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Bandits kidnap 45 worshippers from Kaduna church, demand N200m

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The umbrella of the Southern Kaduna ethnic nationality, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has raised the alarm over the renewed insecurity in the area following the alleged abduction of 45 worshippers in a church in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state by bandits suspected to be Fulani militia.

In a statement on Tuesday, President of SOPAKU, Awemi Dio Maisamari, said people living in Southern Kaduna have “no breathing space for as terrorists, jihadists, bandits and armed herdsmen have continued to plunder and wreak communities in the southern part of the state.”

Maisamari said apart from the abduction of the worshippers which occurred during a night vigil service on Saturday, the Kasuwan Magani community has been under siege for weeks with the government and security agencies doing or saying nothing to come to the aid of the people.

Part of the statement made available to Ripples Nigeria reads:

“With no measure in place to forestall a recurrence, the terrorists stormed the Cherubim and Seraphim Church during a night vigil programme at the Bayan Kasuwa quarters of Kasuwan Magani town at midnight.

“They succeeded in carting away more than 60 people from the church and neighbouring houses. However, they could not take all of them away because some were little children, too aged or had health challenges.

“While retreating with their captors to their camps, they attacked Janwuriya village, a few kilometres from Kasuwan Magani and abducted two more persons. As of now, 45 persons have so far been confirmed.

“But September 19, 2022, they made contact with some persons in the town via phone calls and claimed that only 40 persons were held by them. They demanded a ransom of N200 million, but the negotiation is ongoing.

Read also: Bandits takeover Kaduna communities, block highway, seize travelers, vehicles

“We don’t know the identity or the fate of the five missing persons yet. In other communities in Kajuru and Chikun LGAs, the occupying terrorists cohabit with the locals where the locals are treated like captives.

“They are terrorised at will, making it difficult or impossible for them to till or harvest their farms. As a result, most early maturing crops are left to rot on the farm. This is a daily experience in most occupied communities in Southern Kaduna.

“In view of the above, SOKAPU wishes to express profound sympathy to indigenous communities and peaceful Fulani herdsmen affected by this cruelty. We are calling on all communities not to let down their guards at this critical moment.

“Let us arise and prevent the last minutes of the devastation of our dear people and our precious ancestral homeland. We will definitely survive this ill wind, and even thrive once more in the land of our birth allotted to us by the Almighty,” the group said.

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