Three people were killed and seven were abducted during attacks by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity on two Adara communities in southern Kaduna state in the early hours of 6 September.
Both attacks took place at around 2.00am. Three people were killed and two abducted when the militia attacked the Buda community in Buda Ward, Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA). The victims were named as 45-year-old Rev. Alubara Audu of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), a father of five; Adamu Tata, 40, a father of four, and Ishaku Peter, 37, a father of five. Those abducted were Sani Peter, 25 and Esther Sani Peter, 20. The terrorists also attacked the Kemara Rimi community in Buda ward, abducting Ojo Aminu, 35, Danfulani Makaranta, 37, Namiji Gwamna, 36, Ali Musa, 36 and Grace Mathew, 16.
The attacks on Buda and Kemara Rimi are the latest in a sustained campaign of violence targeting farming communities in southern Kaduna, which has been ongoing since January 2020, and which is characterised by murder, looting, rape, forced displacement, land occupation and abductions for ransom.
According to the Adara Development Association, on 2 September four people were abducted from Rafin Roro village in the Kasuwan Magani Ward of Kajuru LGA. One managed to escape and three are still in captivity. Earlier, five people were abducted for ransom on 27 August, including Daniel Shuaibu and Abednego Paul, who were kidnapped from their home in Maraban Kajuru, and Master Pius Gargai who was abducted from his family residence at Maraban Rido. The abductees remain in the hands of their kidnappers as their families have been unable to meet the ransom demands
Figures compiled by the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) indicate that 24 communities in three wards of Kajuru LGA have been displaced and occupied since 2019. On 16 August, Danladi Abashi, a 50-year-old farmer, was murdered after wandering too close to villages that had been invaded and are still occupied by Fulani herdsmen in the Kallah/Gefe/Libere area of Kajuru LGA. His body had to be recovered by the police, because the herdsmen refused to allow members of the Adara community near the area.
The latest attacks occurred in the wake of several peace initiatives. On 22 August the Atyap, Fulani and Hausa communities in Zangon-Kataf LGA signed a peace pact following a peace and reconciliation summit convened under the auspices of His Highness, the Agwatyap, Dominic Gambo Yahaya. On 2 September Governor Nasir el Rufai inaugurated ‘The House of Kaduna Family’, which he described as “a platform for leaders of faith to dialogue, interact and assume collective responsibility for messages that assist people of faith to live up to the highest ideals” of their respective faiths. Additionally, on 6 September, the Kaduna State chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) resolved to “be [their] brothers’ keeper henceforth in order to foster growth and development in the region."
The Kaduna State government subsequently released a statement condemning “bandit attacks in Giwa, Igabi, Chikun, Kauru, Kajuru LGAs,” and praising the peace initiative in Jema’a LGA, adding: “Security agencies have been directed to double up and intensify operations against bandits and raids on their hideouts.”
However, in a statement issued on 6 September the National President of the Adara Development Association, Awemi Maisamari stated: “With the continuation of such hostilities by Fulani herdsmen even when various peace moves are being initiated, it is becoming clearer that the purported dialogue is serving as a diversion to enable the attackers to continue their diabolical activities. We are left wondering whether it is worthwhile engaging in such dialogue and peace talks if this continues.”
Mr Maisamari added: “The time for civil and security authorities and even Fulani community leaders to continue feigning ignorance of the perpetrators of these crimes and their whereabouts has since gone. Also, the challenge thrown by Governor Elrufai asking for details of occupied villages in Southern Kaduna has since been adequately answered. Any further failure to adequately address these issues will be a confirmation that government is only interested in reeling out rhetoric while their actions and inactions serving as encouragement are speaking loudest.”
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW’s heart goes out to those affected by the continuing violence in southern Kaduna. We express our deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in the recent attacks, and continue to call for effective action on the part of the Kaduna State and Nigerian Federal governments to secure the immediate, unconditional, and safe release of all those abducted, and to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. The situation in southern Kaduna should be of the utmost concern to the international community. We continue to call on the UN Human Rights Council to convene a special session with a specific focus on the ongoing violence, and urge UN Member States to raise these concerns with Nigeria at every opportunity, including during the upcoming Human Rights Council session.”