The Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA), in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State said that suspected Fulani militia attacked 12 of its villages, killing 42 persons, burning 338 houses with seven persons wounded.
The Atyap people said eight cars, 13 motorcycles, generators, food and domestic items were either looted or consumed by fire and seven churches have been razed down.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Saturday, the President ACDA, Samuel T. Achie said, “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 seven people wounded. Several other valuables were not left out as eight cars, 13 motorcycles, generators, food and domestic items were either looted or consumed by fire.”
He noted that the attacks by the suspected Fulani militia spanned across the Atyap dominated districts in the Chiefdom, as if it was a deliberate act, stressing that these attacks are not mere herders or banditry, but a premeditated attempt to wipe out the Atyap race.
He added that they have made efforts to be at peace with all the people in the chiefdom thus the importance of this briefing.
He said the Atyap people were defenseless for the whole time the carnage took place with no protection, saying that 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 checkpoint to the other, not only lives and houses that were destroyed, but crops and places of worship inclusive.
He stated that their 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 their 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.
He observed that the whole situation looks like the Fulani Militia wants to grab and occupy their land, stressing that the Atyap people are law abiding citizens that have been loyal to all successive governments to date and wonder why they should be left alone to carry their cross now.
Based on these, the Atyap people asked that the government provide more troops, humanitarian relief materials and a peaceful atmosphere for all, else they would be left with no other option than to protect themselves using all legal means.
According to him, “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.”
The President noted that initially they had the belief that the peace effort championed by their paramount ruler will yield the desired results as it was done in good faith, pointing out that little did they know that overtime the Fulani Militia have seemingly ceased fire just to go and reinforce.
Samuel Achie stated that in a continuation of their (Fulanis) onslaught on their land, the Fulani militia have unbelievably stormed and unleashed terror, bloodshed and destruction in the following communities just within the span of two weeks.
He added that 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, saying that it left us to wonder whether they are under oath or instruction not to confront and shoot the assailants.
He cited 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.
The President said another surprising thing they want the world to know is that in some of the attacked villages, Hilux Vans were cited with food items and other valuables loaded on these vehicles before other properties and houses were set ablaze.
He lamented that all these happenings no arrest has been made and none of the Fulani militias have been killed by the military forces but instead some of their 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.
He lamented that these leaders, whose ages ranged from 43 to 85 years, spent three months in the hands of Police before being taken to court and granted bail, after 92 days in detention.
Since last year, he explained that they 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, saying that they have always toured the path of peace not that they are cowards, but because it is what their parents bequeathed to them, by and large their religion taught them so but in spite of that, they (Fulanis) will not fold their hands to be annihilated and their lands taken over.
He lamented that the absolute silence of the government on all these happenings in Atyap land makes them to begin to wonder whether the Atyap people are still citizens of the state because they are yet to see any proactive step by the government to end these killings in their soil, neither has there being any comforting statement in reference to their situation.
He called 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, saying that the government should ensure that the perpetrators are fished out and brought to face the wrath of the law.
“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,” he explained.
Samuel Achie explained that the entire Atyap Nation seems to be at loss to these senseless killings by the Fulani Militia, as they have bent 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,” he asked.