The reported killing of no less than 66 persons in eight settlements near Maro Gida village of Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State has created tension in communities along the Kaduna- Kachia-road, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.
The Kaduna- Kachia road links the state capital with the South senatorial zone of the state through other major towns in the central senatorial zone. Major towns on the 120 kilometre route include Maraban Rido, Kujama, Kafari, Kasuwan Magani, Katul Crossing and Idon.
Between 3:00 to 5:00 PM yesterday, people living in communities on that stretch were on edge as there were reports that fresh hostilities had broken out at a camp where Fulani who had fled the violence at the settlements at Kajuru had taken refuge.
Saleh Abdullahi, a Fulani herdsman in Kafari told our correspondent that he had gone to Kasuwan Magani to visit a relation when they heard that a fresh attack had occurred at Katul and had to flee the area.
"I don't know what happened but some of my people there called me so I had to return to Kujama with my friend," he said.
Our correspondent reports that he saw some Fulani women running around the bushes and others trying to stop vehicles going towards Kaduna.
Some of the residents who spoke with our correspondent said the commotion broke out when some youths made attempt to attack a herd of cattle and the young men watching over them took to their heels for fear of being attacked as well.
The Kaduna State government had on Friday, issued a statement that 66 persons including women and children were killed at eight different settlements in Kajuru local government of the state.
The statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to the Kaduna governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, did not specify when the killing occurred but investigations by our correspondent revealed that the killings occurred Monday morning.
Likita Abubakar, a Fulani herdsman who lives in Kafari but has friends and relations in the attacked settlements, said the attackers came to the village in the early hours of Monday.
He said the casualty figure was very high as very few survived the attack.
Our correspondent learnt that many of those wounded were taken to various hospitals in Kaduna, including the Barau Dikko Hospital.
The source however said they were under instruction from their leaders not to make comments.
The National Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Ibrahim Abdullahi, when contacted said leaders of the association were meeting over the matter and will soon issue a statement on it.
The settlements attacked on Monday, according to government sources are, Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
Many have not been able to place a finger on what actually caused the attack but our correspondent learnt that the Fulani and the Adara ethnic groups in Kajuru have been suspicious of one another since a major crisis broke out between them in 2017.
A leader of the Adara community who does not want to be named said some of their people were attacked on Sunday at Ungwan Barde and that 11 persons were killed.
Our correspondents learnt that reports of the killing of the 11 members of the Adara ethnic group coupled with the memories of the 2017 crisis where both sides were hurt led to the attack on the Fulani communities on Monday.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State said the incident happened in the late hours of Sunday, February 10 to 12th February, 2019, at about 1:00am at Gindin Gada, Maro Ward of Kajuru Local Government in Kaduna State, where unidentified hoodlums went into the village and killed 11 persons in their sleep.
"Two of the suspects were said to have been apprehended and handed over to the Divisional Police.
"It was in the afternoon of the said date of the attack (as contained in the press statement) that the District Head of Kufana, Mr Titus Dauda, and four of his local chiefs were released after their invitation by the DSS State Command on the issue," the CAN stated.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabi, promised to call back when our correspondent tried to reach him but had yet to do that at the time of filing this report.