It is not the best Christmas festival for Nindem Village in Godogodo district of Jema’a Local Government Area, Southern Kaduna, with the murder of four persons at a Christmas carol in the village.
A lone gunman stormed the village square on Friday night as residents gathered for their annual carol and unexpectedly started shooting sporadically, felling all victims.
Eight others were wounded, sources said yesterday. The village has been in a mourning mood since.
The spokesman for Operation Safe Haven, the military task force charged with the responsibility of keeping the peace of the area, Colonel I. K. Ekpeyong confirmed the development.
He said the bodies of the dead people had been deposited in a mortuary while the wounded persons were taken to the Kafanchan General Hospital for treatment.
Some people suspected to be “masterminds of the attack “have been arrested for interrogation,” he said.
More troops have been deployed to the area to avert a fresh attack or reprisal.
The state government has condemned the attack and asked communities in the area to stand firm against any threat to peace. It urged them to reject those who might want to reprise the events of December 2016, a reference to a similar attack by gunmen on Goska village in the same Jema’a local government area.
Scores of people were killed in that attack.
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, in a statement through his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said: “the hard won peace in the area must be sustained and the culprits brought to book.
“Security forces have informed the Kaduna State Government that there was an attack in Nimdem village on the night of Friday, 22nd December 2017. The government was further briefed, that arrests have been made and investigation is ongoing.
“The government condemns this incident, and calls on all stakeholders to help uphold peace by working to avoid escalation and by supporting the security forces.
“Government commiserates with the families of the victims in this sad moment. The grief and pain these acts of violence leave in their wake can be devastating. It is important that all communities stand firm against any threat to peace, and reject those who might want to reprise the terrible events of December 2016.
“Government appeals for calm as security forces take action to restore peace and stability. Nobody should be allowed to truncate the right of citizens to live in peace and enjoy safety, or thwart their legitimate expectations of celebrating Christmas and the New Year in peace.”
Southern Kaduna has over the years come under incessant attacks by gunmen who routinely invade villages killing and maiming residents.