After hundreds of lives have been cut down by gunmen who are never apprehended, the crisis in Southern Kaduna is attracting reactions from within and outside the country. GODWIN ISENYO chronicles the issues in contention and efforts being made to end the massacre
For Paulina Ishaku, 52, life will never remain the same following an attack by suspected Fulani militiamen, which snuffed life out of her husband, who incidentally was the village head. The attackers brutally hacked him down after the bullets of the AK-47 rifles allegedly failed to penetrate.
The residence of the Ishakus was also razed when the attackers invaded their home at the Chibuak, Kaura Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State on July 10, 2020. The bloodthirsty killers did not spare his second wife as she was killed in her own apartment despite assurance by the killers that they were not after women. However, mother luck smiled on her daughter, who narrowly escaped with bullets lodged in her thigh.
The Ishakus were, however, lucky to have lost only two members of their family; James Jatau (not real name) lost five of his family members comprising his wife, three daughters and son to the killers.
The list of those with one experience or another to share over the Southern Kaduna killings is endless. Most of the victims are currently taking refuge in the many internally displaced persons’ camps spread across the length and breadth of the southern part of the state. The IDP camp in Zonkwa witnessed a daily surge of displaced persons without food or drugs to take care for their needs.
According to Jatau Mutum, a farmer, who has abandoned farming due to the repeated attacks on his community in Chibuak, it has not been rosy for many displaced persons in the camp, especially the elderly, nursing mothers and expectant mothers.
He said the shortage of food, drugs and other relief materials was imminent in the camp and urged generous-spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the IDPs.
According to the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, no less than 50 of its members were killed in just a week in July, while several houses were razed even under a strict 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government.
The government had in June imposed a curfew following unrest, which resulted in the killing of a teacher, who had gone to his farm and never returned. The development forced the government to impose the curfew on two chiefdoms in Zango-Kataf and Kaura local government areas because of the later’s proximity to Zango-Kataf. This, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said was to avert a possible breakdown of law and order and to stop the escalation of the crisis in the southern part of the state.