The women’s wing of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, has sent a Save Our Souls, SOS, to Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, pleading with him to address the worsening security situation in the area.
SOKAPU, in a statement, recalled the mayhem inflicted on the area by bandit herdsmen on October 2, 2021, and October 7, 2023, leading to the death of 14 persons and the abduction of 31 others in addition to the looting of foodstuff and animals and burning down of villages and rendering many people homeless.
SOKAPU National Women Coordinator, Mrs Jemutu Katarma, in the statement, among others said, “Southern Kaduna is made up of the eight Local Government Areas of Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, plus Lere LGA in Kaduna North Senatorial Zone including Kajuru and Chikun LGAs in Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone. Out of these 12 LGAs of Southern Kaduna only about three have not suffered violence and crimes from armed groups, especially bandits and armed herdsmen, as thousands have been killed, houses burnt and hundreds been kidnapped.
“Hundreds of our villages have been sacked and some taken over by bandits. Even the immediate past government of the state had been reporting these atrocities to the press every quarter of each year. Our people, especially women and children in their thousands are rendered as IDPs. It is usually women and children that suffer the most during such displacements.
“It is true that the past government did not show much compassion or interest in assisting us on these evils that have happened to our people. We did not get a good deal at all. Out of the 12 LGAs of Southern Kaduna, Kachia, Kajuru and Chikun are, in our belief, the worst that suffer in the hands of kidnappers. And women and children are their main targets.
“Of particular note, we want to bring to the attention of Governor Uba Sani about a terrible development that happened on 2nd October, 2021 in Kachuwe, close to Sarkin Pawa in Niger State. After their villages suffered several invasions from bandits in Chikun, they decided to move to Kachuwe which they thought was safer to start life all over again by farming.
“Unfortunately, armed bandits stormed the village on 2nd October, 2021 and killed 13 male adults and a young girl. Among those killed was a grandfather, Baba Barda Kariya. The names of the rest are: Ali Nariya, Zakariya Nariya , Markus Nariya, John Nariya and Haruna Nariya. Others are: Iko Ali, Vincent Ali, Amos Zakariya, Habila Zakariya, Smalis Markus, Timothy John, Victor Markus and Godiya Markus, the only female killed.
“After committing the crime, they looted the village of foodstuffs and animals.
They then burnt down the village. They spared the lives of the old women and sick old men. Then they took away the following females and boys. Grace Ali (25 years), Kauna Ali. (22 years). Murna Ali (18 years) Tera Ali (three years), Rahila Shagari (18 years),Sunday Zakaria (17 years), Leonard Zakaria (10 years) , Lucy Zakaria (11years), Blessing Zakaria (13 years), Charles Haruna (10 years),Tina Amos (27 years), Desire Amos (7 years), Success Amos (three years) and Yemi Benjamin (27years).
“Kauna Ali became very sick in the hands of the bandits last year. With no medical care, she died. We got the sad news from one of the kidnapped girls via a phone call from the bandits’ phone. No one knows where the corpse is as at today. “It is also important to note that Yemi Benjamin was heavy with her first pregnancy because she was newly married.
“After they were kidnapped, the bandits demanded a ransom. But they later refused to take the ransom. A month later, Yemi Benjamin gave birth in the bush. They gave her the phone to call and inform her in-laws that she had a baby girl.”
“Also note that a three and 10-year-old boys were among those that were kidnapped and still with the bandits. It is now 12 months since we heard from them. It is two years on the 2nd of October 2023 that they have been in the hands of their abductors. It is a very horrible experience for the relations of these captives to live day and night not knowing the fate of their loved ones.”
“Again, on Saturday 7th October, 2023, in Chikuri village, in Chikun LGA, bandits entered Maikudi farms where villagers were working on portions of the farm that they rented from the owner. Bandits attacked the farm and kidnapped 14 women and a boy. Among the women is 54-year-old Mrs Lydia Dogara and her 20-year-old daughter, Linda Dogara.”
“Therefore, we can confirm that at least 27 women and girls and four boys who are citizens of Kaduna state from Chikun LGA are in the hands of kidnappers, with one already dead. There are however just some other victims that maybe also be suffering the same fate in the state.”
“We are therefore passionately calling on Kaduna State government under the leadership of Senator Uba Sani to explore the excellent working relationship he enjoys with the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa and other security chiefs to do all it will take to return these women and children home. Or at least furnish us with information about their fate.” (Vanguard)