The orgy of politico-religious violence in Nigeria appears to be taking a turn for the worse as gunmen callously took on children in Niger State, the home state of the country’s former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, a four-star Army General.
The bloodletting armed men literally went round the bend, killing 37 people in what is regarded as a reprisal attack after special hunters and local vigilantes killed scores of them the previous Friday.
The latest blood spill reportedly took place on Tuesday at about 11am in Nakuna and Wurukuchi communities when the villagers were in their farms to harvest produce.
While 10 people, belonging to one family, were killed right on their farm, 20 bodies were discovered in the bush, all in Nakuna.
Also in Wurukuchi, four members of one family were killed equally on the farm.
The entire houses in Nakuna community, with a population of about 200, was burnt by the gunmen who invaded in search of local vigilantes, according to sources close to the community.
The attackers, according to local sources, came in their numbers, burnt down all the food barns in the community before leaving.
Special hunters and local vigilantes had previously carried out special operations in communities in Shiroro and Munya Local Government Areas of the state, where scores of the gunmen were killed, while several others escaped with bullets injuries.
The gunmen were said to have succeeded in capturing three of the special hunters and are still being held captive.
A 75-year-old man, Yahaya Mota Nakuna, whose six children and four others who came to assist them to harvest their farm produce were killed, told Daily Sun how the gunmen tied the hands of the children to their back before shooting them at close range.
Speaking through an interpreter, Yahaya said, “my children were in the farm harvesting yams when the gunmen came in their large numbers and demanded to know where are the vigilantes that came to operate in the area.
“I told them that we did not know any vigilantes, and they asked if we see any vigilantes that passed through the village and we said we did not know.
“The nest thing they asked all my children to come out of the farm and matched them to the village. They tied their hands to the back and began to shoot them one after the other. They first of all beheaded one of them before shooting the remaining nine right in my front. After killing them, they loosened my hands and asked me to go.”
Yahaya, who could not hold back his tears while narrating the ugly experience, pointed out that he refused to leave as instructed by the gunmen. Instead, he invited a relation from a nearby village to come and help him bury his children before leaving the village.
According to him, ‘’only two of us dug the graves and buried their bodies. We spent over five hours digging the graves to bury to them because we are just two.”
In the meantime, the entire Zumba community is now flooded with Internally Displaced Persons without food and shelter as hundreds, including women and children, have fled their homes.
Police Commissioner in the state, Monday Kuryas, who confirmed the incident, said the police was yet to ascertain the actual number of people killed even as he said that security personnel have been deployed to the affected communities to restore normalcy.