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Gonin Gora: A Death Spot in Kaduna!
By: Shafi’i Muhammad Abdulhamid.  
 Published  July 29th, 2012

Gonin Gora is a town located along Kaduna - Abuja express way at Chikun Local Government area of Kaduna state. It is just a km drive after taking the turn that will lead to the Federal Capital city from the Kaduna Western by-pass flyover bridge. The town have become a major transit route for all travelers coming from Abuja or Niger passing through Kaduna to Zaria or Kano. But instead of the people of Gonin Gora to seize this golden opportunity and be making brisk businesses with the travelers, they have turned the area into a very horrendous dead zone! Even with the presence of military check-points, no traveler is willing to stop in the town unless if it is absolutely necessary. Many travelers will be very happy if they can pass the town with a velocity of 200km/h.

The area became popular due to the constant reoccurring notorious killings and burning of innocent travelers on the express-way. Now it is like a habit to them, anytime there is crisis in any part of the state or country, they quickly jump out in their numbers and block the express way – stop, kill, loot and burn innocent travelers and their cars, all in the name of reprisal! Some of the unforgettable memories includes; the 2011 post election violence and the recent Kaduna bomb blast.

I passed through Gonin Gora three weeks after the 2011 post election violence had been brought under control, but still I counted 47 scraps of burnt cars and busses by the road side. At that time, it was said that most of the cars have been moved away from the spot. The number of deaths at Gonin Gora was estimated by many newspapers to have run into hundreds. Many prominent people also lost their dear lives at the deadly spot and that includes a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Sabon Gari local government area of Kaduna state Late Major Abdullahi Ibrahim (May his soul rest in peace, amin) who was burnt beyond recognition. I still remember how a good friend of mine, who happens to be a PhD student at ABU Zaria almost met his waterloo at Gonin Gora. The violence sparked when he was just about to enter the town on his way coming from Minna to Zaria. He saw from far when the cars that are right in front of him were attacked and burnt to ashes, he narrowly escaped and turned back because nobody in his right senses will enter a deathtrap when he saw one.     

The most recent attack was in June this year, immediately after the news broke that some places of worship have been bombed in Kaduna and Zaria. Gonin Gora stroked again! This time around two of my friends narrowly escaped death. The first one was on his way going to Kaduna for NECO examination monitoring and the second one was on the way to school in Zaria. Both of them narrated how the Gonin Gora youths burnt down some places of worship, shops and also attacked and massacred so many innocent travelers including some soldiers. These two guys took cover in the most unlikely places for them to save their poor souls. To my greatest surprise few days later, the Chiefdom of Gonin Gora Yusuf Sarki Doma came out to deny any of such killings takes place in his constituency, he said it was all exaggerations by the media (Blueprint Newspaper, 22nd June, 2012). But it wasn’t long when someone posted the pictures of the killings online for the world to judge. 

In another article titled “Gonin Gora: Kaduna’s Bermuda Triangle of Sort” (Nigeria Intel, 1st July, 2012), the writer suggested that a permanent Military Barrack should be stationed in Gonin Gora in order to advert future killings and also safe guard the express way. In a related development, the Emir of Katsina Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman called on the Federal Government to dismantle the Gonin Gora town (Daily Trust Newspaper, 10 July, 2012). These two suggestions did not go down well with so many Nigerians that have sectional minds. But the truth is that, a stitch in time saves nine. And if the STF can order the Fulani communities in Jos and environs to vacate their ancestral homes within 48 hours without telling them where to relocate to, then the suggestion of the Emir of Katsina to dismantle Gonin Gora may not be too hash after all.  

Before you begin to pass irrational judgments, you should also remember that there are other towns and villages around the area that do not participate in such killings. Katari is predominantly Christian community and Maraban Gayan which is predominantly Muslim community but they do not participate in such killings. Then, why Gonin Gora always? My brothers and sisters any time you are going to or leaving Kaduna through the Abuja express way, Gonin Gora is the place to avoid. This warning is irrespective of your religion, tribe or colour.

Just few days back there was rumors that NYSC camp in Bauchi have been bombed and the first thing that came to my mind was Gonin Gora may strike again. Thank God the rumor turns out to be false.  But I still want to draw the attention of the Government and NYSC authorities to Gonin Gora, because the death spot is just 7km away from the Kaduna state NYSC camp! A word is enough for the wise.

May God help this great country, amin.

Shafi’i Muhammad Abdulhamid,

Department of Cyber Security Science,

Federal University of Technology Minna.

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