Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Abu Ibrahim has revealed how 126 people were killed in four Katsina villages.
The killings coincided with President Goodluck Jonathan’s State visit to the state.
Senator Ibrahim said Monday that initial investigations showed that the killings were carried out by foreign insurgents who attacked on motorcycles armed with AK-47 rifles and helicopters.
The insurgents, he further disclosed, were camped in a Federal Forest Reserve in Katsina South senatorial district which also borders Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi up to some parts of Niger States.
Statistical data of those killed, as released by senator Ibrahim indicated that 57 people were killed in Mararrabar Maigora, 40 were shot dead in Mai Gora, in Layin Galadima, 21 were killed while eight others were shot dead in Unguwar Doka.
His said ”On Thursday morning, I got information of what was going on in my constituency of Katsina South senatorial district; mainly in two local governments-Faskari and Sabuwa local governments.
“This thing happened when President Goodluck Jonathan was on a state visit to Katsina and he was not even aware! They were holding gala night when people were being killed! It’s an unfortunate situation but that’s the truth.
“On getting the information, I quickly called the Area Commander and the two District Heads who relayed what happened. It’s been an issue that’s been going on for a very long time.
“There’s a chunk of Federal Forest Reserve which covers that Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi up to some parts of Niger. The locals claimed that the forest reserve had been taken over by hoodlums. Originally, people thought they were cattle rustlers or Fulani herdsmen who had been part of the society, for years, even for hundreds of years.
“Skirmishes between farmers in the local villages and Fulani herdsmen have been a known phenomena but this situation was completely different.
“The forest has been taken over by these people; the villagers even claimed that the Fulani herdsmen have been pushed away and this time, and at the same time, cattle rustling became a very serious issue.
“All the farmers in the area who own cattle have lost them, they’ve been stolen and some killings have taken place; this had devastated some parts of the state. It has particularly devastated Birnin Gwari area; the skirmishes have been very serious in the two local governments I mentioned earlier. It spread to Kaduna State and even in Zamfara State where many people were killed.
“I was there personally, visited them at the weekend, between Saturday and Sunday when this incident took place. I visited all the villages where these killings took place and from the records I got from them, in Mararrabar Maigora, 57 people were shot dead, in Mai Gora-40, in Layin Galadima-21 and in Unguwar Doka, eight people were shot dead.
“I interviewed the village heads and asked them what really happened and I was told that these people came on motor cycles, armed with Ak-47 rifles and started shooting people.
“There were claims that in one village, they resisted the armed robbery of their cattle and they killed one or two people which precipitate this attack. The reprisal attacks occurred with over 50 motor cyclists, killing from one village to another and what particularly shocked me was that most of the affected villages have been sacked!”
Senator Ibrahim further said that at least eight villages were sacked by the insurgents, adding that if not addressed on time, insurgents from Mali, Libya, Niger, and Chad can enter Nigeria and kill at will.
“I counted eight villages that have been either sacked or the villagers ran away! Investigations I got from the Miyetti Allah leadership was that this goes beyond the normal Fulani farmers and cattle herdsmen feud.
“Some of the villagers told me that helicopters even landed in the forest…so, it’s beyond the normal skirmishes that normally and culturally happen between these people for years.
“As I have said, I will raise the issue with my colleagues from the state as well as senators from Kebbi, Kaduna and Zamfara and my fear is that if the forest is taken over by foreign insurgents, probably from Mali, Libya, Niger, Chad, then, we are in for another serious situation in this country.
“Government must take action immediately, to find out the real situation of things. We must find out what is really going on and the National Assembly, too, must intervene…”senator Ibrahim said.