders should prepare for the war between December and January. We are coming to take back our fathers’ properties.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the development.
Oyeyemi, however, assured the concerned communities of the command’s commitment to unravel those behind the act.
“I saw the letter purportedly written by a baseless group. We believe it is a baseless group that wrote the letter. We are not losing any sleep because no information is too small to take note of. We are not neglecting it.
4 escape from kidnappers
In the meantime, a brave woman in Plateau State fought off and escaped from kidnappers, alongside three other kidnap victims, before they were rescued by the Police.
The incident happened on December 15, as the victims who were on a journey from Abuja had their vehicles intercepted by the kidnappers somewhere in the Riyom local government area of Plateau State.
While some of the rescued victims were travelling to Borno and Gombe State, the lady, identified as Lucy Jeremiah, from Plateau State was heading to see her family in Mangu local government area of the State.
Speaking with journalists at the Police Headquarters in Jos, yesterday, Lucy in tears narrated her ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers.
She said: “My name is Lucy Jeremiah, we were coming from Abuja to Jos because I had a wedding to attend and I wanted to use the opportunity to spend Christmas at home. On reaching the Science School, Kuru, (Riyom LGA) although I was sleeping while the vehicle was on transit, I heard the car stop.
“When I opened my eyes, I saw a man with a gun at the door, he opened it and said we should give him our phones and money, selected four of us, and pushed us to the bush. They asked us to call our parents and demand for a million each. After the call, they pushed us further into the bush.
“They were nine of them while we were four and I was the only female. We didn’t trek for long before I asked the men to let us arrange how we could escape but they were afraid and discouraged the thought since we did not have anything to defend ourselves while the kidnappers had guns and knives.
“Some of the kidnappers moved ahead and left four to stay with us, as we were going, two of them were tired so we left them behind. The two of them walking with us were armed, one with a knife and the other with a gun. As we were walking, I told my colleagues again that we should try and escape because I don’t have the intention of following them to where they are taking us to.
“I told them that I will grab the person with the gun and when I do that, they should come and help me. Immediately I grabbed him, he shouted and the other one with a knife turned and ran towards me, trying to stab me in my stomach. When I turned, the knife injured me….” she could not say more as she was overwhelmed with emotion.
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