Shortage of food, drugs and other relief materials has hit Southern Kaduna communities following persistent attacks by gunmen suspected to be Fulani militiamen.
Four local government areas of Southern Kaduna – Zango-Kataf, Kaura, Kauru and Jemaa – have been under persistent attacks, forcing the state government to impose a curfew on them.
Following a week-long attacks on communities in the LGAs and the inability of the villagers, who are subsistence farmers, to go to farm, hunger has crept into the communities.
Sources said some of the Internally Displaced Persons camps, especially at Zonkwa, were being flooded by displaced villagers, including aged women and children.
Our correspondent learnt that the development has led to shortage of food, drugs and relief materials in the camps, as well as in the communities.
A farmer, Jatau Mutum, told our correspondent that since Saturday, the IDP camp at Zonkwa had witnessed an increased number of displaced persons from Zikpat and other communities under attack.
Mutum, however, added that there was no commensurate food and medical supplies to take care of those at the camp.
“Before now, the ECWA church camp was sustaining no fewer than 1,500 IDPs, but we have over 3,000 displaced persons following the recent attacks on some communities,” he said.
The spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Luis Binniyat, stated that on a daily basis the union was being besieged by calls from families who were starving because “there is no market and farming activities have come to a stop.”
“Both the federal and state governments are not ready to look into the plight of the displaced persons in Southern Kaduna,” he added.
Muslims raise alarm over isolated killings of member
Meanwhile, the Muslim community in Southern Kaduna, under the aegis of the Muslim Youth Foundation of Southern Kaduna, has alleged isolated killing of its members in the area.
The group added that Muslims were being targeted for killing following attacks on Zikpak in the Jemaa LGA where no fewer than nine persons were killed on Friday.
The chairman of the group, Mohammed Bello, in a statement, said, “Guerrilla attack on Muslims, who are either in transit or in the process of carrying out their legitimate business has been going on in Southern Kaduna for quite some time now.”
Following the recent, attacks, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday, extended the 24-hour curfew to Jema’a and Kaura LGAs.
In a related development, a religious organisation, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, on Monday expressed the fear that the killings in Southern Kaduna could unleash hunger on the people of the region and the state.
The organisation recommended that more security posts should be put in place in Southern Kaduna to check the spate of killings, adding that the security post personnel should work with the communities.
A statement by the co-chairmen of IDFP, Bishop Sunday Onuoha and Alhaji Kunle Sanni, called on Kaduna State Government to put in more efforts towards protecting the lives and property of citizens to ensure sustainable peace in all parts of the state.
IG orders CP to enforce curfew
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, to enforce the curfew imposed by the state government.
The force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a statement on Monday, said the CP “is to personally coordinate the operations of the security operatives in the state,comprising the Police Mobile Force, Counter- Terrorism Unit, Special Forces, detectives/intelligence operatives as well as personnel of the Kaduna State Police Command and the military.”
The IG enjoined the people to cooperate with the police and other law enforcement agencies as they enforced the curfew and other measures aimed at ensuring their safety.
“He warns troublemakers in the state to desist forthwith from acts of violence and lawlessness,” the statement noted.