No fewer than 50 people have been killed and about 254 houses were razed during attacks on Atyap chiefdom in one month in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The paramount ruler of Atyap chiefdom, Dominic Yahaya, who disclosed this on Monday while briefing reporters, said the killings were recorded between August and September.
“Saturday, 11 September was another black day, yet again in Atyap chiefdom when gunmen struck, killing Reverend Silas Ali within the vicinity of Zango Urban settlement in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” he said of one of the sad incidents.
“And the following day, suspected herdsmen invaded the community of Apyiah Ajiim – about a hundred metres from the spot of Saturday’s attack, killing 12 people in another round of recurring attacks on the Atyap community. The victims included six women (two heavily pregnant), three men, and three children.
“This occurred after the communities of Gora Gida, Wawa Rafi, Warkan, Manyie-Aywie, Ahtak- Kanai, Magata, Magauri, Matyei, Abuyab, Magamia, Makarau, Mayayit, Manchong, Ma’door and a host of other communities were serially attacked, where no fewer than 50 villagers were massacred, 254 homes and seven churches burned in an unrestrained violence unleashed on poor, defenceless, innocent farmers of Atyap land.”
The state government and security agencies in Kaduna have previously confirmed most of the attacks during the period under review.
In reaction, the monarch lamented that the sustained terror attack by bandits have reached “an extreme height of provocation” and getting beyond control.
He also said the constant attacks by the militia group have forced the indigenes of the community – who are predominantly farmers – out of their lands as they can no longer go to the farm.
“It has reached a sorry state that no farmer can venture out to the farmland, as the chances of returning home alive are very slim. This, no doubt, gives cause for alarm as the resultant effect of these actions will give rise to hunger in the land, since there would be no crops to harvest.
“At this juncture, it bears no exaggeration to say here that the Atyap land is under siege by armed bandits/herdsmen militias. These killings are condemnable, to say the least,” said Yahaya.
According to him, about 15,000 residents have been displaced from their homes and as such, are now in Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs) in the area.
The traditional ruler called on both the state and federal governments to come to the rescue of the displaced villagers.
“I, therefore, call for a complete cessation of these dastardly acts in Atyap chiefdom and anywhere else in the country,” he added.
“I have kept faith with the peace efforts embarked on by all the communities in the chiefdom, aimed at enthroning sustainable peace in the land by consistently restraining the youth from taking the laws into their hands in any form of reaction or reprisal, else, the situation could have escalated beyond control.”