Kagoro and the knives of terror

Nigerias wildly menacing insecurity has meant many things to many people at the same time. For those packed into relatively safer Nigerian cities who only have to hear of terrors horrors from the media it means little more than panic and a picnic of mounting frustration at what the country has become.

For those who live the horrors firsthand because their communities have been converted into laboratories of terror by terrorists, insecurity has translated into massacres, obliterated livelihoods, and ghost communities.

Since the turn of the new millennium, residents of Kaduna State, Nigeria`s center of learning, have been forced to learn the hard way the true cost of being Nigerian, and being from a country where life grows cheaper by the day, cheapened by a confluence of factors that should ordinarily have no place in any serious civilization.

For residents of Southern Kaduna especially, the horrors have been all too real. People have been cut down in their thousands even as homes have been razed to send one of Nigeria`s most iconic states spinning on the tail of credible allegations of ethnic cleansing and religiously motivated killings.

The knives recently descended on Kagoro, a community in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, when gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons and an insatiable bloodlust pounced, killed about 34 people, razed over 200 houses, 32 shops and vandalized about 3 vehicles and 17 motorcycles. The dead also included 2 military personnel.

These savage attacks happened on Sunday March 20, 2022, and fingers have since been pointed at Fulani herdsmen who were supposedly on a mission to avenge the death of a herder and thirty cows as well as the burning of about four motorcycles just days before the attack.

Why do these attacks keep occurring with alarming alacrity in Kaduna State? What exactly has so shattered the peace of the state that residents can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed?

It is not just the attacks within the state that frighten. The Kaduna- Abuja expressway has recently becoming a conveyor belt for bandits who have also sculpted a specialty out of attacking schools in the state and abducting students for ransom.

To be sure, the Kagoro killings were not isolated incidents. Every now and then, disturbances break out in different parts of the state as different conflicting interests have clashed.

That nothing substantial and sustainable has been done for many years to stem the flow of blood that has been flowing thickly in the state at the hands of criminal elements continues to reduce the entire security architecture in the state, and by extension, Nigeria, to dust.

The reality is that one of Nigeria`s most iconic states continues to harvest deaths and other vile criminal activities almost every week and no serious measures have been or are being taken to stop the surge.

The government must do more. Both the state and the federal governments must do more for the long-suffering people of Southern Kaduna. It appears there are people within the state whose occupation and preoccupation it has become to perpetrate and perpetuate terror in the state. Those who do these must be fished out.

That each time killings envelop Kaduna State, fingers are pointed at religion or ethnicity shreds even further the extremely fragile fabric of the unity the country has sought to weave out of its diversity since 1960.

That people belong to different religions or different ethnic groups should not stoke resentment anywhere. Variety is the spice of life and every religion or ethnic group that seeks to see itself moving with the times must do more to stress that people that hold different beliefs must be accommodated.

While no effort must be spared in securing lives and properties in Southern Kaduna and every other crisis spot in the country, questions about what brings people together as well as tear them apart must be urgently engaged as a way of laying the foundations for long-lasting peace and stability.



Kene Obiezu,


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