Awemi Dio Maisamari, the National President of the Adara Development Association (ADA), Southern Kaduna, has confirmed that the military helicopter which arrived during the bandits’ attack on villages opened fire on the youths of the village who engaged the bandits.
The helicopter reportedly attacked Maikori youths in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday, June 5.
Maisamari, who narrated the details of the incident where at least 32 persons were killed, in an interview with Nigerian Tribune said the bandits arrived in an army uniform with a large number of motorcycles but they were resisted by the youths of the village who engaged them in a gun battle outside the village.
However, while the battle was on, a military helicopter arrived and rather opened fire on the locals, forcing them to retreat, and giving the bandits the opportunity to enter the village.
The ADA National President said that bandits had been going from village to village in the community attacking, kidnapping, killing and rustling cattle.
He said, “The latest attack was on the 5th of June, 2022. The attack happened in a village called Unguwar Gamo on a Sunday afternoon. People had come out of church service and were relaxing when a large number of bandits arrived on motorcycles with AK-47 rifles. They started shooting and chasing people into the bush.
“We have been living with incidents like this but the situation is getting out of hand. We cannot understand why people would indulge in such barbarism.
“Before the latest attack, there was an attack in April on Takura village, near a railway station. We are getting fed up.
“Recently, bandits attacked Unguwar Gamo, Dogo Noma. Then they went to Unguwar Sarki, all in the same area. When the neighbouring villages realised that they were going from village to village, they decided to take precautions.
“The bandits went to Maikori village but the people were prepared for them. They hid their women and children in the bush. The young men stayed behind and defended their village. When the bandits came, they engaged them outside the village.
“No, they didn’t. But when the exchange of fire was going on, a helicopter arrived at the scene. We thought the security agents operating the helicopter should have a proper aerial view of the environment and distinguish between the two sides engaged in the fight. We expected the helicopter to recognise the terrorists who are always in army uniform with a large number of motorcycles. Some of them were wearing black clothes and holding AK-47 rifles.
“We expected that the security agents would definitely know who were terrorists and who were locals trying to defend themselves. But to our utmost surprise, the helicopter opened fire on the natives.
“So, the natives were now faced with combined fire from the bandits and the helicopter. That forced the locals to retreat and flee. In the process, some got injured. That was when the terrorists entered and destroyed the village. Today, only a handful of structures are still standing in the village.
“There is still tension. People have fled their homes. Inhabitants of settlements along the roads from Kachia to Crossing, to Idon to Kufana to Mararaban Kajuru, have relocated because of the onslaughts of these bandits.
“Most of the displaced people are staying with relations and friends whose villages are not affected. We don’t have a culture of relocating to schools, as others do, and wait for the government to come and assist us.”