Black Sunday: Atyap community thrown into mourning following another round of herdsmen attack during heavy downpour

Several lifeless bodies scattered in different locations.

Monday, September 13, 2021

/ by National Pivot

The people of Apiye Jim Village in the Atyap Chiefdom of Zango-Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has been thrown into mourning as gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, continue to attack Atyap communities in Southern Kaduna.

The latest attack which was reportedly out on Sunday evening during a downpour, led to the killing several persons according to local sources in the area.

Confirming the recent attack, the spokesperson of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Mr. Luka Binniyat, said, “It is very true. They also killed another man in Atakshusho village about three kilometers from the initial scene of crime as they were retreating to make an escape.

“Recall that an ECWA Reverend was murdered just on the outskirts of Zangon Kataf town, which our people have always complained of harbouring killers, time and again.

“That will bring to 13 those killed in Atyap land, Zangon Kataf LGA. in the past 24 hours.

“As usual, no one has been apprehended. We are awaiting details of the killings, after which we shall issue a statement later today.”

The latest attack was coming in less than 24 hours after the murder of an ECWA Church Pastor, Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali, in the same council on Saturday. The cleric was said to have been hacked to death by his assailants.

According to The Punch, citing a source who 'craves for anonymity,' many of the villagers were still missing after the (Sunday) attack, but noted that, so far, no fewer than 11 lifeless bodies had been counted following the attack.

According to him, the attackers came in large numbers and perpetrated the act in a jiffy and immediately escaped from the village.

He added, “They (attackers) came while it was raining and divided themselves into groups. They targeted specific houses and when done, left immediately.

“Scores of the villagers are missing at the moment. It’s impossible for one to ascertain the number of those injured and even those killed; but so far, l have counted and found 11 dead persons in different locations this morning (Monday).

“The Atyapland is left to carry its cross in the hands of the attackers who moved from one village to the another killing, maiming, burning houses and destroying crops in farmlands at will, without being arrested.

“With the various attacks and the occupation of our forest where we cultivate farms for our survival this year, we are busy trying to save ourselves from the attackers as people are not thinking of going to farm.”

The president of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), Jonathan Asake, in a recent statement, accused the country's leadership of conspiring with the enemies to wipe our southern Kaduna people, as is evident in government’s failure to take meaningful action against the ongoing carnage in the region.

He said, “There have been series of attacks in Kaduna State; series of criminalities where a whole community is wiped out, like in Zangon Kataf alone where attacks took place within days, over 100 people were killed, and in Chukun Local Government Area, virtually 80 per cent of the community has been displaced, and many killed. But you will never hear anything from that presidency.

“Whenever they want to talk, they will say this is the reason it is happening. When Zangon Kataf came under heavy attacks, Garba Shehu came up in the media and said it was a reprisal. When somebody talks like that from that highly placed position, that means he knows what is going on; he knows who has been offended and the other person is coming to revenge.

“When that person is coming to revenge, he has taken the law into his hands. If there is rule of law, do we have leaders that are responsive and accountable to the people? Of course, if you are responsible, you ought not to allow a reprisal to take place, because we have the military, the police and the intelligence agencies who can nip that in the bud. 

"Do you call it a reprisal, where a whole community was wiped out; their houses burnt, their crops destroyed and they are displaced from their ancestral land? And you called that a reprisal without going there to see what has happened. That is the kind of people we have in the presidency.”

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