Army Knew About Southern Kaduna Attack But Did Nothing - Residents - 9jaflaver





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Army Knew About Southern Kaduna Attack But Did Nothing – Residents


Army Knew About Southern Kaduna Attack But Did Nothing – Residents

Some residents of Runji Village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State have told FIJ that officials of the Nigeria Army failed to act swiftly on information about the terrorist attack that claimed 34 lives on April 15.

Speaking with FIJ on Tuesday, the Runji residents expressed doubts about the soldiers’ sense of duty, having failed to protect them from such violent attacks.

The residents fingered neighbouring Fulani herdsmen as masterminds of the attack.

TERRORISTS SHOT, BURNT 34 AFTER RAMADAN FAST

“At about 8 pm, when I was sitting in the house, one of my elder brothers called me to say some Fulani herders said that they would attack our village when they break their [Ramadan] fast. So, I met with some youths to try to tell them what I had heard that evening,” Malik Hosea told FIJ on Tuesday.

Hosea added that his parents gave birth to him and watched him grow into a man in Runji. For this reason, they did not want him to leave them alone in the village.

Hosea explained that more village residents quickly passed information to one another over phone calls.

“As I returned, somebody else called me on the way to say they had heard a rumour that the Fulani would attack our village. About 30 minutes later, another caller told me an army captain had confirmed to him that some Fulani had left Zangon and were on their way to attack our village. Before this attack, we had been in some meetings with Fulani groups at the army base to talk about how to bring peace to these communities.

The same captain called someone else in our village and told him that the Fulani were coming. Not more than 30 minutes later, they were inside our village already. We heard gunshots and knew that the rumours were true. They burnt houses and cut people with machetes. They shot people and burnt their bodies inside their houses. We counted about 34 people who died in this attack.”

Hosea was one of many villagers who faulted the army for its delayed response. He accused the soldiers around Zangon Kataf of giving the violent attackers a headstart to brutalise his village.

The boy that the army called said the attackers had said they would be in the village very soon. So long as they had known that the Fulani were coming to attack us, they had a grace period. It was more than an hour since the initial rumour of a possible attack before the attack happened. Had the soldiers come quickly, they could have arrived before the attackers or at the same time as the attackers.

If this is not deliberate delay, if it isn’t an arrangement, they should have acted immediately they heard that the Fulani were coming to attack my village. These Fulani attackers got to our village and operated for over 30 minutes before the security operatives made it here. People had died already.

SOLDIERS ARE ‘NOT FOR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES’

Mamman Alkali, another resident of Runji Village, corroborated Hosea’s narration.

Alkali told FIJ that soldiers were present but did not offer any support. He claimed that the Fulani herders had killed several people in three separate attacks around Zangon Kataf in the past four months.

“I am from Zangon Kataf and that was the area where this attack happened. These types of attack have been happening in the past two or three years. We have been suffering from this same attack over and over again, different communities. This year alone, they have attacked us about three times,” Alkali told FIJ on Tuesday.

The first attack took 17 lives; eight people died in the second attack just a week after; and the third one, which is the recent one, had 33 people killed. We need prayers and support earnestly. They burnt down some houses. There are security operatives around but they are not for us; they are not for the Christian community. They will protect other communities with Muslim residents, but not ours.

We have been telling the government to remove the security here because they are not helping matters at all. It seems that they are supporting the Muslims and not the Christian community. They are with the army. We have asked that the government replace the soldiers stationed here with police officers, because the police are more faithful in their work.”

WHY KADUNA MASSACRES PERSIST

Both Hosea and Alkali told FIJ that the Fulani herders planned to take over Runji and other communities around Zangon Kataf by force.

The victims also told FIJ that they knew their assailants personally.

“They are trying to invade our land; they want to cover our land. The herders want to say that the land belongs to them so that we are seen as the second-class citizens. But this is not so. They are not the indigenes in this community; they only settled here many years ago,” Hosea said.

“The soldiers are fueling the violence because they are not supporting us. I live very close to the checkpoint and I can see that their approach was not to help us. They are not friendly to the Christian community at all. The community handles everything. The government acts like it doesn’t hear anything here and even the media is not allowed to make announcements related to these attacks.”

Alkali recalled a not-so-distant past when their attackers received shelter from the village they attacked on Saturday.

“What I have managed to understand from these Fulani is that they are not peacemakers. Some of these Fulani stayed with us in our villages. We sat together with them. We were once peaceful, but there was a riot at a time and not a single Fulani died in our village,” Alkali explained.

“We allowed them to stay in our village; we protected them; we fed them. They even laid in our beds before they left. What I want to tell the world is that all these Fulani who stayed in our village left for Zangon and stayed with some of the Hausa people there at a point. They now come from Zangon to attack other communities then return to Zangon each time.

“Even the government knows that these Fulani stay in Zangon and from Zangon they come out to attack our villages. Our local leaders have even spoken with the government and the government knows that these people are living in Zangon. They have not taken any legal action against these Fulani. The government is supporting them, or turning a blind eye, and that is why this insecurity is persisting.”

FIJ obtained footage that shows a man contributing to the incitement of violence in Zangon Kataf.

In Hausa, the man in this video appeared to be indoctrinating some students in a classroom in Zangon Kataf.

“Since those people have vowed to keep on killing our cattle, each time I go out to feed my cattle, I too have vowed that we will remain enemies with them forever. I will continue to go out with my cattle and I will come back safely. An average Kataf man is very wicked and doesn’t forgive. We too will take an eye. As they have not relented in killing our cattle, we will not relent in retaliation.”

FIJ contacted the Nigeria Army on April 19.

The inquiry FIJ sent to the army through its official query channel on its website had received no response at press time.

Source:- Fij






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