Kajuru: How four were killed for preaching peace in Kaduna community

Less than three weeks ago, David Kampani spoke before a group of security agents, government officials and his Adara kinsmen on the need to stop the tit-for-tat killings between Adara and Fulani natives in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Sources at the meeting told Daily Trust Saturday that Kampani’s peace sermon did not go down well with some of his kinsmen as many of them began to make angry faces and soon began a subtle protest, saying their son was selling them out before the government and security operatives.

By Saturday, June 6, 2020, the subtle protest was backed by action when the youths of Adara went on rampage, attacked and killed Kampani, Ayuba Zagi and Danladi Shekarau in Doka village, while Jumare Anthony was killed at Kallah village, all in Kajuru Local Government Area.

Sources from the area told our correspondents that the victims were accused of betraying their brethren to favour the Fulani in the area. To defend their action, the attackers claimed that Kampani had been sighted by many Adara youths assisting in putting out fire on a Fulani settlement, which was attacked and set ablaze over a week ago. That allegation had earned him and others a death sentence.

One of our sources, who is from Adara and feared that revealing his identity could jeopardise his safety, said, “They were lynched on the allegation that they were working as informants for the Fulani. Some of us reject this injustice as an agenda of hate against our brothers who have refused to join the bandwagon of hostilities in the area.

“All the victims were peace ambassadors and law-abiding citizens of Kajuru and Kaduna State. No one has come forward to tell us what offence they committed; but they have been stereotyped and tagged betrayers of Adara,” he said.

The killings created tension in Doka, forcing the village head, Jonah Luka to flee the community, along with his scribe, Bitrus Danmori, after a tip-off that the mob was coming for him.

“You know that three people were killed in Doka and one in Kallah. When the mob apprehended Ayuba Zagi, Danladi Shekarau and David Kampani in Doka, they dispatched others to get the traditional ruler but found out that he had fled the community. We learnt that they escaped through a bush and fled to an undisclosed location,” the source added.

The Kaduna State police command, through its public relations officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, has since confirmed the mob action and said five persons had been arrested and transferred to the police headquarters in Kaduna. He said the suspects were assisting the police with useful information.

The national president of Adara Development Association, Dio Maisamari, also confirmed the incident, but told Daily Trust Saturday that the association condemned jungle justice in all forms and ramifications.

“We have been told what happened. We condemn criminal activities, whether from Adara or Fulani. We were told that some of the suspects have been taken to the police station, so our view is that justice should take its course so that there would be no jungle justice again,’’ Maisamari said.

On their part, the Fulani community in the area had since denied that the victims were their informants. The youth leader of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Nigeria (MACBAN), Yusuf Ahmed, said the allegation that the four people killed were spies of the Fulani were unfounded. Ahmed said it was typical of Adara youths to tag anyone seen with a Fulani man as a traitor.

“What happened to those youths was only because they were not in support of the violence in the area, so they were tagged Fulani sympathisers. There are some areas in Kufana district of Kajuru that a Fulani man dares not visit, especially places like Doka and Kallah villages because even if they know him personally, he may be killed,” he said.

However, our correspondents gathered that it is same for the Adara people who say their people are constantly attacked and killed by the Fulani and would most likely be killed as soon as they cross into a Fulani community.

Last week Wednesday, nine Adara people, including women and children, were killed in Tudun Wadan Doka when attackers, the residents said were suspected Fulani herders, sneaked into homes in the early hours of the morning and killed their victims.

The chairman of Kajuru Local Government, Cafra Caino, in an attempt to stem the tide of attacks, had announced the recruitment of 1,000 Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and tasked them with the responsibility of security surveillance.

Caino said the move was part of a new strategy in the fight against insurgency in the area as members of the CJTF will complement the conventional security apparatus in providing effective security network to bring an end to recurring attacks.

He said Kajuru had over 1million unused hectres of land with some difficult terrains, pointing out that the emergence of the CJTF, as obtained in other troubled parts of the country, was to help curtail social vices in communities so as to create a conducive environment for development.

But despite these efforts, Daily Trust Saturday gathered that there is still tension in Doka village and parts of Kajuru, where hostilities between Adara and Fulani have threatened peaceful coexistence for years.

The killing of the four youths is seen as only a symptom of what has become years of hostilities between Adara and Fulani communities. Major towns in the local government area, such as Kasuwan Magani, have faced decades of ethno-religious crises that have claimed hundreds of lives and rendered many homeless.

For the families of David Kampani the other three victims, all they want is justice as they insist their relatives were not traitors but simply peace ambassadors.

“We are aggrieved, and at the same time, scared. Our brothers were stereotyped and presented as traitors of Adara. All we want is justice, and hope that security agents would ensure that those responsible are brought to book,” one of Kampani’s relatives said.

He said many people had fled Doka village to Kasuwan Magani, either to evade arrest or for fear that the fate of the four victims may befall them.

“If this matter is not taken seriously, then anyone can be pronounced a traitor and killed at will by a selected group. It is barbaric because the perpetrators have made themselves accusers and judges,” he added.

As at Thursday, police sources in Kajuru told our correspondent that the village head of Doka and his scribe had not returned and were seeking police protection.

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