The media has published a heart-rending and touching eyewitness account of the vicious Fulani bandit’s attack on Chibuak village in Zango-Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State on July 10 which left at least 20 persons dead.
Zango-Kataf, a Local Government in Southern Kaduna, has been on the receiving end of many brutal conflicts caused by religious, ethnic, and political differences in the past.
Mrs. Paulina Ishiaku, who lost her husband in the attack, gives a vivid account of how the armed Fulani bandits carried out their vicious and dastardly attack on her village.
According to Paulina’s narrative, the Fulani bandits had killed a farmer on his farm in the village three days before they attacked the village.
Following the killing of the farmer, her husband, Ishiaku Elisha, who was the village head, did not only move quickly to appeal for calm in the village but also strictly warned the villagers in very strong terms that no one must touch the Fulani who had lived at peace with them in the village for many decades.
He equally assured the Fulani of their safety and told them to remain calm. Despite the tension the incident created, people remained calm in obedience to her husband’s counsel.
She continued that to their surprise, three days after the incidents, soldiers came to escort their Fulani neighbors out of the village. They were confused and heartbroken about their Fulani neighbor’s decision to leave the village they have been a part of for so long. Nevertheless, the Fulani all left the village.
After they left, the Fulani bandits sent a message to the village to prepare for hell as they were coming for the village. The message further compounded the villager’s confusion particularly because they did not in any way harm or plan to harm their Fulani neighbors.
Again, Paulina’s husband assembled the community and warned everyone against touching the properties of the Fulani neighbors that had left. And everyone conformed.
True to their threats, the armed Fulani bandits launched a vicious attack on the village on the dusk of Thursday.
Their heavy gunshots aroused the villager’s attention to their presence. Then huge flames of fire lit up the night sky. The attackers had set neighboring houses on fire.
When she looked outside her compound, her son’s car was up in flames as well. The attackers had invaded her husband’s second home. They moved from house to house, searching for the men of the village.
When the bandits got to each house, they would tell the women that they were not after the women, but the men only. They would demand their husbands’ whereabouts. They shot a woman and her daughter-in-law in the arm for not telling them their men’s whereabouts.
About 30 heavily armed bandits entered Paulina’s compound. When they came into the house, they shot and killed her younger brother. Paulina testified that she recognized one of the Fulani boys who opened their gate. She gave his name as Ali.
They Fulani bandits broke into the flat next to hers which belonged to her husband’s first wife, who lived with her 25-year-old daughter, Dorothy.
They shot her dead and shot Dorothy in the legs. Dorothy managed to crawl to her door to warn her to run away because the bandits would kill them all if they met them. Their bandits were shooting all over the house. Outside the house, everywhere was on fire.
Paulina and her children, seven persons in all, managed to escape through the kitchen window with her granddaughter tied to her back. They had to drag Dorothy along as she could not walk. She cried and begged them to leave her behind to die so that the Fulani bandits would not catch up with them and kill them all.
Thankfully they were all able to escape into the bush near the banks of River Kaduna where they could still see the destruction of their village. The killings and destruction lasted until 4 am. But it was not until 5 am when the gunshots had finally stopped that they emerged from the bush.
However, while they had managed to escape, the Fulani bandits forced their way into her husband’s room and shot him several times. But when the bullets did not penetrate his body, according to her, they used machetes to cut him to death.
The bandits then carted away their valuables and set their houses ablaze. They rustled about 26 cows in the village. Those who were injured in the attack eventually died because there were no vehicles to convey them to the hospital.
The Fulani swore to come back for the men who were their targets but had escaped that attack. They swore that they would finish with the whole village.