THE Southern Kaduna Peoples Union has said over N2bn has been paid as ransom to kidnappers by families and friends in Southern Kaduna to kidnappers for the release of victims held in the captivity of armed herdsmen in the past one year.
The organisation also expressed concern that the deteriorating security situation in Southern Kaduna had not improved.
The Spokesperson for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, raised these issues during an meeting in Abuja
According to him, in Kakau ward, a semi-urban settlement in the Chikun Local Government Area, armed herdsmen, in a remarkable show of impunity, invaded the town for three consecutive days last week and whisked away 61 persons before collecting ransom.
Binniyat added that two persons were also killed by the rampaging herdsmen.
He said, “Last Friday, around 10pm, armed herdsmen struck Anguwan Madaki in Kakau ward, took away 26 persons and killed two. On May 22, 2021, at a village called Libere, in Kallah ward, Kajuru LGA; all in Southern Kaduna, armed herdsmen attacked the village and took away 77 people in one fell swoop.
“The Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, gives daily updates on the security situation in Kaduna State but has never mentioned these atrocities wrought over our people.
“Invasions of villages, kidnapping, arson and cases of murder are commonplace in Southern Kaduna. There is no time since 2020 that at least, 100 natives of Southern Kaduna are not in the hands of kidnappers 24 hours, seven days.
“We estimated that at least, N2bn has been paid as ransom to kidnappers by Southern Kaduna families and friends to kidnappers for the release of their loved ones under the captivity of armed herdsmen in the past one year.
“Today, there are about 108 communities under the occupation of these armed herdsmen in Southern Kaduna. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmlands have been abandoned by the fleeing natives.
“The horrifying truth is that the attackers are getting bolder and are closing in on Kaduna city. For example, Kakau is about 20km from Kaduna State Government House. But Unguwan Madaki is just some 7km away from Sir Ibrahim Kashim House (Govt House), Kaduna.”