6 deaths confirmed as more details of Southern Kaduna killings emerge

Kaduna State map used to illustrate the story.
Kaduna State map used to illustrate the story.

At least six people were killed early Sunday when armed persons invaded Goska, a village in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

As the details of the attack on an area placed on 24 hours curfew emerge, the News Agency of Nigeria reports that one of the victims is a teenage secondary school student.

Gimbia Morik, an SSS 2 student and daughter of Gideon Morik, former Deputy Speaker of Kaduna House of Assembly was among the victims of the attack suspected to have been carried out by herdsmen on a revenge mission.

“The attackers just stormed the village and started shooting; they killed six people including my daughter, and five others,” Mr. Morik, a former chairman of Jema’a local government told the News Agency of Nigeria in Kafanchan on Sunday.

He said that the attackers injured many others and burnt many houses.

Jema’a and two other local governments – Kaura and Zango-Kataf – were placed on 24-hour curfew by the Kaduna State Government following incessant attacks by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

No group has, however, claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attack.

Ethnic clashes in Jema’a and other parts of Southern Kaduna between migrating herdsmen and host communities have caused the death of scores of people in 2016.

The curfew by the state government was put in place to prevent such attacks during the Christmas and was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A senior police officer, who confirmed the early Sunday attack , described the destruction at Gioskas as “very devastating”.

He said that the corpses had been deposited at the Kafanchan General Hospital where the injured were also being treated.

Already, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the attacks, and vowed to fish out those that invaded Goska.

Mr. El-Rufai, in a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, expressed sympathy with the families that lost loved ones in the renewed attack.

Although the details of the attacks and the casualty were not stated, the governor charged security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“While the government and security agencies were working assiduously to block all windows to ensure that citizens throughout the three local government areas and the state at large are protected, these forces of darkness that represent evil and inhumanity struck again, killed innocent citizens, burnt their houses, injured some and terrified many”, the governor stated.

“Government and security agencies will not be deterred, we will continue to be resilient, up and doing and courageous in tackling this unfortunate situation.

“Their tactics are to create a chasm, divide people, breed hate and prejudice and plunge the state into chaos but we will triumph over these evil forces by the grace of almighty God.”

Mr. El-Rufai said the government would “continue to be firm and decisive” in its efforts to suppress the attackers and restore peace in the state.

He urged the people of the state to come together “irrespective of religion, ethnicity and political inclinations” to confront the attackers.

“They become stronger only when our people are divided instead of coming together to weaken and neutralize them and the evil they represent and to free our humanity from their devilish act”, he stressed.

“It is also clear that resorting to self-help compounds the precarious situation thereby, breeding the cycle of vicious killings. It must be clear to all by now that inciting of tit-for-tat does not help our security agencies and communities attain our quest for peace and those calling for that will also be brought to justice”.

He said he had directed the State Emergency Management Agency to take inventory of those affected and also bring relief materials to assist the victims of the attack.

“Our deep empathy and prayers go to the families that lost their loved ones and those that lost their homes and properties. May their souls rest in peace and may God see us through this challenging time,” he said.

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