Local Kaduna news, Nigeria
Shortage Of Food, Medicare Hit Southern Kaduna After Attacks
Shortage of food, drugs and other relief materials has hit Southern Kaduna communities following persistent attacks by gunmen suspected to be Fulani militiamen.
Four local government areas of Southern Kaduna – Zango-Kataf, Kaura, Kauru and Jemaa – have been under persistent attacks, forcing the state government to impose a curfew on them.
Following a week-long attack on communities in the LGAs and the inability of the villagers, who are subsistence farmers, to go to the farm, hunger has crept into the communities.
Sources, who spoke with Punch, said some of the Internally Displaced Person camps, especially at Zonkwa, were being flooded by displaced villagers, including aged women and children.
It was learnt that the development has led to a shortage of food, drugs and relief materials in the camps, as well as in the communities.
A farmer, Jatau Mutum, told Punch that since Saturday, the IDP camp at Zonkwa had witnessed an increased number of displaced persons from Zikpat and other communities under attack.
Mutum, however, added that there was no commensurate food and medical supplies to take care of those at the camp.
"Before now, the ECWA church camp was sustaining no fewer than 1,500 IDPs, but we have over 3,000 displaced persons following the recent attacks on some communities," he said.
The spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Luis Binniyat, stated that daily the union was besieged by calls from families who were starving because "there is no market and farming activities have come to a stop."
"Both the federal and state governments are not ready to look into the plight of the displaced persons in Southern Kaduna," he added.
Meanwhile, the Muslim community in Southern Kaduna, under the aegis of the Muslim Youth Foundation of Southern Kaduna, has alleged isolated killing of its members in the area.
The group added that Muslims were being targeted for killing following attacks on Zikpak in the Jemaa LGA where no fewer than nine persons were killed on Friday.
The chairman of the group, Mohammed Bello, in a statement, said, "Guerrilla attack on Muslims, who are either in transit or in the process of carrying out their legitimate business, has been going on in Southern Kaduna for quite some time now."
Following the recent attacks, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday, extended the 24-hour curfew to Jema'a and Kaura LGAs.
In a related development, a religious organisation, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, on Monday expressed the fear that the killings in Southern Kaduna could unleash hunger on the people of the region and the state.
The organisation recommended that more security posts should be put in place in Southern Kaduna to check the spate of killings, adding that the security post personnel should work with the communities.
A statement by the co-chairmen of IDFP, Bishop Sunday Onuoha and Alhaji Kunle Sanni, called on Kaduna State Government to put in more efforts towards protecting the lives and property of citizens to ensure sustainable peace in all parts of the state.
Southern Kaduna: A Long Story of Herdsmen Raids, Reprisal And Government Neglect
In the last five years, more than a thousand lives have been cut short in southern Kaduna in a series of intermittent raids allegedly by Fulani herdsmen and reprisal on Fulani settlements.
The river of bloody conflict in Southern Kaduna can be traced to minor provocations in a tension-prone area of the Northwest state.
These provocations are rooted in feelings of hatred against the Hausa/Fulani settlers by ethnic groups in the state as the region battles land exploitation and religious clashes. SaharaReporters examines the genesis of the crisis in this report.
How it all started
Before now, the incidents were outbursts of violence that could be traced to a particular event.
After the politically-motivated election violence of 2011, a more dangerous trend of killing that chiefly involved cattle trampling on farmlands and herders carrying guns became the order of the day.
SBM Intelligence said in a research published in January 2017 that the bloodbath in 2016 was the epiphany of the new wave of sustained killings in Southern Kaduna.
“When viewing the current Southern Kaduna crisis, it is important to differentiate between this – killings between September 2016 and January 2017 and the previous historical incidents,” the publication said.
“The first critical difference is in the duration of the incidents. Most of the violent incidents before 2016 were either single incidents or closely related incidents occurring within a short space of time.
“That is not so with the ongoing violence. The violence has occurred in several separate incidents over a while much longer than any others in the history of Southern Kaduna."
SBM, however, recalled that in the aftermath of President Buhari’s loss to Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, there were 13 separate incidents of ethno religious attacks in Kaduna state alone – Southern Kaduna inclusive.
The killings, according to SBM research, was reported to have started in May 2016 and subsided in September 2017.
A research titled, “Southern Kaduna and the atrocities of Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen,” authored by the African Conflict and Security Analysis Network (ACSAN), said the sustained devastation, which SBM reckons began in 2016, had started earlier.
This report says some communities in Southern Kaduna were “so devastated that they could not even participate in the general election – 2015.”
