Bounce Exclusive: 'Fulani Herdsmen Rendered Me Homeless'
They heard strange noises but were not sure from which direction it came.
They eventually noticed it was all around the community. They were surrounded and in shock. They had no prior disagreement with their neighbours and were not prepared for any confrontation.
They later discovered that they were victims of an extended dispute that had nothing to do with them but they were included as collateral damage.
Residents of Godogodo community in Southern Kaduna could only escape with their lives and the clothes on their backs. They were never to return to their homes and their lives would never be the same again.
On this same day, something inside these people died and they were awoken to their new reality of being refugees in their own home country.
"On the 15th of August 2016, the Fulani came and surrounded the whole of Godogodo village. They killed people and burnt down the whole houses in the community, including my own house.
"My poultry farm was burnt down, including my farm crops, were also destroyed by cows. I managed to escape that same night with my family to Kafanchan. Since that time, we have been here in a camp.”
"For these attacks to stop, there has to be justice,” he said.
Bulistinat recounted his horrific experience to Bounce News and he had tears in his eyes. He look tired of hoping for a new beginning. He wanted only one thing - justice. He did not even care if it had to be served cold.
He said the crisis started sometime in May, 2016 when there was a minor dispute between some farmers in a village called Ninte and the Fulani normads.
The problem escalated into a conflict before state authorities could step in to resolve the matter. Due to the delay of the government, the angry Fulani took matters into their hands and began to attack rival communities extending their raids to other villages.
"I think the government is taking sides. If not, they could have sent in troops immediately these attacks started. But what we continue to hear is that the Fulani are attacking only those stealing their cows. But that is not true.
"For the attacks to stop, there has to be true justice. If the government sees us as one and the governor sees us under his umbrella, including the Fulani and non-Fulani, Christians and non-Christians and recognize that all of us joined hands to vote him in, then we should have justice.
“If a Christian violates the law, he should be held accountable and be punished according to the law. The same should apply to a Muslim when he commits a crime instead of taking sides.”
He told Bounce News that up until the time of our visit (April 7, 2017) none of the suspected attackers has been arrested.
Recently, the The Kaduna State government dragged a Vanguard newspaper correspondent in the state, Luka Binniyat, to court for alleged false reporting of the death of some students during the crisis volatile southern part.
Mr. Binniyat was slammed with a two-count charge before a Kaduna State High Court.
He was accused of writing a false report claiming about five students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, were ambushed and shot dead by Fulani herdsmen.
The state government has also refuted reports that it has failed in its duty to protect residents in the state from attacks by armed men. The government continues to reiterate its drive to sustain peace in all local council areas.