Within 24 hours, gunmen invaded different communities in two local governments of Southern Kaduna, killing at least 14 people and destroying several properties.
The first attack occurred on Sunday in Bakin Kogi, Kaninkon Village in Jema’a Local Government Area at about 5:30 p.m.
The casualty in Jema’a is uncertain as the attackers are believed to have been repelled by security officials.
About 12 hours after the Jema’a attack, gunmen on Monday killed 14 persons and injured many others, in an attack on Ashim village, Takad chiefdom of Kaura Local Government Area.
Alexander Iya, chairman of the local government’s interim management committee, who briefed journalists on the incident, said that the gunmen stormed the village “around 6 a.m.” and launched a massive attack.
He said that most of the victims were women and children, whose corpses had been deposited at the Kafanchan General Hospital.
“Those injured are being treated at the Kaura General Hospital,” he said.
He said that the attackers also burnt many houses and destroyed crops.
Mr. Iya, however, disclosed that one of the invaders was killed by security personnel deployed to contain the situation.
The chairman appealed to the people to remain calm and avoid the temptation to take the law into their hands.
He assured them that government had deployed enough personnel to secure the communities.
Efforts to reach the Divisional Police Officer of the area were not successful, but a military official deployed to contain the situation, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the attack was “very serious”.
The Kaura and Jema’a attacks are part of the larger violence in Southern Kaduna between herdsmen and local communities that has caused the death of over 200 people.
Hours after the Kaura attack, the Kaduna State government announced that the Garrison Commander of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the state’s Commissioner of Police have relocated to Southern Kaduna.
This according to the government is to enable the army commander, Ismaila Isa, a brigadier general, and police commissioner Agyole Abeh coordinate a determined response to renewed attacks by armed bandits on communities in the two local governments.
A government statement said Governor Nasir El-Rufai has extended his condolence to the families of the victims of the renewed attacks.
The governor assured that the government is fully committed to securing the area, with the active support of the army and the police.
The statement added that two battalions of the army and10 mobile police squadrons are engaging the bandits, as the state carries out its obligations to secure the area, protect lives and rout the armed bandits.
The governor said that despite the difficulties and pains of the attacks, the bandits should not be given the pleasure of seeing victims turn on each other.
He called for support for the army and the security agencies as they work to repel attacks and defeat the bandits.
“I have been in touch with the security agencies and I have been studiously following the situation in Jema’a and Kaura Local Government Areas over the unfortunate attacks,” the governor said.
“I want to, first of all, extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and relations that lost their loved ones and properties in these unfortunate attacks. My prayers and support equally goes to citizens that sustained injuries and are traumatised by what they witnessed.
“This is clearly a wicked, evil and devilish act being perpetrated by enemies of peace and humanity.
“I also wish to commend our gallant soldiers and police personnel, who are defending our communities. The Kaduna State Government will continue to work assiduously with security agencies towards the protection of life and property,” Mr. El-Rufai said.