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Captured Kaduna Villages Turned into Rape Dens for Terrorists: Police Official

Army Failure to Protect Majority-Christian Town Called ‘Shameful’

By Luka Binniyat and Steven Kefas

(Kaduna) – A daylight attack on bustling town in Kaduna State has sparked disclosure that the town and the villages around it are falling under the control of criminal gangs using rape as an instrument of terrorism, TruthNigeria can exclusively report. Security sources interviewed by TruthNigeria say the town of Maro, 50 miles east of Kaduna, is in the process of “capture” by bandit terrorists.  On Wednesday, May 29, scores of heavily armed men said to be of the Fulani Muslim ethnic group launched a deadly attack on  Maro, Maro Ward, Kajuru County, killing 13 and injuring several others, officials and eyewitnesses confirmed to Truth Nigeria in Kaduna Wednesday. Daily Trust reported the deadly raid first.

“Capture” of the villages around Maro has been underway for months with the participation of top-ranked military responsible for defending Kachia and Kajuru counties, according to an official of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), Nigeria’s secret police, who spoke to Truth Nigeria on background only.  Some military commanders have been compromised, TruthNigeria learned.

“Right now, there are several Adara villages that have virtually been captured by these Fulani bandits. I can name you some villages. They have given the indigenous people options to leave their villages or stay under their terms and conditions,” the DSS man said.

“The most affected villages are those around Gurara Dam in Awaon Ward and Bishini, and Agunu ward in Kachia LGA.

“Then in Kajuru, many villages in Maro, Kallah and Idon Wards in Kajuru county,” he mentioned.

According to him, every farming adult has a particular levy he pays before the farming season and before harvest in these communities said to be over 40 covering thousands of hectares of land in Kajuru and Kachia county.

“They can also arbitrarily place any demands on the communities including foodstuffs,” he said.

Daily Trust has reported the extortion payments in Kajuru and Kachia Counties (Local Governance Areas) revealing how bandits are taxing farmers N100,000 ($85 dollars).

Rape With Impunity

“But the most humiliating aspect is that they can come into your home and rape your wife and daughters and even sleep overnight,” he said.

“If you don’t want the humiliation, you may leave, but at your risk,” he said.

He said that the Joint Task Force led by the Nigeria Army officers does not patrol the captured villages.

“We in our service here know that the criminals have placed the big army commanders on special monthly payments to look the other way,” he said.

“I have written several reports to my superiors in Kaduna about this wicked development, and I don’t know if they have taken this up with the GOC (General Officer in Command),” he added.

Maro is a semi-urban farming community occupied by 15,00O Adara and Kuturmi ethnic groups and are predominantly Christians, according to locals interviewed by TruthNigeria.

It has a weekly Wednesday market that thrives on agricultural produce and livestock which attracts buyers from near and far.

Legislator Confirms Casualties

Picture of Hon. Danlami Usman Stingo, Member, Kaduna State House of Assembly, representing Kajuru Constituency (Credit: Face Book)
Picture of Hon. Danlami Usman Stingo, Member, Kaduna State House of Assembly, representing Kajuru Constituency (Credit: Face Book)

“I can confirm that 13 persons were killed in that Maro Market attack on Wednesday,” said Hon. Danlami Usman Stingo, Member representing Kajuru county at the Kaduna State House or Assembly, to Truth Nigeria in Kaduna, yesterday.

“The terrorists just came paired on about 20 motor bikes and suddenly opened fire indiscriminately on people for reasons that are still not clear. There is not a day that one or two persons are not killed in my constituency. I am tired of this cruelty and the inability to get the murderers,” he said.

“Not only natives are killed. There are two Hausa traders and one other Igbo man who owns a shop in the market. But the remaining are Adara, though four are from nearby Kachia town,” Stingo said.

“Those that survived the gunshots attacks are in hospitals in Kachia, Idon and in St Gerald Hospital in Kaduna, and I just left after seeing them. They are four and their injuries are life threatening,” he said.

“I cannot say exactly how many are injured, but I keep getting figures between 18 and 20,” he said.

Shame on Nigeria Army: State Legislator

“Look my brother, what is happening in Adara land is shameful,” he said.

“I am saying so because outside Kaduna town, Adara communities host about 70 percent of the most important military combat formations in Northwest Nigeria, and they are very not far from our villages, especially Maro,” he added.

“We have the Nigerian Army School of Artillery (NASA) Kachia. The Nigerian Navy also has a base (Nigeria Navy School of Armament) in Kachia, and I am told that the barracks in Idon has the biggest armory in the North,” he added.

“In fact Kachia, the headquarters of Adara, has contributed large areas of land for training of armed officers and noncommissioned officers each year,” he added.

Army General Delays Deployment of Troops

“Just last week, I and some community leaders from Maro complained to the GOC (General Officer in Command) I Division (Man. Gen. M.D. Saraso) in his office in Kaduna, that we have built a place in Maro that adequately houses a small military base. We said that we were ready to give any kind of cooperation that the army wants. He said he will look into it. He did nothing. After this attack I called and informed him. He said that he will be coming to inspect the place himself to see. I don’t know when,” he said.

Witnesses recall the incident as devastating and bloody.

“The innocent villagers were only doing their usual business in the market on a day both the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria were marking one year of new administration when the terrorists attacked and gunned down citizens like chickens,” according to Jonathan Sani, an eyewitness who spoke to Truth Nigeria.

Abednego Musa, a community leader from Maro, articulated the collective trauma that gripped the town: “Right now, we are all confused, no one is in his or her senses. “We just lost people we saw 20 minutes ago doing their legitimate businesses,” Musa said.

Cafra Caino, one time appointed Chairman of Kajuru County, also an indigene of Mari confirmed the attack to Punch newspaper, revealing that it was the second time the weekly market had been targeted by armed gangs.

Kajuru County, where Maro is located, has evolved into a hotspot for terrorist attacks by armed gangs, often referred to as “bandits” by local media outlets.

Bandits Fleeing Zamfara Blamed

Shading light on the likely reason behind the attacks, Felix Ibiso, a local vigilante officer, said: “the military has been attacking the bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, and other parts of the northwest, but not in Kajuru. And what they fail to understand is that when the heat gets too much up north, the bandits simply move down here through the vast forests and launch indiscriminate attacks against helpless civilians,” Ibiso explained.

All attempts to speak to Kaduna State Command Spokesman, (ASP) Mansir Hassan was abortive as he did not pick his calls.

Luka Binniyat and Steven Kefas are veteran conflict reporters for Truth Nigeria, covering the Middle Belt Region.

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