ACSAN’s paper noted that the bitterness in that part of the state had its roots in the feelings of marginalisation by the different non-Hausa/Fulani groups.
This emotion has festered over the centuries.
“Before colonial and after colonial rule, the indigenous people of Southern Kaduna feel an alien system of governance was imposed upon them.
“In 1450-1850, it was the Saurata System in Zazzau, then came the Emirate System in 1816-1903 and the Native Authority System in 1903-1930, and in all these periods the indigenous people were marginalised and their land exploited,” the report recounted.
Timeline of killing spree
Reports of the frayed relationship between the dominant minority and the marginalised majority started filtering through in the eighties.
Reports reviewed by SaharaReporters showed there were several attacks which culminated in the destruction of properties, before the wildfire of 1987, which led to the death of 19 persons according to official records in 1987.
ACSAN recollects that the fire was reportedly ignited by a Muslim student, Aisha Garba, who was incensed by the preaching of a pastor that had switched from Islam to Christianity, Abubakar Bako.
Ms Garba is said to have jumped onto the podium at the event organised by the Fellowship of Christian Dtudents in the Kafanchan college of education, seized the microphone and “called on all Muslims to rise in defence of Islam.”
On a Sunday thereafter, some Muslim youths attacked an ECWA church.
The governor of the state at that time, Abubakar Umar, issued a broadcast, saying mosques and copies of Koran had been burnt in Kafanchan.
Governor Umar’s seemingly unfounded claim sparked a riot that turned the headquarters of Jema’a local government inside out and spread to other parts of the state.
Before the now frequent herdsmen raids, three more high-fatality riots split the frail cohabitation between the settling Hausa/Fulani and the ethnic non-Muslims of Southern Kaduna.
Between February and May of 1992, the Rahila Cudjoe commission said in its unpublished report that the Zangon-Kataf crisis caused over a thousand deaths and the destruction of multiple properties.
This crisis was sparked by an attempt to relocate the location of the weekly market, which was situated in a clustered Hausa/Fulani neighbourhood.
Within the same period, eight years later, Human Rights Watch said between 2,000 to 5,000 persons were killed, when Muslims and Christians in all of Kaduna went on a violent killing spree.
The deaths were allegedly ignited when Muslim youths attacked a protest organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against an executive bill to introduce Sharia law in the state.
In November 2001, 1,295 persons were murdered in Gwantu, Sanga LGA of Southern Kaduna, according to a police report. This outpour of blood was provoked by the traditional Muslim head of Gwantu and the Christian chairman of the local government.
ACSAN notes that both parties failed to explain to each other that the creation of a Sharia and customary court in the LGA would not affect their way of life. Once clashes broke out on the streets after Friday prayers, the Sanga LGA chairman was said to have left.
Since 1987 when the occasional burst of killings started, the federal and state governments have been reported to be either passive or on the side of the Hausa/Fulani attackers.
In 1987, the riot was sparked by the state governor. In 1992, the Rahila Cudjoe commission failed to publish its report, and no stories of culprits being sentenced were reported.
The military did not step in to quell the violence sparked by the Sharia riots until the third month. Riot police were reported to have stayed back and watched houses, churches and mosques get burnt, done nothing.
While the crisis lasted, people were slaughtered on the streets and barricades of burning tyres erected across the state, including in the South.
The military was said to have stepped in when some youths, reported to be Christians, tried to launch a reprisal in a Muslim neighbourhood.
The present Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has been accused of partiality since the sustained herdsmen attacks began.
On February 15, 2019, the former FCTA minister said 66 persons of Fulani extraction were killed in the troubled local government of Kajuru, which is bordered by three local governments at the heart of the southern Kaduna crisis.
He said the death toll rose to 130 four days later but reportedly refused to comment on the killing of 11 persons from the Adara ethnic group during the same timeline of the massacre he announced.
The senator representing the area, Shehu Sani; human rights advocate, Chidi Odinkalu; and the commissioner of police in the state at the time, Ahmad Abdurrahman, disowned El-Rufai’s claims. Sani said the death toll was between 10 and 15; while Odinkalu noted there were 11 deaths.
El-Rufai, who revealed that most of the herdsmen terrorising residents of southern Kaduna and Kajuru are foreigners, attempted to expand the Ladduga grazing reserve.
The Southern Kaduna people, who said they had already lost lands to the Hausa/Fulani settlers, felt this was an affront.
SBM, in its January 2017 report, noted that the failure of governments at both state and federal level, to make policies out of genuine consultation, could see a full-blown militia created in the region.
