John Shiklam in Kaduna
Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen were reported to have invaded two communities in Kaduna State, killing one person while 17 others were abducted.
Both incidents were said to have occurred in the early hours of yesterday when the bandits invaded ECWA Church Dankande village, Dogon Dawa area, Birnin Gwari Birnin Local Government Area (LGA) and Guguwa-Kwate village, Rigasa area in Igabi LGA of the state.
The incident in Dankande was said to have occurred at about 12.30 a.m. when the bandits, surrounded the church, where a choir practice was ongoing.
An eyewitness who spoke in a telephone interview with THISDAY in Kaduna, said the hoodlums forced everybody to lie down on the floor while all mobile phones were seized at gunpoint.
He said “it was at about 12.30 a.m. around midnight. We had a combined choir practice in the church with other neighbouring communities. We normally hold the combine choir practice from 9.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m.
“As we were in the church, Fulani herdmen, numbering over 20 just surrounded the church and started shooting. “Everybody was terrified, but there was no way we could run because they had already surrounded the church. They were asking for the pastor’s house and they threatened to shoot us if we don’t show them the house.
“Some of them went to the pastor’s house while others kept watch over us.
“They abducted the pastor’s daughter and 14 others – 10 girls and five men were abducted”.
“We later reported the incident to the soldiers that were stationed at Dogon Dawa”.
The attack in Guguwa-Kwate village was said to have also occurred some few minutes after midnight.
A community leader in the area who pleaded anonymity said the bandits were Fulani herdsmen, numbering about 30 and were armed with guns and machetes.
He said they were shooting indiscriminately and they killed his senior brother’s son.
“They entered one house and were beating people. They kidnapped one man and a woman in the house.
The killed my senior brother’s son”.
According to him, it was the fifth time the bandits were invading the community.
“This is the fifth time these bandits were invading our community. About two months ago, they abducted two people in the farm. The other person was killed even after we paid them ransom.”
He said the community had reported all the incidents to the police, but there seemed to be no respite as the herdsmen continued to terrorise the village.
”We are helpless because there is nothing we can do other than to report to the police when such incidents happened. We have no arms and we cannot stand them, we are just at their mercy because they are well armed and they always come in large numbers,” he explained.
Efforts to contact the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mr. Yakubu Sabo on the matter were unsuccessful as his mobile phone was switched off.