The killer herdsmen wing of the rampaging Boko Haram, appears to be in a state of murderous frenzy at the moment in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria. They have short-circuited the lives of at least, 85 people during attacks on three communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of the bleeding state.
The killings which allegedly took place in three communities in the southern part of the state began from Sunday and lasted till Monday.
The communities include Ungwan Barde and Gamu villages in Kajuru Local Government Area and Gerti, Kaninkon Chiefdom in Jama’a Local Government Area all in the southern part of the state.
The attacks in Ungwan Barde occurred on Sunday morning when suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded the community and killed at least 35 people.
The massacre as the National Population Commission (NPC) is embarking on the compilation of a comprehensive database on births and deaths from 2004-2019 in the country.
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Chairman of the population commission, Dr Tayo Olatunji, said in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, that the database will be ready by the end of the year.
Olatunji who was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop for 2014 and 2015 scanned vital registration forms, said the registrations, which were done in analogue form, were being scanned and transferred electronically to a database.
Olatunji who is also a former Director-General of the NPC, said that vital registrations for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 had already been scanned and transferred electronically into the database, adding that the scanning and transmission of vital statistics outstanding from 2009 to 2013 would commence as soon as money was released by the Federal Government.
According to him, the exercise is strenuous and challenging, but it has to be done for the country to be at par with other developed nations, pointing out that the statistics being worked upon now were mainly birth and death registrations from the 774 local governments in the country.
He said, ‘’since we have been writing them in analogue forms, they are not useful until they are put together in electronics form’’, adding that the organisation had since stopped the collection of vital statistics in analogue form, adding that the decision to go fully digital would help to change the direction of civil registration in Nigeria.
He charged participants, who were mostly ICT staff of the Commission, to take the workshop seriously by taking advantage of the training to improve their knowledge.
The Commissioner representing Kogi on the board of the NPC, Prof. Jimoh Isah, said that researchers, planners and manufacturers were among those who would benefit from the database when finally released at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Spokesman for the Police, Kaduna State Command, Yakubu Sabo, who confirmed the attack on Ungwan Barde, said that only 16 persons were killed.
But the former President of the Adara Development Association (ADA), Danladi Yarima, said 35 people were killed in Sunday’s attack on Ungwan Barde.
He also said that the attack on Ungwan Gamu village on Monday left over 46 people dead while about 100 houses were set ablaze by the attackers, adding that two of the corpses, including that of the wife of the pastor of an ECWA church in the village, were recovered in a river.
According to Yerima, ‘’we recovered 35 bodies in Ungwan Barde and 46 in Ungwan Gamu. Some people are still missing because they ran into the bush when the Fulani herdsmen invaded the communities. We don’t know whether they are still alive or dead?
‘’We recovered two corpses in a river including the body of the wife of the pastor of the ECWA church in the village. There was massive exodus of women and children from the village as the men evacuated their families to safe zones because the police that were deployed to the community left yesterday (Monday). We are calling on the Kaduna State government to do something about the situation to stop the destruction of lives and property.’’
At Gerti village in Jama’a Local Government Area, four persons were reported to have been killed in an attack by herdsmen.
National President of the Kaninkon Development Association, Kolbe Jonathan, said the incident occurred on Sunday. He also said one person was killed on Sunday, adding that three others were killed on Monday in an attack during a condolence visit to the family of the person killed the previous day.
However, in a statement issued in Kaduna ADA said, ‘’Kajuru land and by extension the Adara nation has been gripped by a fully funded and supported group of terrorists that have been wreaking havoc in our lands for long, while those saddled with the responsibility of securing us deliberately looked the other way.’’
Its Assistant National Secretary, Luke Waziri, a lawyer, who signed the statement also called for the release of its leaders arrested during the attack on Ungwan Barde just before the presidential election.
‘’First, Ungwan Barde was attacked on February 10, 2019, and nobody said anything even though those in government knew. Furthermore, the government pretended that the 11 people killed didn’t matter. Then Karamai, another of our communities, was attacked on February 26 with 38 people killed. While the victims were buried in a mass grave and the injured yet to recover, Ungwan Barde village was attacked again on Sunday 10th March; 17 people were killed and dozens of houses burnt.
‘’The next day, while we were still searching for more bodies, Inkirimi and Dogonnoma villages in Maro were attacked; 52 people were killed and dozens injured. The smoke had barely settled when an attack was launched in the evening at Ungwan Gora (Labi village) with dozens injured and 43 houses burnt. Thousands of households have been displaced now and are moving from one village to the other in search of safety and refuge.
‘’In all these, not a single person has been arrested, not even questioned. This is despite the fact that all the attacks took place either in the morning or in the evening – in full glare of everyone. The terrorists come in their hundreds, take time to kill and then leave without anyone being caught or apprehended by the security’’, the statement said.