There was pandemonium in Godogodo area of Southern Kaduna, Jema’ah Local Government Area of the state, as suspected Fulani herdsmen reportedly killed no fewer than 20 persons between Saturday and Sunday.
It was gathered that the attackers laid siege to the town, an urban settlement in Jema’ah LGA, which has its headquarters at Kafanchan. It is about 250 kilometres away from Kaduna metropolis and serves as both the commercial and the social hub of the people of Southern Kaduna.
The development forced the Interim Management Committee Chairman of the Council, Dr. Humble Katuka, to slam a 24-hour curfew on the LGA.
Katuka, who placed a 24-hour curfew on Jema’ah LGA around 3pm on Sunday, cited the need to maintain public order, law and security in the area as reason for his action.
This is just as tension enveloped Kafanchan, about 12 kilometres north of the troubled spot(Godogodo).
It was learnt that the herdsmen invaded the town in a commando-like style.
The police source as well as those fleeing from the crisis area, said Godogodo was torched, 20 people killed while scores suffered varying degrees of injuries.
A community leader and eyewitness, who would not want his name in print, told our correspondent that Godogodo town had been under the mercy of gunmen for two days with a part of the town razed.
“In the inferno, many lost their lives while some who tried to escape were shot or hacked down by the Fulani herdsmen,” the source said.
The Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Usman, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, confirmed the violence, saying at least two policemen had been killed in an earlier raid near Gogogodo on Friday while a police formation was attacked before the invaders faced the town on Saturday evening.
Usman said the Kaduna State Police Command had deployed more units of mobile and conventional policemen in the place.
The police spokesman said, “I can confirm to you that yes, there has been an invasion of Godogodo by some hoodlums. It is true that they have burnt down some parts of the town, but for now I have not been told the exact figure of casualties, but people were killed.
“In fact, the gunmen first attacked our men stationed there. Our men got some help from another unit of police and they beat the attackers into a temporary retreat.”
Usman added that a police sergeant was wounded and was taking medical attention in Kafanchan as of the time of filing this report.
He said, “As I speak, the Kaduna State Police Commissioner has ordered deployment of more units of Mobile Policemen and Conventional Police in the town. They should have arrived by now. Last Friday, some armed men ambushed our men around Godogodo, killed two officers and fled. We shall surely get them soon.”
The Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association, Kaduna State Chapter, Dr. Haruna Usman, however, said he was not aware of the attack.
“I don’t know anything about that yet,” he said.
Another local community leader in Godogodo alleged that last month, some Fulani youths who were well armed, attempted to enter Godogodo to kill people but the people escaped to Ninte, Golgofa, Akwa, Gada and the surrounding villages in July.
He, however, said, “Our vigilante boys and soldiers chased them out and arrested five of them.
“But they killed four of our boys. People ran away from Godogodo to Gidan Waya (the next semi-urban town about 4km away). But with the permanent posting of policemen in the area after that incident, people returned to the community.
“Then last Saturday, around 6pm, we heard gunshots from around Anguwan Ninzon area. As the people were running and women and children screaming, they set some houses on fire with people inside. If I tell you how I managed to escape, you will say I’m lying. I just followed some old men and we ran through a bush path with shootings going on all over the town.”