The intelligence-gathering company highlighted the moves made by the Tarok, Jukun and Eggon ethnic groups to defend themselves against Fulani herdsmen attacks and carry out reprisal on innocent Fulani settlements when provoked.
In one incident in 2013, the Eggon militia was reported to have killed 90 security personnel.
When will the killings in Southern Kaduna stop? Time will tell.
Again, Fulani Herdsmen Attack Southern Kaduna Village, Kill Six People, Many Declared
No less than six people have died after armed Fulani herdsmen attacked Doka Avong Village in Kaduna State.
This is the fourth attack in less than five days on predominantly Christian farming villages in Southern Kaduna area by armed Fulani herdsmen, which has claimed the lives of more than 100 people.
The attackers, who raided Agwala Magayaki area of Doka Avong Village overnight, used machetes to cut unarmed men, women and children to death while many others are reported missing at the time of this report.
Some of the survivors are currently in critical condition at the Idon General Hospital.
One of the victims, a 26-year-old woman, Alheri Mandela Ishaya, is unconscious after sustaining deep machete cuts to her head and face.
Many houses were also burnt in the attack.
UNDATED: Naked Kaduna Women Protest Against Governor El-Rufai Over Rising Insecurity, Endless Killings
Women in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State, have embarked on a nude protest over the incessant killings in the region.
Southern Kaduna, predominantly occupied by Christians, has witnessed more ethno-religious violence than any region in Nigeria's North.
Last Sunday, 16 people were reportedly killed in an attack by yet to be apprehended gunmen.
The killings have continued despite the deployment of military personnel to the area.
Nigerians Demand Investigation Into Death Of Tolulope Arotile, Country’s First Combat Helicopter Pilot Who Died At 25
Nigerians have taken to social media to express shock and grief over the death of Tolulope Arotile, the country’s first female combat helicopter pilot.
She made history on October 15, 2019 when she was commissioned as the first combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
Arotile was instrumental in fighting insurgency in Nigeria, according to the Nigeria Air Force.
“She died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna,” it said.
NAF’s explanation for the cause of her death is, however, stirring controversy among Nigerians.
Mourning her demise, @Aloyebaba said, “What a painful loss! We need an investigation into how she had a road accident inside the base. The nation mourns this great officer, may her soul rest in peace and God grant the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
Former Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, hailed her as a “woman who conquered the impossible”.
In a post on Twitter, he said, “Tolulope Arotile was a shining star who broke barriers and defied conventions. She raced through an uncharted and dreaded path and braced the tape in victory. She refused to be hindered by neither the ceiling nor the sky. She was a woman who conquered the impossible and the unimaginable. RIP.”
Another Twitter user, @ChequerSpell, said, “Was she run over? If not, why would she lose her life by being knocked down by a vehicle in reverse? Too many questions, too few answers. I'm so pained over someone I didn't even know, how much more her own family and friends. RIP.”
Johnson Abe wants the Nigeria Air Force to give Nigerians a more detailed explanation and condoled with her family.
Tweet @JohnsonAbe, he said, “This explanation is quite unacceptable. She is military, some accidents must be investigated and like this one. Condolences to the family and the Nigeria Air Force.”
@OluwafemiMaduka said, “This is so shocking in a rude way. In her short but momentous life she had so much behind her and a lot more ahead of her. She was a pioneer in many ways. May her family find comfort and strength in this very dark time.”
@danbaba_7 tweets, “I shed tears even though I don't know you personally. I am tired of seeing young, brilliant and useful people in our society suddenly cut down and dispatched to the great beyond. May your soul RIP. This is really painful, her future was so bright.”
Nigeria's First Female Combat Helicopter Pilot Dies At 25
Nigerian Air Force's first female combat helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile, has died in a road accident.
SaharaReporters gathered that Arotile sustained head injuries from a road accident which occurred at the NAF Base in Kaduna on Tuesday.
She made history on October 15, 2019, when she was commissioned as the first combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
NAF, in a statement, said she died on Tuesday.
The statement quoted the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as describing her death as an "irreparable loss".
It partly read, "It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
"She died today, July 14 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.
"Until her death, Flying Officer Arotile, who was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the service.
"During her short but impactful stay in the service, late Arotile, who hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, contributed significantly to the efforts to rid the North Central states of armed bandits and other criminal elements by flying several combat missions under Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State.
"The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf of officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of late Arotile over this irreparable loss.
"We pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest," NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said in the statement.