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Kaduna’s ‘red wedding’: Relatives recount ordeal

Just like the ‘Red Wedding’ term in the popular Game of Thrones television drama series, this Kaduna wedding also experienced bloodbath, as a number of…

Just like the ‘Red Wedding’ term in the popular Game of Thrones television drama series, this Kaduna wedding also experienced bloodbath, as a number of deaths occurred during the celebration. Many were killed after all ceremonies were concluded in the church; Daily Trust Saturday reports


It was Sunday night. Families, youths and well-wishers had converged to celebrate with Christopher Moses at a send-off party organised after his church wedding.

The home of Moses and his new wife in Kukum Daji village, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, was filled with church elders, the women choir group of Zumuntan Mata and other members, who offered prayers and pieces of advice to the new couple before dispersing to give the youth the opprtunity to carry on with the festivity.

However, about 10:30pm, when most of the youths were immersed in the celebration, tragedy struck. What could have been a fun-filled and memorable evening turned bloody when gunmen on motorcycles stormed Moses’ home and opened fire on celebrants.

Many of the youths could not escape the attack as they were caught unawares. Daily Trust Saturday gathered and within five minutes, the gunmen had caused a lot of damage  and sped off, leaving screams, blood and corpses behind.

Narrating his ordeal, Moses said, “I was making plans to settle down with my wife and start a family, but unknown to me, some people were planning to end our lives.

They shot at us sporadically and we started running for our lives. There was confusion and the attackers seized the opportunity and continued to shoot. I ran and hid somewhere in the house, praying to God to save our lives.

I watched as they killed my friends and relatives. People were running and screaming for help, but there was no one to help them. Everything happened within a short time. I am still in shock at the violent way my guests were killed.”

The 28-year-old Moses said his wife, who survived the attack, have been traumatised and had to be conveyed to her parents’ house in another village. He said he would live with the gory memory of that incident for the rest of his life.

Speaking with our correspondent in his house, Moses said he regretted organising the party that led to bloodshed.

“If I had the foreknowledge of what was going to happen, I would have cancelled the party. I would have taken my wife quietly to our house since we have already done all the church programmes.

Unfortunately, I decided to organise the party and invited my friends and relatives and almost all the youths of Kukum Daji to celebrate with me, and this tragedy happened,” he said.

A former councillor who represented Kukum ward in Kaura, Samuel Amai, who lost 13 members of his extended family, said the incident would remain in his memory.

“July 19, 2020 was a terrible day. I have never experienced such a thing in my life. And I don’t want to experience it again. We are from the same clan with almost all the youths that lost their lives in the party.

We took some of the injured ones to Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa Memorial Hospital, Kafanchan, but due to lack of available facilities there to remove the bullets, we moved those with serious injuries to Kaduna and others to Salem Hospital in Throneroom Ministry in Kafanchan,” he narrated.

Also, Gambo Yakubu Gowon, who lost his wife, Mary, due to a stray bullet, said she was frying akara (beans cake) near the venue of the send-off when a stray bullet hit her.

Gowon said Mary, who was 20 years old, left a one-year-old baby behind.

“She was the first casualty. I was also at the wedding party when the attackers arrived and shot at us sporadically. I was nearly killed, but thank God that I survived,” he said.

Some residents of the area who narrated how the incident occurred said the power generator used at the wedding had stopped when the attackers struck.

Jeremiah Yasham, who lost his nephew in the attack, said he was returning from watching a football match when he heard the gunshots.

“I later learnt that it was when the generator stopped working and the organisers were trying to fix it that the attackers stormed the venue and started shooting. When I heard the gunshots, I thought it was the sound of a sparking transformer, but I later realised there were gunshots,’’ he narrated.

Solomon Moses and his younger brother, Exodus, were at the party when the gunmen arrived. While Solomon was lucky to have survived the carnage, he told Daily Trust Saturday that his younger brother was not lucky as he was killed.

The mother of the deceased was too distraught to speak with our correspondent when he visited their house, but Solomon said, “We were all at the party when the attackers came and started shooting. I went flat on the ground when they opened fire.’’

Our correspondent observed that after the attack, military men have been stationed  in the community, especially at the Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School, Tunga Bidam, Kukum Daji.

Moses further said, “All we want is peace. Let the government do the needful to bring back peace to our land. I want the government to bring the culprits to book. Justice must be served.

The youth leader of Kukum Daji community, Joseph Liberty, said government  should do everything possible to stop the recurrence of such incidents.

“What they did to us is uncalled for. We lost most of our youths who helped in building our community and the country in general. Government should take serious measures to protect our lives,” he said.

Liberty said the people of Kukum Daji had never had problems with anyone and had lived in peace with their neighbours and  surrounding communities for many years.

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