Kene Obiezu is contributor on public issues and commentaries here at USAfricaonline.com
Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
As the compass leading Nigeria to a destination yet unknown continues to malfunction wildly, the long – suffering people of Southern Kaduna must be asking themselves their offence or the offences of their ancestors that now warrant that their children and women continue to be used as baits in Nigeria`s blood-curdling and bone-chilling blood games.
A people ripped to shreds by the bullets, bombs and bayonets and forces that do not want Nigerians to feel safe and equal in their own country continue to loudly ask for the offence that has exposed their communities to so much bloodletting almost on a daily.
For anyone who writes about the losing battle Nigeria is currently fighting against insecurity and poverty, to take the wings of words and travel to Kaduna is an emotional roller-coaster. Kaduna State of Nigeria`s premier military and defence institutions; Kaduna State of people proud of their heritage even till death; Kaduna State of terrorists where students are abducted from their schools and left traumatized for months while devastated loved ones scramble for ransom; Kaduna State of Nigeria`s ransacked railways and now, Kaduna State of terrorists shelling villages from a helicopter.
On Sunday, June 5, 2022, terror assumed a new dimension in Kaduna State when Ungwan Gamu , Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Maikori villages near Maro in the Kajuru local government area of Southern Kaduna came under attack by terrorists posing as Fulani herdsmen,.
Death was said to have ridden into the communities on 150 bikes which carried at least three men each armed to the teeth with AK-47s. At the end of their mission of death, at least thirty-two persons were killed and many more injured as more fear was struck into the hearts of people who over the course of many years have come to believe their religion and ethnic affiliations make them targets in the state.
The attacks which lasted for close to six hours did not draw any military intervention from the Nigerian Army. However, when the villagers in Maikori mobilized and were turning the tables on the attackers, a most curious thing happened.
A helicopter materialized over the sky,and began to direct its deadly fire on the villagers which caused them to retreat. Without their response, the entire community was burnt down. A church in the community, The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Dogon Noma was also razed down in the attack.
While about 32 of the villagers were killed, many others sustained gunshot wounds. When the villagers gathered on the following Monday, June 6 to conduct a mass burial for victims of the attacks, the attackers struck again and abducted scores.
In the wake of the attacks, the Adara Development Association has called on the Nigerian Airforce to conduct an investigation to determine if the helicopter and its crew had any affiliations to the Nigerian Air Force. The Association also called on the authorities to take charge of the security situation in Southern Kaduna.
Startlingly, the National President of the Association, Awemi Dio Masamari, also revealed that there have been reports in the past of helicopters supply weapons and provisions to bandits in their locations both in and out of Adara chiefdom.
There is no doubt that the security situation in Kaduna State calls for urgent intervention. It should scandalize Nigeria that the state which hosts its premier military schools is has become a haven terrorists many of whom are suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. It also appears that there are those who are exploiting the situation in Southern Kaduna to further their interests.
A state of emergency should be declared in Kaduna State and the situation of the long- suffering people of Southern Kaduna should be given the highest priority with a view to safeguarding lives and properties in the area, once and for all.
The question of those terrorizing Kaduna State remains unanswered. Who are they? The regular abduction of students and passengers in the state, what do they really want? Beyond the often devastating attacks launched on communities in Southern Kaduna while the authorities look away, what do they hope to achieve?
The criminals who are tearing Kaduna State apart must have their sights trained on Abuja, Nigeria`s Federal Capital Territory which is only hours away from Kaduna on unsafe roads.
It is a reflection of the criminal incompetence of the authorities at different levels that the men, women and children of Southern Kaduna whom they are sworn to protect have been left at the mercy of killers who hide their murderous hands behind herds of cattle.
It betrays criminal incompetence on the part of Nigerian authorities that men, women and children in Southern Kaduna can neither sleep by day nor by night as a catastrophic humanitarian situation threatens to spiral out of control brought on by campaigns to weed them off their ancestral lands.
Those who should secure Nigerians should be ashamed that from Kagoro to Kajuru to Kachia and Kafanchan, communities in Southern Kaduna are being picked off by people who have no business being in Nigeria in the face place.
While they fold their hands and do nothing, Nigerian public officers who cry ‘hate speech’ whenever ethnicity and religion are rolled into the same line as insecurity only give themselves away as heinous hypocrites.
Lest any Nigerian no matter how far removed from Kaduna State or the devastated communities of Southern Kaduna be under any illusions: the hyenas which continue to gather in the forests of Kaduna from where they pick off innocent men, women and children have far grander designs on the Giant of Africa than Southern Kaduna.
Unless their blood lust is curbed once and for all, they would overrun the country, sooner rather than later!