Zongo Kataf Genocide: Enough is enough! Our quest for peace doesn't mean we are cowards — Kataf group declares

Saturday, July 17, 2021

/ by Bobby Adams

The Atyap Community Development Association, ACDA, has declared that "enough is enough", that the Atyap people will not fold their hands and watch alleged sponsored killer Fulani herdsmen annihilate them to take over their ancestral lands. 

The group said the fact that the Atyap people are doing everything possible to live in peace with both the Hausa and the Fulani communities does not mean that they are cowards. 

The group also said the inability of the security agencies to engage the killer herdsmen and the persistent silence of the state government over the attacks speaks volume of the conspiracy against the Atyap nation. 

The group said this in a press statement on Saturday titled: "THE RECENT ONSLAUGHT ON ATYAP LAND BY AGENTS OF DARKNESS" 

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the Press, I am made to understand that all journalists are Gentlemen irrespective of gender. I salute you all for standing by your role as members of the third estate of the realm. I am making this release on behalf of the Atyap nation within and in diaspora to update you on the happenings at home since on the 5th of this month till date. We are compelled at this stage to make this statement in order to bring the attention of the world and Nigeria in particular on the attacks and the assuming genocide on the land for those following the development to know.

The attacks spanned across the Atyap dominated districts in the Chiefdom, as if it was a deliberate act. These attacks are not mere herders or Banditry, but premeditated attempt to wipe out the Atyap race. We have made efforts to be at peace with all the people in the chiefdom thus the importance of this briefing. 

The Atyap people were defenseless for the whole time the carnage took place with no protection. There is no any place in all the areas attacked that has a distance of more than 10 to 15 minutes’ drive from one security check point to the other. It is not only lives and houses that were destroyed, but crops and places of worship inclusive. Our people are known to be purely peasant farmers, but at this season of farming have to abandon their farms for fear of being killed. All schools in the area are closed down hence our children can no longer go to school therefore creating a humanitarian crisis for all the displaced people in the land, which in turns create an urgent need for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp to cater for those that have been left at the mercy of the weather both in rain and sunshine without any roof on their heads since the renewed persistent attacks. These whole things look like the Fulani Militia wants to grab and occupy our land. The Atyap people are law abiding citizens that have been loyal to all successive governments to date and wonder why we should be left alone to carry our cross now. Based on these, we ask that government provide more troops, humanitarian relief materials and a peaceful atmosphere for all, else we will be left with no other option than to protect ourselves using all legal means.

This dastardly act of unimaginable magnitude of cowardice assault perpetrated by agents of darkness who are bent on destroying already established pathway to sustainable peaceful coexistence between all category of persons and tribes resident in Atyap Land as being championed by the paramount ruler of Atyap Land the Agwatyap Sir. Dominic Yahaya must be stopped by all well-meaning citizens.

These agents of darkness have been identified by our people as Fulani herdsmen due to the language they speak and some of them well known by our people in the affected communities.

We initially had the believe that the peace effort championed by our paramount ruler will yield the desired results as it was done in good faith. Little did we know that overtime the Fulani Militia have seemingly cease fire just to go and re-enforce.

In a continuation of their Onslaught on our Land, the Fulani Militia have unbelievably stormed and unleashed terror, bloodshed and destruction in the following communities just within the span of 2 week

What is most surprising is the ability of these militias to successfully continue to test the powers of the military by carrying out their well-orchestrated evil acts of killing, maiming and burning hundreds of houses for several hours with little or no intervention by the security forces, since the security personnel’s find it difficult to engage these heartless murderers when they arrive at the scene of the attack. It left us to wonder whether they are under oath or instruction not to confront and shoot the assailants 

A typical example is Matyei, Magamiya and Abuyab Communities which are all only about 3 Kilometres from the Military  checkpoint in Zango and Samaru Kataf. 

Another surprising thing we want the world to know is that in some of the attacked villages, Hilux Vans were cited with food items and other valuable loaded on these vehicles before other properties and houses are set ablaze. It beats our imagination that with all these happenings no arrest has been made and none of the Fulani Militias have been killed by the military forces. Instead some of our leaders were arrested and taken to police custody here in Kaduna to produce alleged killers of Cows, showing a cow is worth more than human life. These Leaders whose ages ranges from 43 to 85years spend 3 months in the hands of Police before been taken to court and granted bail, after 92 days in detention.

Since last year, we have made frantic efforts to meet and discuss with the Hausa and the Fulani community to reach a compromise on how to live in peace with each other and are still on that course. We have always toured the path of peace not that we are cowards, but because it is what our parents bequeathed to us, by and large our religion taught us so. In spite of that, we will not fold our hands to be annihilated and our lands taken over. 

The absolute silence of the government on all these happenings in Atyap Land makes us to begin to wonder whether the Atyap people are still citizens of the state because we are yet to see any proactive step by the government to end these killings in our soil, neither has there being any comforting statement in reference to our situation. 

For this reason, we   therefore call on the government of Kaduna state to without fear or favour come alive to it’s responsibility to put an end to the dastard and condemnable killings of its citizens. The government should ensure that the perpetrators are fished out and brought to face the wrath of the law. We say enough is enough looking at the casualties.

In all the attacks in the 12 different villages as at today 15th July 2021, a total of 42 people were killed and 338 houses burnt with 7 people wounded. Several other valuables were not left out as 8 Cars, 13 motorcycles, generators, food and domestic items were either looted or consumed by fire.

Our revered places of Worship were not spared as 7 churches and their pastoriums razed down by fire in various locations.  

Among the Houses razed down by the activities of these Fulani Militia are the family compound of our paramount Ruler, His Royal Highness Sir Dominic Yahaya in Magamiya and also the Family Compound of Retired Major General Shekari Biliyock in Abuyab a former commandant of the Nigeria-African Peace Keeping Arm, the ECOMOG. 

The entire Atyap Nation seems to be at loss to these senseless killings by the Fulani Militia, as we have bend over to implement the decisions of the peace accord reached with the parties involved. The question is what else were we supposed to do that was not done? It seems apparent that these attacks are being sponsored with larger motives that meet the eye.

With all these being said, Gentlemen of the press, in concrete terms we can submit that the resolved of our desire for peace is under threat by these Fulani Militia. We felt that we will be better off if we stay in peace as brothers as it was the case in time past. It is a well-known fact world over that all crisis are not won at the battle field, but at round table through discussions that could lead to amicable resolution of the crisis with the parties determined to bring an end to it.

The Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria once said that anybody found in possession of deadly arm be shot at sight. But as I am talking to you, Fulani Militias still graze in Atyap land with AK47 hung on their shoulders and shot at any sight of a Kataf man. At one point or the other the security forces are called and they see them with it but no arrest made. One begins to wonder whether the command by Mr. President is implementable or not.

Gentlemen, I want to at this point appeal to all of you in this hall to find time and come to Atyap Land, go round the villages to see things for yourselves, this will also grant you the opportunity to see and verify where the Fulani houses claimed to be burnt down that are up to 400 and in which of these villages if any.    

Long Live the Federal Republic Nigeria!

Long Live Kaduna State!!

Long Live Atyap Nation!!! 

Comr. Samuel T. Achie

ACDA  President

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