No fewer than 32 persons have been reportedly killed following an attack by killer herdsmen on Ungwan Gamu, Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Maikori villages near Maro in the Kajuru local government area of Southern Kaduna.
The communities were reportedly attacked on Sunday, June 5 from 12 pm until around 6 pm without military intervention, a statement by the Adara Development Association noted.
According to the statement signed by Awemi Dio Maisamari, the National President of the group, the terrorists came on 150 motorcycles carrying three AK-47-wielding persons each.
It noted that while the armed killers were carrying out their operations in some areas, the villagers mobilised to repel the attackers at Maikori village and were already recording some successes as they were taking control of the situation.
Shockingly, a helicopter appeared and started air strikes against the natives who were trying to defend themselves. Maisamari said this made the youths run in search of safety, enabling the invaders to burn down the whole community.
The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Dogo Noma was razed down, the statement said.
Several members of the community sustained injuries from the gunshots from the helicopter. However, the number of casualties has yet to be ascertained. As of the time of filing this report, 32 dead bodies had been recovered.
On Monday, the community gathered to conduct a mass burial for the victims but gunmen invaded again and abducted scores of persons. The assailants have yet to make contact with the families of the victims, the statement said.
The Association called on the Nigeria Air Force to conduct an investigation into the incident and determine if the helicopter and the crew are affiliated with the Nigerian Military.
According to the statement, there are reports of helicopters dropping weapons and provisions to bandits in their locations both in and out of Adara Chiefdom.
The statement reads, “In the latest tragedy, Ungwan Gamu, Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Maikori villages near Maro in Kajuru LGA were attacked on Sunday, 5th June, 2022. The death toll this morning is 32 as villagers comb surrounding bushes for more corpses.
“7 corpses were found this morning in varying degrees of decomposition. The attack started around 12 noon and lasted until around 6 pm unchallenged by the state. It was carried out by Fulani terrorists mounted on 150 motorcycles carrying three AK-47 wielding persons each.
“When the armed killers were carrying out the killings around 3 pm, the villagers mobilised to repel the attackers at Maikori village.
“The valiant natives who came out in large numbers from neighbouring villages were already driving back the invaders and taking control of the situation when a helicopter appeared.
“To the horror of the natives, the white-painted helicopter faced the brave natives instead and started gunning the youths from the air, clearly leaving out the killers who can be distinctly identified by the mode of dressing and from their positions.
“There was no way that poorly armed farmers using crude weapons could face the combined fire strength of better-armed herdsmen and a gun-mounted helicopter. With no other options, the Adara youths had to scamper for safety.
“This enabled the attackers to burn down the whole village. The covering fire of the helicopter also enabled the attackers to escape unhurt. As a result of the attack, 25 persons, mostly men were killed. 16 men, 5 women, and 4 children were killed.
“We are not yet sure how many of the casualties were caused by the gunshots from the helicopter. But some injured persons are taking treatments in various hospitals.
“Some houses were burnt at Ungwan Sarki but Maikori village was completely destroyed. The ECWA church in Dogo Noma was razed down. Some houses in Unguwan Sarki and Unguwan Gamu were also burnt.
“The burial of victims was disrupted yesterday, Monday, 6/6/2022 as the Fulani terrorists were sighted in nearby bushes.
“Furthermore, many people are still missing and some of them are believed to have been abducted by the assailants. So far, no contacts have been made. The attack has caused serious panic, leading to the displacement of thousands of people in the area.
“Most of the displaced persons, especially women and children are still relocating to places like Katul Crossing, Kachia, Idon and Maraban Kajuru. The attack has compounded the already very bad humanitarian situation in Kajuru LGA because Kutura station and other neighbouring villages were similarly destroyed and displaced on 8th April 2022.
"The Adara Development Association (ADA) wants the Nigeria Air Force to thoroughly investigate this incident and determine if the helicopter and the crew belong to the Nigeria Air Force.
“There have been too many reports of helicopters dropping weapons and provisions to bandits in their locations both in and out of Adara Chiefdom.
“The Nigeria Air Force should speak on this incident to clear the air. We are calling on the government and other people of conscience to come to the aid of our displaced and dehumanised people.
“The ADA also wishes to express its outrage with the Kaduna State Governor for abandoning the people to the mercy of Fulani terrorists.”