Thousands of wailing villagers, Thursday afternoon, swarmed around 38 coffins bearing the corpses of people killed by murderous herdsmen in Madamai and Abum villages in the Kaura local government area of Southern Kaduna.
They were violently killed on Sunday, September 26, 2021.
No official of the Kaduna state government was present at the emotion-filled funeral.
But the Senator representing Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, Danjuma Laah told the villagers that they are being killed because the government has failed to defend them.
The Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, Diocese Most Rev Julius Yakubu Kundi said also noted that the ruling class in Southern Kaduna have betrayed their people.
These were revealed to SaharaReporters on Friday in a statement issued by the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union’s spokesman, Luka Binniyat.
The statement is titled, ‘38 Coffins Of Killed Villagers In Southern Kaduna Stir Anger At Funeral Mass.’
It reads, “The coffins which were brought to the village square of Mallagun, about 6km from Madamai by the Kagoro-Samaru Kataf expressway for a funeral mass, also inspired fiery speeches, as Kaduna State government and even serving government officials that are of Southern Kaduna origin shunned the event.
“It could be recalled that Madamai and its smaller neighbour Abum, came under invasions of armed herdsmen last Sunday, leaving at least 38 people killed, 9 severely injured and 40 homes burnt.
“The first attack on Madamai was on the 15th of August 2021 in which 5 persons were killed and 26 houses burnt. No one has given reasons for the bloody crime.”
Addressing the mourners, Senator Laah, in his message, said it was left for the people of Southern Kaduna to decide whether they want to go into extinction or not.
“I have witnessed too many mass burials in Southern Kaduna. There was a time we buried 134 people in various mass graves in 2 days. If you still think that there’s going to be a government that is going to defend you . . . well, I am sorry for you.
“This mass was organised for the world to see the kind of evil that has been visiting us and we have been burying our kinsmen silently, just to await the next mass killings. But this time, the world must see this and bear witness that we are under genocide. If we the leaders speak against it, we are branded haters of peace,” Laah said.
In his speech, Kundi said, “These innocent, poor villagers lying in these coffins would have not been there if you, our elites and politicians did what you should do. Because I know that you have the means of doing it, when you know that we have no one to protect us. But because of greed and lack of foresight, you have abandoned our people.”
In his sermon, Fr. Billiyok Joseph Abba, said, “The people that committed this heinous crime against this Christian community may have injured us physically, but our Faith in Jesus Christ remains unshakable.
“They have cut down the lives of these brethren, but they have only hastened them into martyrdom and immortality with our Maker.
“We must not be moved into the ways of the aggressors, because the anger of our Lord would soon be unleashed on our enemies very soon.”
But the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, Rev. Joseph Hayab, took a different view from Abba.
“We have written enough petitions, written too many press statements, organised Press Conferences and held several protests. No one appears to read or see us. The only time they will listen to us is if one day they enter a village and they are surrounded and none of them comes out. That day, they will listen,” he said to the loud approval of the moaning crowd.
SOKAPU President, Jonathan Asake on his part, said there was a well-designed agenda to chase out natives of Southern Kaduna from their communities and supplant a hostile, foreign one.
“As I stand here today, 104 of our communities in Southern Kaduna have been captured by armed herdsmen and thousands have been displaced with no consequence to the assailants.
“Our people are under a clear genocidal threat and the government must be held responsible for all these massacres.”
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state government clearly avoided the ceremony as not a representative of the government was present. Also, not a single serving government official, whether elected or appointed from Southern Kaduna was present at the event. The caskets were later laid in a mass grave dug by an excavator at Madamai, amidst more wailing around 5 pm.