John Shiklam in Kaduna
After the return of relative peace in the southern part of Kaduna State, unidentified gunmen on Sunday, invaded Angwan Pah village, Jama’a Local Government Area, killing 14 people.
About 20 others were also said to have sustained injuries from gunshots and were rushed to hospitals.
The incident was said to have occurred Sunday night at about 7:45 p.m. when the victims were at a wedding ceremony.
One of the leaders in the community who pleaded anonymity, said on arrival at the community, the gunmen, numbering about 10, started shooting sporadically at the women and children who were at the wedding programme.
According to him, 10 people were killed on the spot while five others later died at the Kafanchan General Hospital.
Speaking in a telephone interview, he said “there was a wedding that took place in the community and the celebration lasted till evening as people, mostly women and children were dancing.
“At about 7:45p.m. or so, the gunmen, about 10 of them, I cannot precisely say, came and started shooting sporadically at the crowd.
“Everybody was terrified at the sound of gunshots and ran for safety. Unfortunately 15 people died as a result of the attack. Ten of them died on the spot while five died yesterday (Monday) in the hospital.
“We are really shocked by this development because we assumed that peace has returned to our communities.”
He called on the Kaduna State Government and security agencies to fish out perpetrators of this evil act so as to avoid yet another crisis in Southern Kaduna.
Also reacting to the attack in a statement, a member of House of Representatives, representing Jama’a/Sanga federal constituency, Hon. Shehu Nicholas Garba, said the attack was an affront on the fragile peace that is being nurtured.
He noted that there had been brewing crisis in recent times between indigenous fulanis and some communities in the area, which led to the killings of 12 people.
According to the lawmaker, “frantic efforts were made by the local authorities, including notable leaders within the communities to contain the situation and prevent it from escalating.
“These efforts included bringing the Military Task Force, which has a unit in Jagindi Tasha into the matter. Sadly, it is now obvious that we are confronted with yet another unexpected tragedy,” he said.
Commiserating with the injured victims and families of the bereaved, Garba urged the community to be calm, law-abiding and vigilant while security personnel are mobilised to fish out the cultprits.
“Our communities were denied the joy of Christmas celebration last year. We should refuse to be pushed into taking retaliatory measures which the enemy wants to exploit to deny us yet another Christmas and New Year celebrations and perhaps peaceful elections next year.
“I urge the security establishments to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act for the law to take its cause and also reinforce its presence in these communities to restore confidence,” the lawmaker said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the police was abortive as the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Yakubu Sabo, did not respond to phone calls and a text message sent to his mobile phone.