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Bloody Sunday in Kajuru as Fulani Militias Massacre Villagers, Loot Food Stuffs

By Steven Kefas

(Kaduna), Kajuru County in Nigeria’s Kaduna state has once again been plunged into mourning after suspected Fulani ethnic militia terrorists launched a deadly attack on Libere Gari village on Sunday, May 19. The brutal assault, which began around 4:30 pm local time, left six innocent civilians dead and inflicted immeasurable trauma on the farming community. Libere, with a predominant Christian population of about 10,000 people is situated 50 miles from Kaduna, the state capital. All victims of Sunday’s attack are Christian farmers and members of the Adara tribe, which has suffered intense persecution from Fulani radicalized terrorists, since 2019, eyewitnesses told Truth Nigeria.

On hearing the news, Mr. Judd Saul, founder of US-based Equipping the Persecuted, a humanitarian NGO, as well as TruthNigeria, pledged to send a $2,000 shipment of medical and nutritional aid to the victims. “This is an initial response, and we will seek to secure other aid from American donors,” Saul told TruthNigeria editorial staff.

Eyewitnesses describe a harrowing scene as over 50 heavily armed terrorists surrounded the village and opened fire indiscriminately, sending panicked residents fleeing for their lives. The militants, who locals say were speaking the Fulani language of Fulfulde, displayed a wanton disregard for human life, gunning down those attempting to escape the chaos. The residents could not name any group responsible for the attack but said they suspect the same group responsible for carrying out mass abduction in the county in recent weeks.

“The gunshots were so heavy as if it was a war. Most people that died were those running for their lives,” recounted Adamu, a provision store owner who survived the onslaught by taking cover during the attack. His testimony echoes the senseless brutality that has become all too common in this embattled region.

In addition to the tragic loss of life, the terrorists burned 25 motorcycles and looted food supplies from village barns, depriving the impoverished residents of vital sustenance and transportation. A local vigilante officer, Samuel, theorized that the raiders sought to replenish food stocks for themselves and potentially to feed kidnapping victims held in their camps.

“I believe they came to steal our foods so then can feed themselves and the people they kidnap every day. I can tell you that is what they came to do, unfortunately they had to kill some innocent people along the line,” Samuel grimly stated. If this account is anything to go by, then it could be an indication that the terrorists operating around Kajuru county may be under distress and short of supplies in their camps.

Sunday’s bloodshed is merely the latest in a string of attacks that have terrorized Kajuru County. Just 24 hours earlier, the neighboring community of Sabon Gari Libere suffered a similar assault, with three civilians killed by the marauding bandits.

The county has become a hotbed of insecurity in recent times, with mass abductions of peasant farmers by terror groups believed to be taking shelter in the vast Kajuru forests that extend into neighboring Chikun County. These lush woodland areas have provided a haven for the militants to regroup, resupply, and plan further acts of violence with near impunity.

The worsening security situation has sparked outrage and demands for decisive action from authorities. However, the response from security forces has thus far proven inadequate in the face of the militia’s asymmetric tactics and seemingly endless supply of arms and fighters.

Three northwest states of Kaduna, Zamfara, and Katsina, have witnessed brutal clashes between armed groups and the Nigerian military in recent months due to escalating violence in agrarian communities in the region. In Zamfara, over 300 villages reportedly have been attacked by Fulani radical Islamist-bandits.

When contacted for comment on the ugly incident, the Kaduna state Police Public Relations Officer, Mansir Hassan promised to get back to this reporter but never did. Efforts to reach him later proved abortive.

As bereaved families mourn their loved ones and survivors grapple with the psychological toll of the violence, Kajuru County finds itself held hostage by the unrelenting scourge of terrorism. Without a fortified security presence and concrete steps to address the root causes driving extremist recruitment, this fertile agricultural region seems destined to remain ensnared in a cycle of fear, displacement, and death.

For the residents of Libere Gari and surrounding villages, the nightmare is now their grim reality, one in which the liberating promise of democracy and rule of law has been displaced by the tyranny of the gun. As they bury their dead and rebuild what was senselessly destroyed, their weary eyes look to the horizon, hoping against hope that real and lasting peace can one day call Kajuru home.

Steven Kefas is a veteran conflict reporter for TruthNigeria.

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