The Punch

Reps demand military presence as SOKAPU says herdsmen victims hit 40

- Leke Baiyewu and Godwin Isenyo

THe House of Representa­tives has decried the incessant attacks by bandits on communitie­s in Kaduna State, even as the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union says the death toll from the continued onslaughts on Zangokataf communitie­s by bandits has risen from 33 to 40.

The House urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitari­an Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Developmen­t and the National emergency Management Agency as well as other relevant agencies to immediatel­y provide relief materials to the affected victims of the “ceaseless and violent attacks in Zango-kataf Local Government Area.”

The House also urged the Federal Government to “immediatel­y deploy more military personnel and intelligen­ce operatives to assist and complement the Operation Safe Haven task force in Zangokataf and other LGAS in the southern part of the State.

It also urged the government to establish a military command, battalion and/or brigade in Zangokataf.

The lawmaker representi­ng the Zango-kataf/jaba Federal Constituen­cy in the House, Amos Magaji, moved a motion that was unanimousl­y adopted at the plenary on Wednesday, titled: ‘Need to Curtail the Ceaseless Armed Bandit Attacks in Zangokataf Local Government’.

Magaji said, “The House notes the resumed, ceaseless and wanton destructio­n of properties and farmlands, cold-hearted killings, countless kidnapping­s, boundless cattle rustling and ferocious burning of houses of residents and communitie­s in the Zango-kataf LGA of Kaduna State by alleged bandits.

“The House also notes that while people of the affected communitie­s were beginning to heave sighs of relief as bandit attacks had gone down considerab­ly, with minor isolated cases carried out, the situation has gone back to its usual dangerous and frightenin­g state of regular and daily incidents.”

The lawmaker recalled that on July 4, 2021, bandits attacked Katsit community in Kafanchan, killed two persons, inflicted severe injuries on no fewer than 10 others, destroyed farmlands and property in the midnight raid, saying, “Such attacks have been a regular and permanent fixture in the entire Zango-kataf LGA.”

He also noted that due to the resumed attacks and activities of the bandits, the people of Zangokataf, having lost their kith and kin, farmlands, houses and property worth hundreds of millions of naira, “now live in perpetual fear and anxiety, leading to massive economic deprivatio­n, trauma and eventually health challenges.”

On its part, SOKAPU said the death toll from the recent onslaughts on Zango-kataf communitie­s had risen 40.

This was contained in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Zangon Kataf violence: Death toll hits 40, with seven churches, 254 homes burnt – SOKAPU’, by the spokesman for the body, Mr Luka Binniyat.

Binniyat said in the latest attack, bandits invaded two villages in Zango-kataf, Magata and Magori, killing a father and son, and burnt eight houses as well as a Catholic church in the area.

He also said five persons were murdered in Badawa, a farming community close to River Kaduna, while several houses were razed and 45 cows rustled.

The statement read in part, “For the seventh day running, nightly siege on Atyap community has continued with the death toll, number of churches and homes burnt rising.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), July 13, 2021, two persons were killed as armed Fulani herdsmen invaded Magata and Magori villages in the Atyap Chiefdom, Zangonkata­f Local Government Area in Southern Kaduna.

“The father and son were killed in Magata, where the assailants also burnt eight homes and the Catholic church in the village. The attackers then moved to the next village, Magori, but met a deserted place.

“They took their time, looted the village and loaded their bounty into the five Hilux vans they were driving and burnt down all the 19 houses in the small village.

“The attackers then returned to Makarau that was attacked on Monday and burnt down the ECWA and Anglican churches, whose two pastors’ homes were burnt in last Monday afternoon’s attacks.”

It added, “Meanwhile, our members of the Amawa ethnic nationalit­ies, who settled in an Atyap community called Badawa, a remote farming community close to the banks of River Kaduna under the Gora ward, reported that five of their kinsmen were killed and 12 homes burnt and 45 cows rustled on July 11, 2021 after they were attacked by armed herdsmen.

“This brings to 40 the number of persons killed, 254 homes and seven churches burnt in an unbroken and unrestrain­ed violence unleashed on poor, armless and innocent farmers in Atyap Chiefdom by armed herdsmen in the past seven days.”

When contacted, the state police command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, could not be reached as his telephone rang out.

 ??  ?? •L-R Mr Olabode Lamidi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Yemi Ayoola, Chairman, Ikeja District Society of ICAN, Mrs Taibat Malomo; and Vice Chairman, IDSICAN, Mr Olusesan Okunade, during a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Ministry of Finance… on Tuesday. Photo: Lagos State Ministry of Finance
•L-R Mr Olabode Lamidi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Yemi Ayoola, Chairman, Ikeja District Society of ICAN, Mrs Taibat Malomo; and Vice Chairman, IDSICAN, Mr Olusesan Okunade, during a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Ministry of Finance… on Tuesday. Photo: Lagos State Ministry of Finance

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