The umbrella body of Fulani herders, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says its people are also victims of attacks by bandits.
The group was reacting to conflicts in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
In a statement on Wednesday by Alhaji Haruna Usman Tugga, its Chairman in the state, the group said it was discovered based on information, the trigger for the present round of disturbances emanated from the attack on a Fulani family by unknown bandits in Gora Gan village of the Chiefdom on 7th July 2021.
Tugga added that at the last count, about 16 persons, mostly women and children, have been killed while over 300 houses belonging to the Fulani were reportedly burnt to ashes in different villages of the Chiefdom.
“Fulani pastoralists are equally victims of the atrocities of bandits who spare nobody, as they are constantly rustling cows, kidnapping pastoralists and killing whenever victims fail to pay ransoms as demanded by the bandits,” the statement said.
“As it has become characteristic of misinformed youths who are indoctrinated to hate the Fulani pastoralists, attack on cattle rearers followed the unfortunate event.
“While security agencies moved swiftly to contain the violence around Gora Gan and adjoining villages, there was the mobilization of Atyap youths by some ethnic chauvinists among the Atyap ethnic community and other non-peace loving organizations that resulted in attacks on Fulani settlements throughout the Chiefdom.
“Within a few days, all the houses of the Fulani in the Chiefdom were burnt by mobs in broad daylight.
“In addition to the burning of settlements, an unconfirmed number of Fulani pastoralists were also killed. As a consequence, the surviving victims of the arson are now internally displaced and scattered around in neighbouring local governments of Kaura, Kauru, Lere, Jema’a and Kachia.
“Due to the nature of attacks and displacement of the Fulani people, we are yet to ascertain the total number of people killed, even though there are confirmed reports of the killing of 16 persons, mostly women and children. Over 300 houses belonging to the Fulani were reportedly burnt to ashes in the different villages for the Chiefdom,” the statement read.