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Bloodletting continued in Kaduna State at the weekend with bandits killing 19 people in two attacks.
There was a third attack on Sunday whose outcome could not be ascertained as at press time last night.
Fourteen people were killed in the attack on Kutemeshi in Birnin Geari Local Government and five others in Kujeni village in Kajuru Local Government.
Scores of people were injured in the Saturday night attacks.
In addition, the attackers burnt many houses, shops and a church. Many business centres were looted.
Conversely, troops killed 52 bandits in Zamfara forest in the last one week.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, recounted the killings.
He said: “On a sad note, the Kaduna State government has received reports from security agencies of the killing of 19 citizens in Birnin Gwari and Kajuru local government areas of Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
“The citizens were killed by armed bandits at Kutemeshi village in Birnin Gwari and Kujeni village in Kajuru, where several others were left with bullet wounds. Both attacks occurred on Saturday.
“In Kutemeshi village of Birnin Gwari LGA, the following citizens were killed: Malam Sani Barume, Yahaya Bello, Amadu Dan Korau, Samaila Niga, Jamilu Haruna, Lawal Majiya, Dan Malam Rabo, Dauda Kafinta, Hassan Mai Makani, Bashir Haruna, Lawal Ali, Mu’azu Haruna, Mai Unguwa Sa’adu, Harisu Bako
“Some of the injured have been moved to a neighbouring state closer to Kutemeshi for urgent medical attention, while others are in transit to an orthopaedic hospital in Kaduna. Some shops were also looted with valuable items carted away.
“So far, only the 14 bodies have been recovered from Kutemeshi. The Kaduna state government will provide updates on any emerging developments.
“In Kujeni village of Kajuru LGA, the attackers burnt several houses, storehouses with foodstuff, warehouses loaded with building materials and a Church. The following citizens were killed: Bulus Jatau, Hanatu Emmanuel, Bitrus Tuna, Yohanna Mika, Monday Ayuba. Those injured include Bulus Sambayi and Godwin Yakubu.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who has been monitoring the security situation at the locations since Saturday morning, expressed sadness over the attacks. The governor who condoled families that lost their loved ones, offered prayers for the repose of their souls and a speedy recovery for the injured.
“He further directed the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency to urgently provide relief materials to the affected communities. The government and security agencies are following up on a reported attack on Sunday morning around Kikwari village of Kajuru LGA, and will also provide an update as soon as feedback is received.”
The Kaduna State Police Command said it had deployed more men in the affected communities to prevent further occurrence of such ugly incidents.
Its spokesman ASP Mohammed Jalige said: “Yes there were attacks on the said villages on Sunday night where people were killed, houses and the bandits carted away food items.
“The Commissioner of Police has ordered the deployment of more personnel.”
Reacting to the killings, Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), said killer herdsmen from Mali, Chad and Niger, recruited by local sponsors are responsible for the attacks and others across the country.
President of SOKAPU, Jonathan Asake, said the agenda of the foriegn killer herdsmen and their sponsors is to kill and displace indigenous communities across Nigeria, for their economic, political and other gains.
He warned that President Muhammadu Buhari must wake up to his constitutional responsibility and stop the killings.
Asake said: “SOKAPU had held on to one thing when these things started in Southern Kaduna, that, what was happening was not a communal clash as people use to call it; it has always been an unprovoked, premeditated attacks on communities where these bandits that they call them now, but we know that they are killer herdsmen, who come into these communities and massacre people often time in their sleep and chase the rest away.
“These bandits have their sponsors in the country who are very powerful people in the country, no doubt about that. And the people that are sponsoring the bandits have their own agenda. And I have no doubt in my mind that, the agenda is to supplant indigenous communities all over the nation and bring in Fulani communities into those places, to change the demography.
The injured in the attack on Kutemeshi have been moved to the Orthopaedic Hospital in Kaduna where they are receiving medical attention.