7 killed in a village near Godogodo as tension builds in Southern Kaduna
. . . Community alleges Fulani, army conspiracy.
By Our Reporter
Misisi, a quiet, Kaninkon, farming village about 7km from embattled Godogodo town, in Jema’a Local Government Area, LGA was attacked by armed men, on Thursday leaving the village head, John Zogo, 85, and six other death, acting Jema’a LGA Chairman, Dr. Humble Katuka, and a community representative confirmed to Saturday Vanguard yesterday evening.
The development has ignited tension in many communities in Southern Kaduna where alleged armed herdsmen have invaded communities and killed scores since July this year. Security has been beefed up in the major town of Kafanchan and police and army vans patrol villages in a show of strength.
Speaking on the tragedy, Katuka, who has relaxed a curfew imposed over Jema’a LGA yesterday, said: “I was briefed that the soldiers drafted to help secure this area noted that some youths were parading some locally made fire arms publicly. It was noted to the youths that the Pasakori axis was notorious for armed robbery and other criminalities and as such, they should show restrain in displaying their weapons.
“A meeting was then scheduled by one Major Mbaim (full names not given) who is the in-charge of the soldiers on ground. The meeting was between the Army, and the villagers especially the youths and it was about their weapons.
“It was in Misisi village. I was told that as soon as they went into the talks, there were gun shots into the village. Everyone scampered for safety including the soldiers. The shooting lasted, according to what I was told, less than 15 minutes. At the end six people were killed, including the village head, and 16 houses were burnt. Some of the gun men were said to be wearing what looked like Army uniform.
“The Hilux belonging to the Army was shot at. Those who survived said even the soldiers were fighting back for their lives. They said it was not true that it was the soldiers that turned their guns on the villagers. That it was mis-information. I have been touch with Lt. Col Bello (full names not disclosed) and he affirmed the same. He is the officer in charge of the troops in Jema’a. It was an unfortunate incident.”
But, the Kaninkon Development Association, KADA, in a Press Statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Kaduna said 7 person were killed, and that it was a conspiracy between the Nigeria army and the invaders.
The stamen signed by its National Chairman, Mr Waje Goska Williams, gave the names of the victims as: John Zogo, 85, (the Village Head); Yakubu Abuja, 80; Adamu Bulus, 30 and Majhe Audu, 50. The rest were: Karu Amos, 42; Confidence Kibadu, 29 and Kurma Amo, 44.
Part of the stamen reads: “This attack is clearly pre-planned and there seems to be a clear conspiracy on the part of the Government and Army and Security agents to look the other way while the killings and destructions are going on. It is clearly a plan of genocide against the Kaninkon people.
“Kaninkon Chiefdom is one of the ethnic groups in Southern Kaduna in northern Nigeria that was not conquered by the Fulani Jihad of the early Nineteenth century. These attacks are clearly an attempt at achieving what they did not achieve by the Jihad.
“On this day, 27th October, 2016 a group of men in army uniforms came to Ungwar Misisi Village and called the Village Head, Mr. John Zogo and the elders of the village for what they claimed to be security briefing on the situation in the area. As soon as the soldiers came and started discussing with the Village Head and the elders, our people heard gun shots in the outskirts of the village and these same soldiers then shot and killed the Village Head and some others in the house of the Village Head and fled. They did not stay to defend the village. The whole village was burnt down and those who managed to escape are now internally displaced persons. Those that were killed in the attacks are.”
When the Spokesman, 1 Mechanised Division, Nigeria Army, Kaduna from where the soldiers were deployed was contacted, he said he was going to reach to the officers in charge in Jema’a and that he would reach back to our reporter with his findings. Four hours later, he did not pick Saturday Vanguard’s calls up to the time of going to Press.
But, Kaduna State Police Spokesman, ASP Aliyu Usman, affirmed the tragedy, but said he was given a casualty figure of 4.
“I was informed that four people were killed. We are working at getting the criminals,” he said.