From Femi Oyelola Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has raised concern over what it described as the alarming and unrelenting impunity with which several Gbagyi communities in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state on its boundary with Niger state are being invaded by armed bandits and kidnappers.
SOKAPU, in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday called on the public and the government to take particular note of the past five days in which the villages of Kuduru, Tawali, Unguwan Madaki and Katarma, all under Chikun Local Government Area, close to the border between Kaduna and Niger states have been under severe attacks by armed bandits and kidnappers numbering over 200, riding on motorcycles and heavily armed with AK-47 rifles.
The statement which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of SOKAPU, Mr. Luka Binniyat further states; “These invaders, who took the villagers by storm and went only in the wee hours of the night, had continued to kill, maim, destroy, loot, sacked and occupy these villages with impunity.”
Binniyat noted that before the election and inauguration of the present National leadership of SOKAPU, it was informed about the humongous violent crimes committed against several Gbagyi communities in Chukun Local Government Area, stressing that it however curious that it received little or no mention in the media over the years for the public to know of the level of atrocities going on there.
SOKAPU noted that all the youths in the communities could do, was to reduce the level of casualty by assisting to evacuate women, children and the infirmed into nearby bushes carrying little or nothing with them in terms of food and clothing.
The statements states; “After days in the bushes, the beleaguered victims have found their ways to Sarkin Pawa town, in Niger State, trekking for days and crossing by canoe to their neighbours in Niger state.”
“In all the affected villages, foodstuff, cows, goats, sheep, motorcycles and other household items belonging to the villagers have been taken over as the invaders that are currently occupying the villages unchallenged by the Nigeria military, police or any of the security agencies.
“Information at our disposal has it that in Tawali village, six persons were kidnapped and nothing has been heard of them ever since. The ECWA Church in the village was not spared as it was burnt down completely. Also, a young lad, by name Ezra Bala (16), who is a student of Government College Kwoi, was shot dead in Kuduru village during the attack.
“The attack, expulsion and occupation have continued as more communities have come under similar siege. They are: Zoko Yako, Sabon Gida Katarma, Unguwan Sarki, Bwadana, and Kwayipe. In Kwayipe, one person, whose name was given as Dimas, was shot but escaped with fatal injuries. He was lucky to be helped to Sarkin Pawa, where he has been rushed to Minna, Niger state for urgent medical attention.”
SOKAPU therefore called on the government to look into the crisis and take urgent necessary steps to address the perennial crimes against humanity in the Gbagyi communities.
“We also call on the elected representatives of the affected communities to please urgently attend to these affected communities within their constituencies and liaise with relevant government agencies to provide security, welfare and other essential needs for their electorates in distress,” SOKAPU appealed.