Women and children were also killed. The incident took place in Pah village, Jama’a Local Government Area, in the southern part of Kaduna State, where gunmen had been terrorising people for long. The incident occurred at about 7:45 p.m., when the wedding was winding down.
Over 20 others were said to have sustained various degrees of injuries from gunshots and were rushed to the Kafanchan General Hospital. A community leader, who did not want his name mentioned, said that he witnessed the horrific incident. He explained that the gunmen, numbering over 10, burst into the wedding ceremony, just as guests were beginning to leave and opened fire on the crowd. Many of those left behind when the gunmen struck were mostly women and children. According to him, 10 people were killed on the spot while five died on Monday at the Kafanchan General Hospital, where others are still receiving treatment.
According to the eye witness further said: “There was a wedding that took place in the community and the celebration lasted till evening as people, mostly women and children were still dancing. At about 7:45p.m., or so, the gunmen, about 10 of them, I cannot precisely say, came and started shooting sporadically at the crowd. Everybody was terrified at the sound of gunshots and ran for safety. Unfortunately, 15 people died as a result of injuries from the gunshots. Ten of them died on the spot while five died on Monday in the hospital. We’re really shocked by this development because we assumed that peace has returned to our communities.”
Persistent calls and a text message sent by our correspondent to the Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Yakubu Sabo, did not yield any result. Sabo did not pick his calls and also didn’t respond to text messages sent to him. However, reacting to the attack in a statement yesterday afternoon, Hon. Shehu Nicholas Garba, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Jama’a/Sanga Federal Constituency, said the attack was an affront on the fragile peace in the area. He also disclosed that there had been a brewing crisis between indigenous Fulani and some communities in area, which led to the killings of 12 persons.
He, however, added that there had been, “frantic efforts by the local authorities, including notable leaders within the communities to contain the situation and prevent it from escalating.” Garba stated: “Our communities were denied the joy of Christmas celebration last year. We should refuse to be pushed into taking retaliatory measures which the enemy wants to exploit, so as to deny us yet another Christmas and New Year celebrations and perhaps peaceful elections next year. I urge the security establishments to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act for the law to take its course.”
The Kaduna State government said troops have been deployed to the area to ensure security of lives and properties. A statement from the State Security Council disclosed that the deployment of troops was intended to, “further secure the area and provide the atmosphere for extensive investigation of the sad incident, and the apprehension and prosecution of the culprits.” The statement, which was signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, said the governor condemned the attack. He added: “The governor has sent a message of condolence to the community, expressing his deep sadness at the loss of lives and his sympathy for the victims and their families.
The government also urged that anybody with useful information on the attack to kindly contact the security agencies.” The statement added that the governor has also directed Jema’a local government council and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to, as a matter of urgency, work towards taking care of victims receiving medical attention and provide relief materials to the community as a whole.