No fewer than 34 persons have been confirmed killed and several houses set ablaze following a fresh attack by gunmen on Madamai village in Kaura Local Government area of Kaduna State in the early hours of yesterday.
The bloodbath happened while northern governors were meeting in Kaduna over insecurity and other socio-economic issues in the region.
Reports indicated that apart from the 34 killed, seven persons were injured in the attack and rushed to neighbouring hospital in Plateau State for medical attention.
A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Michael Magaji, said the affected communities were about five kilometres away from Kafanchan.
The priest said the bandits shot sporadically in the air during the attack, adding that most of the victims were women and children.
Danjuma La’ah, senator representing Southern Kaduna district, called on the authorities to beef up security in the area to avoid further attacks and destruction of lives and property.
He warned that if government refused to take proactive measures to address the issue, the people would be left with no option than to embark on self-defence.
However, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the attack as an unspeakable display of wickedness, meriting the severest form of punishment.
He spoke through the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.
“Security agencies have reported to the Kaduna State Government, the killing of 34 citizens in an attack in Kaura local government area.
“According to the reports, unidentified gunmen attacked Madamai village in Kaura local government. The troops mobilised to the location and also came under fire, before forcing the assailants to withdraw after an intense exchange.
“Some houses were set ablaze by the attackers at one end of the village. The troops put out the fire at three of the burning houses, and rescued six locals from the infernos.
“As of the time of this update, 34 residents have been confirmed dead following the attack. Seven others sustained injuries, and were rushed to a hospital in Plateau State.
“Governor El-Rufai has stated that the Kaduna State Government will bear the full cost of injured victims’ treatment.
“Furthermore, Governor El-Rufai was briefed by security agencies on the roles played by his HRH Chief of Kagoro, Chief Ufuwai Bonet and the member representing Kaura Federal Constituency, Gideon Gwani in dousing the tension and preventing a breakdown of law and order following the unfortunate incident.
The governor commended their efforts and sterling leadership.
“The governor ordered an urgent assessment of the area by the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, towards the provision of succour to the affected households.
“The governor received the reports with intense grief, and expressed his condemnation of the gruesome attack, which he described as an unspeakable display of wickedness, meriting the severest form of punishment.
“He sent his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, and the affected communities, as he prayed for the repose of their souls.
“He appealed for calm and charged security agencies to intensify their efforts in the campaign against the gratuitous killing of innocent citizens.
“He further tasked security agencies to ensure urgent and precise investigations into the horrific incident.
“At this time, two suspects are being questioned in connection with the attack. Security agencies are conducting operations in the general area, and the government will update citizens accordingly.”
Also reacting, lawmaker in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Yusuf Mugu, urged the state government to deploy drones to end bandit attacks in Southern Kaduna.
“It is saddening that in this era of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) where modern equipment like drones can easily be used to end the attacks, the unfortunate incident continued unabated.
“I plead with authorities concerned to deploy drones, identify flash areas and engage this fearless armed militia that had been killing innocent people in our rural communities.
“What is more worrisome is that the attackers started operation around 4 pm,’’ he said. The people are completely devastated while the affected village and neighbouring communities are being dessert for fear of the unknown,’’ Mugu (PDP-Kaura) said.
The lawmaker, however, commended the state government for its efforts in addressing the challenge, but urged it to take proactive steps in putting an end to the menace.
He urged the bereaved families and affected community to take solace in God and resist any thought of taking the laws into their hands.