After killing 30 people across some communities in Katsina state on 16 February, 2020, and then others in March, armed Fulani herdsmen, in an early morning attack on communities in Safana, Danmusa and Dutsenma local governments, April 18, killed 47 people.
But while the Katsina state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Gambo Isah, a Superintendent of Police, confirmed the killings as banditry, the International Organization for Peace-building and Social Justice (PSJ), confirmed from it sources in Katsina state that the morning attacks across the three LGAs were more of ethic than random banditry.
Barrister Yakubu Bawa, a legal practitioner in Katsina said the mistake most people were making is interpreting the series of Fulani attacks on communities in Katsina as random acts of criminality rather than criminality with an ethnic bias.
“The question I asked are two: these people are criminal, right? But is there any record that they have ever attacked any Fulani community? No. We have communities that are predominantly Fulani, but these communities have never been attacked,” he said.
He added that this recent attack has to do with three local government: Safana, Danmusa and Dutsinma local government which are neighbouring local governments.
“When they came to the village, the village vigilante, known locally as yansuka, repelled them. In the process of repelling them, they came across some Fulani settlements which they burnt down. Then the armed Fulani men returned in their hundreds and proceed to burn and killed across three local governments.
“We agree that they are criminal, but in the midst of their criminality they protect their own. They shield their own and protect their own. Put these together and you see elements of ethnicity in there. They have attacked communities in five local governments in Katsina, but no single Fulani community has ever been attacked.”
Attacks on Hausa communities in the state had continued for years, prompting Governor Aminu Masari to grants amnesty to the Fulani bandits late 2019 as a way of ensuring peace. However, months later, the peace was shattered when the Fulani resumes their attacks and banditry on Hausa communities.