Survivors of the attack on Adara communities in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State have shared their experiences after relocating to an Internally Displaced Persons camp and other safe communities.
No less than 35 indigenes were killed and many others injured in the attack on the three communities in Kajuru.
In the aftermath of the unfortunate event, the natives alleged that the terrorists were aided in their attack by their criminal counterparts using a helicopter.
The claim has been dismissed by the state government, stating that the helicopter was used by the Nigerian Air Force to drive the bandits away.
Speaking with Daily Post after the tragedy, victims of the attack expressed shock over the state government denying that a helicopter was used to aid the assailants.
The villagers led by Reverend Denis Sani of 1st ECWA Church, Maikori, disclosed that they were on a visit to the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) when tragedy struck.
"It was around 12 noon while we were in church that we started getting information that armed Fulani herdsmen were attacking Dangoma and some nearby villages", Rev. Sani said.
"We hastily rounded up our prayers and came out. We then heard that they were in large numbers and that they were heading towards Maikori.
"We then called out for reinforcement and all the youths came out and we laid ambush waiting for them. We evacuated our women, children, and old ones into hiding. In no time we saw them.
"They were in large numbers on scores of motorcycles each carrying three turban herdsmen who all had AK-47 rifles."
The clergyman revealed that when the herdsmen got close to them, they fired their guns at the intruders.
"Upon hearing our gunshots. The leaders of the armed herdsmen raised his left hand and came to an abrupt halt. The rest also stopped."
According to him, they came down from their bikes and responded but their cover gave them an advantage and the herdsmen started to retreat.
"From nowhere we saw a helicopter coming over towards Maikori, and we were happy that help had come", he shared.
Rev. Sani disclosed that they were shocked to discover that the helicopter, which he said was painted white, started firing in their direction, even when the motorcycles of the assailants, their positions and mode of dressing, marked them out clearly.
"I saw my people running for dear lives and some were falling. I also ran. It was not possible to face the armed Fulani and the bullets from the helicopter, so we ran for our lives", he said.
Narrating further, the cleric added that after they escaped, the killer herdsmen entered Maikori and started burning homes.
"As they were burning houses, the helicopter was hovering over the village to defend them from our returning.
"They took three good hours burning every structure in Maikori, except three or four houses that do not have any valuables.
"My church, 1st ECWA Church Maikori, was burnt to ashes. My house and everything I ever worked for went with the flames. I only came out with what I am now wearing.
"As of now, I cannot tell you exactly how many people were killed from that attack, because we are still picking corpses in the bushes.
"But 32 persons have been killed and buried. Other villages that were attacked earlier that day by the same killers are Sabon Gida, Unguwan Sarki and Dogon Noma.
"The Helicopter did not hide its intention that it came to kill us and to help the armed Fulani to achieve what they wanted to do.
"We are therefore here to beg for any form of assistance, especially food and clothing. And we want you to help us inform the world what has happened to us", he said as he produced a bullet he claimed came from the gunshot from the helicopter.
Confirming Rev. Sani's tale, 52-year-old youth leader of the Maikori village, Johna Chris, stated: "When we started shooting at the bandits with our den guns, they seemed to be taken by surprise that there was some form of resistance.
"Even when they were firing back at us, we noticed that they were going backwards. We were ready to defend our village with the last drop of our blood and we had the upper hand against those devils.
"Then this white painted helicopter came from the sky. Instead of attacking the criminals, it is us that it started shooting at.
"The bullets were coming from the bottom of the helicopter straight at us.
"At first, I thought it was a mistake, but it circled back, saw the position of the enemy, left them alone and started raining bullets at us and into our village.
"When I saw people running and falling, I also ran into the bush.
Rifkatu James, a 20-year-old student of Government Day Secondary School, Jabi, Abuja, also shared her experience.
"We finished church service in a hurry because people were saying that Fulani were on their way to come and attack us in Maikori.
"We took the children, our mothers, and old people into the bush to go and hide. Our men started to shoot at the Fulani who were coming on hundreds of motorcycles to attack us. And they also started shooting our people.
"I think we were winning because the Fulani were trying to run away. Then I saw a helicopter coming from behind us. It then started shooting our men. I saw them running, some were falling down.
"I also ran very fast into the bush with others. The Fulani chased us and came into Maikori."