Survivors of Fulani herders’ attack on Adara villages in Kajuru Local Council in Southern Kaduna have narrated how a helicopter shelled their villages, while they were fighting the invaders.
They narrated their ordeal when they visited the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Jonathan Asake, at the union’s national secretariat in Kaduna.
The villagers, led by Rev. Denis Sani of First Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Maikori, said they were at SOKAPU secretariat to seek assistance for the starving communities and to brief the president on the tragedy that befell the villages in Kajuru.
“It was around noon on June 5, while we were in the church that we got information that armed Fulani herdsmen were attacking Dangoma and nearby villages. We hastily rounded off our prayers and came out. We then heard that they were in large number and heading towards Maikori,” he told the SOKAPU president.
“We called for reinforcement and all the youths came out and we laid ambush for them. We evacuated our women, children and elderly into hiding. In no time, we saw them. They were in large number on scores of motorcycles, each carrying three turbaned herdsmen who all had AK-47 rifles.”
According to him, when the herdsmen were getting close to them, they fired their Dane guns at the invaders.
“Upon hearing our gunshots, the leader of the armed herdsmen raised his left hand and came to an abrupt halt. The rest also stopped,” he said.
Rev. Sani further remarked that the killer herders dismounted from the motorcycles and started responding.
But since the villagers were already undercover, they had an upper hand and the killer herdsmen started retreating, The Guardian learnt.
“Eventually, we saw a helicopter coming towards Maikori, and we were happy that help had come,” Sani said.
He pointed out that they were shocked to discover that the white helicopter started firing in their direction, even when the motorcycles of the assailants, their positions and mode of dressing, marked them out clearly.
“I saw my people running for dear lives and some were falling. I also ran. It was not possible to face the armed Fulani and the bullets from the helicopter, so we ran for dear lives,” he noted.
While they escaped, the herdsmen reportedly entered Maikori and started burning homes.
His words: “As they were burning houses, the helicopter was hovering over the village to defend them from our returning. They took three good hours burning every structure in Maikori, except three or four houses that do not have any valuables.
“My church, First ECWA in Maikori, was burnt to ashes. My house and everything I ever worked for went with the flames. I only came out with what I am wearing. As of now, I cannot tell you exactly how many people were killed from that attack, because we are still picking bodies in the bushes. But 32 persons have been buried. Other villages that were attacked earlier that day by the same killers are Sabon Gida, Unguwan Sarki and Dogon Noma.”