Gunmen kill 11 in Kaduna
John Shiklam in Kaduna and Daji Sani in Yola
A fresh crisis involving Fulani herdsmen and villagers at Kodomun village in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State has claimed 15 lives and left many injured.
An eyewitness revealed that Fulani herdsmen unleashed terror attack on Kodomun village and some neighbouring villagers on Monday at about 6p.m. when the villagers were resting after a burial of an old woman.
The crisis had started in January this year involving the herdsmen and Koh community which is a few leading to Kodomun village, resulting to the killing of many farmers including a police officer who was the Divisional Police Officer(DPO) of Vonokilang Division under Girei Local Government Area in the state.
Some villagers who escaped from the area by whisker told journalists that the figure might be much higher as scores of others are still missing in the hinterland.
“15 dead bodies were recovered for now,” he said.
The Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brigadier General Benson Akiroluyo, state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ghazzali, and state Deputy Governor, Mr. Martins Babable, yesterday visited the area for an on-the-spot assessment of the troubled area.
The trio had earlier visited the paramount ruler of Batta, Hamman Batta, Chief Alhamdu Teneke to commiserate with him on the incident.
Speaking with journalists at the palace of the Hamman Batta, a member representing Demsa Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Lumsan Dilli, disclosed that the causality figures given by the villagers was higher.
According to him, some people were declared missing and most of them are presumed dead.
The lawmaker added that the migrating herdsmen continued to kill, maim and burn villages as they move from one destination to the other for grazing, adding that the dead bodies unaccounted for are more than the ones that had been recovered.
Mr. Lumsan Dilli called for serious security intervention to prevent the situation from degenerating to a full blown war as the affected villagers are mobilising for reprisal attack.
Also speaking to journalists, the Chairman of Demsa Local Government Area, Mrs. Wale Fwa, who was just sworn-in yesterday, regretted that her first assignment in office was to contend with herdsmen/farmers clash.
The council chairman announced that a newly elected councillor for the area, Mr. Hani Habila, was among the victims of the crisis, saying that over 40,000 people had been rendered homeless by the attack.
Mr. Wale Fwa disclosed that council in conjunction with security agencies and the traditional institution are making frantic efforts for possible dialogue among the warring groups.
The state police commissioner, Mohamed Ghazzali and Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brigadier General Akiroluyo called for serious caution in handling civil unrest.
The two security chiefs stated that they are watching the situation for possible next line of action.
Eleven people were reportedly killed with several others injured when gun men believed to be fulani herdsmen invaded three villages in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The villages according to sources include Gada Biyu, Akwa’a and Anguwan Anjo.
Giving details of the attacks in a telephone interview, sources disclosed that in Gada Biyu, six men and three women were killed, while in Akwa’a and Angwan Anjo, two men were killed.
According to the source who is a resident of one of the villages and who does not want his name in print, “Fulani men in a large number invaded Gada Biyu, 2 km from Godogodo around 6.00 am on Monday morning and started shooting and burning down houses.
“People fled in different directions. However, the police were quick to arrive and the invaders fled into the bushes. “Four people were killed that day. Today (Tuesday) after combing the bushes five more corpses were found.
“When the killers escaped from Gida Biyu, they resurfaced at Akua’a this morning and killed two people. But they did not burn any house there. The Police arrived on time again, and they ran away again. But this afternoon they appeared at Agwan Anjo and started shooting.
“But by this time people have fled the village, and the police also arrived promptly. However, about an hour after the police went to get some food in the town, the gun men launched another attack again.
“We believe that the motive of the attack is to displace us and take over our lands. We are hoping that the military will join the police because we are sure that they will return, or even attack Godogodo town where our women and children are taking refuge. We need urgent help.”
The spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aliyu Usman, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident, saying that although he was yet to get any details of the attack, the situation had been brought under control.