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Kaduna siege: Govt offers more insight

By Charles Abah
No fewer than 222 persons lost their lives in Kaduna State between April and June this year due to violent attacks, a report by the state government has revealed.

Of this number, males topped the list with 205 victims, while nine females were killed during the period. Eight of the casualties were minors, the report added.

The report also showed that 774 persons were kidnapped, while 20 persons were reportedly raped across the state within the period under review.

ThisNigeria had in its lead story last week entitled “Kaduna: The Siege” reported that life had become hellish for residents of the 54-year-old state.

The lurid report X-rayed how criminal elements through banditry and kidnapping had laid siege to the state.

However, in its report made public last Tuesday, the state government disclosed that these attacks which occurred between April 1 and June 30, emanated from banditry, kidnapping, cattle-rustling, attacks, and reprisals even as t noted that these vices had altered the rural economy of the state.

A part of the report signed by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said, “Banditry has led to the near-total collapse of the local economy in front-line areas, which is mainly sustained by crops and livestock farming. The activities of bandits in these areas have dispossessed residents of their foremost means of sustenance and disrupted the operation of the usually dynamic weekly markets.

“Besides the rustling of cattle, the previously highlighted targeting of farmers by bandits has gradually eroded the economic viability of rural communities, in addition to precipitating a food crisis. This has translated to losses running into billions of naira from the rural economy”.

Meanwhile, of the three senatorial zones in the state, Kaduna Central Senatorial District topped the death chart with 159 cases. The figure represents 71.62 percent of the casualties, while Southern Kaduna and Northern Kaduna Senatorial Districts had 24.32 percent and 4.05 percent death cases respectively.

A breakdown of the death statistics showed that 156 of such cases occurred in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun, and Kajuru local government areas. While the Igabi council area posted the highest record of 44 deaths, Birnin Gwari LGA had 42 cases.

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In the death rankings also, whereas Chikun LGA had 37 cases, Giwa and Kajuru LGAs posted 21 and 12 death cases respectively.

On the 774 kidnapped citizens for the period under review, the report showed that 555 of them, representing 72 percent, were abducted in Kaduna Central District.

Again, Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun, and Kajuru local government areas topped the statistics, recording 550 of the cases. Whereas Chikun LGA had 148 citizens kidnapped, Igabi LGA had 139 victims, while 91 persons were kidnapped from Giwa.

Kajuru LGA had 89 kidnapped citizens, while Birnin Gwari LGA recorded 83 cases.
Similarly, Southern Kaduna Senatorial District recorded 164 kidnapped persons with Kachia LGA posting the highest number of 111.

The Northern Kaduna Senatorial zone recorded 55 kidnapped persons with 37 of them from the Zaria local government area.

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In all, 503 males were abducted, while 239 of their female counterparts were kidnapped within the period under review. The report showed that 32 minors were abducted within the period.

Of the 20 rape cases, 13 of them, according to the report, are minors. Whereas 10 rape cases, representing 50 percent of the casualties, occurred in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District, eight cases, representing 40 percent, took place in Northern Kaduna Senatorial District. With two outstanding cases, Kaduna Central occupied the third position with 10 percent of the rape cases.

The report also revealed that8,553 herds of cattle were rustled within the period, with 5,715 stolen from the Kaduna Central Senatorial zone. This represents 67 percent of the rustled cattle.

Igabi LGA had the highest figure of 3,347 cattle, whereas 1, 609 animals were rustled from the Kachia council area. Zaria LGA witnessed the rustling of 1,195 herds of cattle.

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