30 houses razed down, several wounded
Buhari, el-Rufai condemn attack, call for peace
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and John Shiklam in Kaduna
Armed bandits suspected to be Fulani herdsmen yesterday attacked Nandu-Gbok village in Sanga Local Government Area (LGA), Kaduna State, killing at least 10 persons.
Besides death cases recorded due to the attack, THISDAY findings also revealed that the armed bandits razed down about 30 houses in the same community.
Similar attacks on many communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state in the fortnight had claimed over 100 lives with hundreds of residents displaced.
A resident, who spoke with THISDAY in confidence, said Nandu-Gbok was attacked at about 4:00 a.m yesterday, claiming that the gunmen laid siege to the community.
The resident explained that the bandits, who were in large number and armed with guns, machetes and sticks, started shooting sporadically on arrival to the community.
He said, “Gunshot woke all the residents at about 4:00 a.m. There was confusion. Everybody was running to the bush. They set houses ablaze. At least, ten persons were killed; some people were burnt to death; many others were injured and some residents are still missing.”
A member of House of Representatives, Hon. Nicholas Garba confirmed the killing on the community in a statement he personally issued yesterday, condemning the gruesome murder of the villagers and describing it as barbaric and callous.
Garba, currently representing Sanga-Jama’a Federal Constituency, noted that the attack on Nandu-Gbok occurred when victims of the massacres in communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state were being mourned.
He said, “We woke up this morning to the sad news of an attack by gunmen on Nandu Gbok, a community in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State. “About 10 bodies have been recovered and about 30 Houses confirmed burnt down.
“That the latest attack is coming while we are mourning and trying to deal with the devastating massacre wrought on the Adara People in Kajuru LGA has, once again, brought to the fore the plight of the indigenous people of Southern Kaduna.” The lawmaker noted that the Sanga Local Government Chairman and other stakeholders were assessing and trying to deal with the unfortunate situation.
While sympathising the families of the victims, the lawmaker appealed “to communities in the area to remain calm and not to contemplate any reprisal.”
He equally appealed “to security agencies in the state to reinforce their presence in Sanga, especially in the affected community with the aim of stopping further attack and fishing out the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
The lawmaker, also, urged then Sanga Local Government Council and the Kaduna State Government for immediate provision of relief materials to the displaced victims.
“The renewed and ferocious attacks on communities in southern Kaduna call for the urgent attention of the nation and the international community. Our communities are helpless and are pleading that all persons of conscience should speak out.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mr. Yakubu Sabo did not respond to phone calls; neither did he reply WhatsApp messages seeking the reaction of the command on the attack.
Before the latest attack, the police spokesman has not been forthcoming with information on the persistent attacks, especially, on communities in Kajuru LGA.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on the Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu last nigh, President Muhammadu Buhari urged perpetrators of communal and persistent violence in Kaduna State to realise that mutual violence had no winners, but losers on both sides of the conflict.
The president said he was “deeply troubled by the fact that sanctity of life is now treated with such reckless disregard that people derive joy in shedding the blood of others or perceived
he lamented that inhumanity “has replaced compassion in the hearts and minds of the perpetrators of these atrocities. No responsible leader would go to bed happy to see his citizens savagely killing one another on account of ethnic and religious bigotry.”
The statement said Buhari insisted that “violence cannot be the solution to these persistent conflicts as long as people resort to deliberate provocations, revenge and counter revenge.”
Buhari observed that while the federal government “remains committed to protecting its citizens, the communities involved must also put their shoulders to the wheel in order to find a lasting solution.”
The president remarked that “lack of cooperation by those involved might frustrate government’s efforts towards finding a lasting solution, especially if those efforts are politicised.”
The president warned that if the people resisted government’s efforts to hold the perpetrators and their sponsors accountable, it would be very difficult to bring the violence to a permanent end.”
Buhari regretted that everything “is politicised in Nigeria, including the efforts to bring offenders to justice, because their people will rise up in arms to resist their arrests and prosecution.”
Describing hate, bigotry and prejudice as deadly poisons that have infected the human psyche on such scale, the president said people “now do not have any moral inhibitions about taking life.”
The president appealed to the warring communities to stop inhibiting the National Emergency Management Agency’s efforts to deliver food, medicines and temporary shelter to the victims of the violence who are in urgent need of assistance.”
Also in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Samuel Aruwan yesterday, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai condemned the killing by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Nandu Gbok village in Sanga Local Government Area of the state.
El-Rufai commiserated with the survivors and the families of the victims of the incident after being briefed by the security agencies.
He said the Kaduna State Government “has been briefed by the security agencies on the killing of nine persons by criminal elements who attacked Nandu village in Sanga LGA in the early hours of Saturday.
“The security agencies have so far recovered nine corpses, including children. The attackers also burnt several houses in the village. The government condemns this attack on the live and security of citizens and appeals to our communities to resist those who do not want peace.
El-Rufai said the state government, security agencies, traditional and religious institutions “will continue to work towards sustainable peace. In this moment of grief, we must come together todefeat the machinations of those who have no notion of respect for the lives of others.
“Violence has left an unacceptable toll of death and injury, loss of livelihoods, pain and fear. We must overcome this by respecting our common humanity, settling differences peacefully and promptly reporting threats and
suspicions to the appropriate authorities. Evil will never triumph over our common humanity.
“Security agencies have been deployed in the area and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been directed to immediately provide relief materials to the affected community.”