John Shiklam in Kaduna
No fewer than 17 people have been killed in an attack by gunmen in Ungwan Wakili, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
The attack believed to be a reprisals was said to have occurred on Saturday at about 8:40pm.
Security sources said before the attack, “there had been series of complaints of cow poisoning and destruction of farm produce by both herders and locals in the area.”
He said, “We have been resolving these issues, but what escalated the problem was the killing of a Fulani herder four days ago in Ungwan Juju, apparently in retaliation for the killing of one of the locals sometime in February.”
It was learnt that the situation was further compounded on Saturday afternoon following a clash between security operatives and some herders riding on motorcycles at a check point in Ungwan Wakili.
A police man and a herder were said to have lost their lives during the clash.
Sources said the security situation, which was being managed following the clash, got out of hand as the security personnel at the checkpoint allegedly pulled out, leading to the attack on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Kaduna State, Jonathan Asake, has condemned the incident describing it as barbaric.
In a statement yesterday, Asake called on residents of the area to remain calm and avoid taking the laws into their hands, even as he expressed condolences with families of the victims and prayed for the repose of their souls.
Asake called on Governor Nasir El- Rufai, to address the incessant killings in Zangon Kataf LGA and other parts of the state, and lamented a “situation where innocent old men and women as well as little children would be attacked and killed in their sleep.”
Stressing that “such barbaric acts should never be condone in any sane society under the rule of law,” the LP guber candidate urged the Kaduna State government to bring the perpetrators to justice so as to serve as deterrence to other criminal elements in the society.
“It is only when the long arms of the law catches up with criminality that criminals would fear commiting crimes,” he said, while appealing to communities in the area to live in peace and harmony with each other irrespective of ethnicity and religion.