By Simon Ujah, Kaduna
Armed bandits that sacked 10 Gbagyi communites in Chikun and Birnin Gwari local Governments Areas of Kaduna State, have demanded for a ransom of N100million to free 58 hostages they have been holding since 6th January, 2020.
The President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Hon. Jonathan Asake, revealed this on Monday in a statement issued in Kaduna.
Asake had gone to visit the refugees at an uncompleted Community Secondary School, Unguwan Bije, Gonin Gora, a suburb of Kaduna with members of his exco to assess their situation, being members of SOKAPU, when he got the information.
A leader, among them, Pastor Habila Sarkin Noma Rumana, of Mission Church, Rumana, Birnin Gwari narrated the ordeal of his kinsmen to SOKAPU leadership.
He said: “We have been under attacks in the past, but we always find ways of surviving them.
“What we know is that the attackers are well armed and are Fulani.
“They would grace on our crops and threatened to kill if we protest. Sometimes they could attack and take captives. We will manage and pay ransoms. Even after paying, sometimes they’re kill the victims. But the ones that took place on the 6th January, 2020 was the worst.”
“Hundreds of armed gunmen invaded about 10 of our villages at the same time. They carried out deadly attacks and looted our villages.
“At the last count between 34 and 36 people were killed. In fact, from there 58 people were kidnapped from what the kidnappers said. But we still can’t account for many. They are hiding in the forest and bushes. The kidnappers have called. They say we must produce N100m as ransoms if we want to have them alive.
“I don’t know how they expect us to raise that money. They stole our cattle, looted our valuables, stole and burnt our grains. We escaped by the grace of God. We that are here are just 170.”
He further stressed that, “This number is very small compared to those that have ran to Buruku town. They are between 7000 and 8000. Go and see them. They are in filling stations, motor parks, schools and anywhere they can find space and put their heads and the small belongings they manage to take with them.
“As you see some of us here with our children and wives, sisters and mothers it is the clothes we are wearing that we escape with. We are begging for assistance for food, drugs, what to wear before any other thing.
“You people are the only ones that have come to see us. We haven’t seen anyone from the government. We calling for assistance in the name of God.”
Speaking to the Press, Asake who was with the traditional head of Unguwan Bije, Mallam Sabo Waye, said that SOKAPU would call the attention of relevant authorities to their plight.
He said: it is unfortunate that such organised wickedness could be going on in a country with a constituted authority for so long and unchecked.
“There is an agenda targeted at our people. But God on our side, they won’t succeed,” he said.
“I am calling on the government, NGOs, international bodies men and women of goodwill to come to the assistance of these people,” he said.
The affected villages on the side of Chikun are: Badna, Zankoro, Hayin Damisa, Unguwan Badole, Badimi, Kuderi and Unguwan Doma. On Birnin Gwari side are: Rumana Gbagyi, Rumana Hausa and Malomo. End