No fewer than 12 persons were feared dead in a renewed attack on Sunday at Aso village in Jema’a Local Government Area, about 250 kilometres from Kaduna, the state capital.
President, Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) Dr. Solomon Musa who confirmed it said one person was still missing and three critically injured.
The attack took place in the same village where three persons were reportedly killed by gunmen in February.
“Yes we are aware that gunmen attacked a village called Aso on Easter Sunday and killed 12 people, one is still missing while three others sustained varying degrees of injury. As at today, the situation has been brought under control and we just pray and hope that all this killings will be genuinely brought under control,” Musa said.
“They were armed with AK-47 riffles…they started shooting sporadically immediately they entered the village,” he said.
He said the latest attack was an indication that the security agencies could no longer protect them.
“We are now left with no option than to defend ourselves since the soldiers and policemen deployed to ensure safety of lives and property have failed us.”
Interim Management Committee Chairman of the Local government, Leo Shekari confirmed the attack, which he described as unfortunate.
“I have visited the scene and have also directed the Chief at the village to forward a comprehensive report of what actually happened and the magnitude of damage. For now, I cannot tell you in detail how many were killed or otherwise.”
He urged the locals to remain calm saying adequate security had been mobilised to the affected area.
Another witness revealed that the incident happened same day a peaceful coexistence meeting was held by the traditional council with the Fulani community in the village.
“The meeting ended amicably without any rancour until the unexpected happened later at around 6:30pm. Twelve persons died of bullet wounds when the attackers stormed the village and opened fire sparodically on innocent persons. Three injured persons were rushed to Kafanchan General Hospital. The incident took everyone by surprise because we were all in Easter mood.”
Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Aliyu Usman were unsuccessful as he neither responded to calls nor short message to his mobile line as at press time.
While condemning the killings, Governor Nasir El-Rufai urged security personnel to redouble their efforts.
In a statement by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, the governor, extended his condolence to the families of the victims and charged security agents to redouble their efforts.
“Security agencies should redouble their efforts in fishing out those behind the killings, and act promptly on carefully vettedintelligence,” the statement said.
The governor also requested support from communities to the security agencies.
“The Nigerian Army is set to commence a major operation tagged, ‘Operation Harbin Kunama II’… communities should provide vital information that could aid a successful clampdown on elements responsible for the terror attacks on our citizens.”
In December, the Federal Government deployed troops to southern Kaduna to end the incessant attacks and killings, but the attackers have managed to strike on a number of occasions.