Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna
Following Saturday’s attack by suspected herdsmen, members of Asso community in Kagoma, Jemaa Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna, on Monday, fled the community.
That attack claimed no fewer than 12 lives while scores of residents sustained gunshot injuries.
The renewed attack came on the heels of relative peace which was gradually returning to the southern part of the state that had witnessed a series of crises.
It is estimated that over 20,000 persons had perished in the southern part of the state since the 1980s.
It was learnt that the latest incident occurred shortly after a peace meeting between the natives and the Fulani.
According to a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the injured were rushed to the Kafanchan General Hospital, also in Jemaa Local Government Area.
The source told our correspondent on the telephone that the incident occurred at about 6.00pm when residents were busy preparing for Easter celebration.
He said the gunmen, armed with sophisticated weapons, invaded the village, shooting in all directions while residents scampered to safety.
The incident, he noted, lasted for at least 30 minutes despite the heavy presence of security operatives in the area.
“As the invaders held the entire town hostage, no help came from security operatives that had been deployed in the area since December,” the source said.
The development, he added, had made the people doubt the ability of the security operatives to curb the crisis in the southern part of the state.
“As I speak, Asso has been deserted. People have fled to neighbouring community for shelter,” he said.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has condemned the attack.
El-Rufai, through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, condoled with the families of the victims just as he mandated security operatives to spare no efforts in fishing out the perpetrators of the attack.
Besides, he called on communities to cooperate with the military with a view to checking the bloody violence rocking the area.
He also said the military would soon embark on a special exercise in the troubled area aimed at routing the bandits in the area.
He said he had directed agencies responsible for emergency cases to offer relief materials to victims.
The statement read, “Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, on Sunday, said that the forthcoming Operation Harbin Kunama II is a necessary step towards ending the violence in parts of southern Kaduna.”