Zangon Kataf crisis: Natives condemn attacks, killings, call for protection

Atyap Community Development Association, ACDA, in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State has condemned the killings, maiming and brutalization of the Atyap people in the last few days.

The ACDA, however, asked all Atyap natives to remain calm and law-abiding and join law enforcement agents in ensuring that peace returns to the land.

The ACDA National President, Prof. Lucius J. Bamaiyi, in a press statement issued in Kaduna on Saturday, said that on Friday 5th June 2020, there was a squabble on farmlands with the Hausa community warning the Atyap natives to desist from farming their lands around Zango urban town, saying that the Agwatyap, the paramount ruler, and the security agents have brokered peace.

The statement narrated that on Wednesday 10th June, 2020, a young teacher, Mr. Moses Yusuf Magaji, 32years old, went to his farm on the outskirts of Zango urban town to cultivate some crops but did not return, some youths and security agents went to look for him, he was not seen in his farm but his mobile phone was found and a pool of blood discovered within the farm.

The statement said, “The search for him went on throughout Wednesday and continued into the early hours of Thursday 11th June 2020 when his body was later discovered. Moses Yusuf Magaji had been slaughtered like a goat and his corpse taken several kilometers away and dumped by the bank of River Kaduna, around the bridge, near Bakin Kogi, Chawai. The corpse was carried by a joint team of Soldiers, Police and Civil Defence to the St. Louis hospital Zonkwa.”

The statement further explained that youths of the land embarked on a peaceful demonstration of the brutal murder of Moses Yusuf Magaji, but security forces drafted to Zangon Kataf opened fire on the protesting Atyap youths and allegedly killed one and injured others.

The ACDA noted that prior to the events of Wednesday 10th June, 2020, the Atyap people have been under provocative attacks since 2017, saying that on 17th January 2017, four Atyap youths were allegedly murdered in Samaru market by gun-wielding Fulani militias and four casualties were recorded.

The ACDA alleged that the killings were perpetrated to provoke Atyap into reacting, stressing that in his pursuit for peace, His Highness the Agwatyap, Mr. Dominic Yahaya on one occasion in 2017, went out of his way and rescued some Fulanis that were attacked by some neighbouring towns and took them to the hospital and paid the bills which Miyeti Allah acknowledged and applauded the kindness of the Agwatyap.

“The Atyap people did not retaliate in all of these provocative killings because of our desire to live in peace with the Hausa-Fulani communities with whom we have stayed together for decades. Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Press Release is a gross misrepresentation of facts and devious propaganda calculated to show that the aggressive and murderous Fulani are “victims”, and that their targeted killings are “justified”.

“The MACBAN are misrepresenting facts with inflammatory statements to ensure that the peaceful coexistence that had prevailed in Atyap Chiefdom is ended and replaced by acrimony, violence and crises,” the statement explained.

The Commissioner for Internal Security in Kaduna State, Samuel Aruwan, according to the statement chose to call the incident “Farmers’ clashes”, ignoring the fact that Mr. Moses Yusuf Magaji was slaughtered in his farm by Hausa-Fulanis which is the cause of the current crises.

The ACDA explained, “We want to draw the attention of Government and security agencies at all levels to note with all seriousness, the threat from Malam Ibrahim Bayero Zango, Director Media and Publicity, MACBAN Kaduna State Branch”

The ACDA also called on relevant authorities to be proactive in securing the lives of the Atyap people and other Nigerians residing in Atyap land to ensure that the threat of MACBAN does not come to fruition.

“I am also calling on the Hausa-Fulani communities in Atyap land to join hands with us in dousing the tension with a view to ensuring peace as no Atyap person is happy with the current chaotic situation in our land,” the statement noted.

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Zangon Kataf crisis: Natives condemn attacks, killings, call for protection

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