The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has accused suspected armed Fulani herdsmen of killing not less than 100 Atyap natives in the last six days.
In a statement by the spokesperson of SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, also claimed that the herdsmen burnt down 24 villages and destroyed hundreds of hectares of farmland.
“For the 6th day running, armed gunmen, identified as Fulani herdsmen by victims, laid siege to several communities in Atyap land, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna and left no less than 33 people dead in an ongoing genocide and land grabbing in which 108 Southern Kaduna communities have been displaced and taken over by them since 2019,”
He explained that in the latest orgy of bloodshed, the invaders stormed Magamiya village in the night around 11pm and attacked the family compound of the traditional ruler of Atyap Chiefdom, Agwatyap of Atyap Chiefdom, Sir Dominic Yahaya and other households were looted of valuables and foodstuffs into waited Hilux before setting the buildings on fire, while a 70- year old traditional ruler, Mr Toma Tauna was killed.
The statement further explained that the same assailants attacked Matyei village and 156 homes were all burnt, the Catholic Church in Matei and its pastorium were also burnt, the Catchiest, simply known as Catchiest Yau, and an infant, were killed in the attack, while six (6) other persons were killed in the violence that lasted for over an hour.
SOKAPU added that the armed Fulani herdsmen then went down to Abuyab Community about 500 metres away and burnt down ECWA church, the home of Former ECOMOG Field Commander, Maj. Gen. Shekari Billyok (rtd) and other homes, adding that their attempt to attack Runji Community was repelled by villagers who got reinforcement elsewhere.
According to the statement, as they retreated, they attempted to destroy part of the main bridge linking the communities with Zangon Kataf town and other Atyap Communities.
It said the same armed herdsmen came in Hilux vans and attacked the Atyap of Makarau and Kachechere Communities leaving 10 people confirmed dead, 12 houses burned after looting them, stressing that the ECWA Church and the Anglican Church pastoriums that serves the communities were set ablaze.
It said in a nutshell,
“20 Atyap natives were killed by attackers (who all the villagers that saw them) identified as armed herdsmen between afternoon and today’s morning, Tuesday, 13 July, 2021.”
The statement explained that “in the past 6 days, at least 33 Atyap natives of Zangon Kataf Area were massacred, 4 churches and 215 homes burnt by assailants always identified as armed herdsmen in a genocidal campaign that became so intensive since 2016.”