Some of the casualties of herdsmen attack on Southern Kaduna communities currently being treated in hospitals across Kaduna State are recounting their ordeal at the hands of their attackers.
Between May 19 to 24, the herdsmen attacked Idazau, Etissi, Bakin Kogi, Dutsen Gora, UN Gora, Pushu Kallah and Magunguna villages, killing five, injuring 78, destroying 607 houses and rustling 231 cows in the process.
At least 51 people are also reported missing from these attacks.
A 12-year-old boy named Filibus Magaji, who is currently hospitalised at a facility in Barau Dikko, is being hailed as a hero after he reportedly fought off the attackers as they hacked his father with dangerous weapons.
A local volunteer aid worker (name withheld) told newsmen on Tuesday that although Magaji’s father survived, he is critically wounded alongside two other family members on admission.
Narrating what happened to him during the attack, she said, “Filibus’s older brother ran for his dear life when their father was being attacked. Filibus didn’t run. He tried to fight them off and luckily both survived even though terribly hurt.
“You can’t see Filibus without something moving inside you. You just can’t. While with him today, he suddenly asked to be lifted off the bed because he said he felt someone beating him.
“He kept trying to describe that he was being attacked at that moment, and another lady had to hold him to comfort and reassure him. The hospital staff say it’s routine for him to jerk up suddenly, thinking it’s happening all over again.”
She added that his mother and other family members were killed in the attacks but little Filibus is unaware because of his critical condition.
Another victim, Zipporah Jonathan, an eight year old girl recently discharged from the same hospital is unaware her parents are dead.
“When she was on admission here, she always had very terrible nightmares about the attack. She was cut on the hand with a machete and still needs urgent surgery,” a hospital source said.
Zipporah’s brother admitted at the same hospital, Isaiah, has a more severe cut than his sister.
“When he was found, only a piece of flesh held his right hand together with his bone. He also doesn’t know he is now an orphan and that his older siblings have also been killed,” the source added.
Salama was a five-day-old baby when her mother was killed on May 19 in Kajuru.
“When her mom was killed last Tuesday in Kajuru, she was five days old. She is the first child of her parents, so her father is devastated.
“I spoke with him this morning, he was in so much pain and told me he doesn’t know what to do with the baby. His marriage to his late wife was less than a year old. The baby is with her aunt at the moment,” the aid worker said.
Salama’s 80-year old grandmother survived the attack, she was with her daughter-in-law when she was killed.
Currently also hospitalised, she recalled events leading to the deadly attack on them.
“She told me today that while she was begging the killers to spare the life of the new mom and take hers instead since she was old, they shot her left arm, leaving her with a ghastly wound.
“She started crying when she was telling me she saw her daughter-in-law killed right in front of her,” the aid worker added.