In the last six years, not less than 518 people were killed by rampaging terrorists and bandits while over 20 communities were displaced in Kaduna South, Kaduna State, according to the President of Atyap Community Development Association, Samuel Achi.
Achi who disclosed this while addressing a World Press Conference in Samaru Kataf, said attacks in southern Kaduna since 2017 have led to the gruesome murder of several locals, thousands forced to become refugees while 18 villages were completely burnt down by the criminal elements.
Achi said the armed militias with the collaboration of local Fulani herders, aided and sheltered by the Hausa community in Zangon Urban, persistently attacked, killed and burned down homes in Atyap Chiefdom with the aim of taking over their land.
The CDA President also indicted security agencies in the state of not doing enough to checkmate the activities of the bandits and not responding to distress calls on time.
He particularly accused the Sector Commander, Operation Safe Haven in Southern Kaduna, Brigadier General Timothy Opurum, of alleged complicity, saying the military drafted to provide security in the area were not helping matters.
Achi alleged that instead of performing their primary assignment of securing lives and properties of the communities, the military were selective by taking sides with the herdsmen.
“This is evident in the 2023 First Quarter Security Report presented to the Kaduna State Government by the Sector Commander,” he said.
“In his doctored submission, the Sector Commander gave an unbalanced, lopsided report and was very economical with facts which prompted the governor to note with concern the continued failure of the traditional and community leaders in Zangon Kataf Chiefdom to prevent resort to self-help by recalcitrant youths, and I assure you that we will take some actions to send a message in this regard.
“His report did not convey the positive role played so far by the Traditional Council and other community leaders in dissipating the conflicts.
“The Executive Chairman of Zango Kataf Local Government Area, Hon. Francis Sani (Zimbo) has called on the Federal Government and the International Community to come to the aide of the vulnerable Communities.
“He said the displaced persons are in dire need of medical assistance to help treat their ailments and rebuild their burnt communities.
“We call on our people to exercise their natural, fundamental and constitutional right of self defence against any further unprovoked attacks.
“We also want to make it very clear that henceforth, any attack on any of our communities will attract a total no-go area for rearing cows,” Achi vowed.
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