Gunmen kill 35, kidnap 58 in Kaduna
No fewer than 35 people have been reportedly killed and another 58 abducted after suspected bandits invaded 10 communities in Chikun and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas of Kaduna state. The gunmen were said to have invaded the villages and carried out the attacks on January 6, and subsequently demanded the payment of N100 million ransom for the release of their victims. The attacks had caused some residents to panic and flee their homes and are now taking refuge in government schools and other communities. Speaking when the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Jonathan Asake, visited victims of the attack at a school, one Habila Noma, a clergyman said the bandits had called to say, “we must produce N100 million as ransom if we want to have them alive”. He alleged that the suspects were herdsmen, who have been attacking the villages persistently and “would graze on our crops and threaten to kill us if we protest. Sometimes, when they attack and take captives, we will manage and pay ransom. Even after paying, sometimes they kill the victims. But the attack that took place on January 6, 2020, was the worst, they killed a total of 35 people and kidnapped a total of 58 people from 10 villages’. He listed the affected villages to include Badna, Zankoro, Hayin, Damisa, Unguwan Badole, Badimi, Kuderi and Unguwan Doma in Chukun Local Government Area while others include Rumana Gbagyi, Rumana Hausa and Malomo in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area. According to him, the invaders came in hundreds and were well armed. Addressing journalists during the visit, Asake asked the government and international community to come to the aid of the victims. He said, “As you can see from the way these people are, they are seriously traumatized and need immediate assistance to be able to have a semblance of living. “We have been told that the suspected bandits destroyed all their farm produce and also destroyed their houses, leaving them with nothing to call their own. Here at Ungwar Beji, there are about 200 of them with no food, beds or clothes while we were also told that about 8,000 of them had converged on Buruku with nothing with them. Worst of all, most of the children are sick. This calls for concern of all people of goodwill to come to their aid in any kind to give them hope of survival before steps could be taken on the area of their education.