Baba Negedu KADUNA
At least, 1004 communities have been sacked and over 50,000 persons displaced in attacks perpetrated by gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias, in the Southern part of Kaduna State.
The Apex Southern Kaduna group, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) also alleged that most of these communities have been ‘captured’ and are now fully in the control of the ‘armed Fulani herdsmen’.
A statement by the union made available to newsmen on Saturday in Kaduna and signed by Luka Binniyat, spokesman of the union said: “We wish to draw your attention to the plight of our people who have been abandoned by both the Federal Government and the Kaduna State government after they have suffered unprovoked violence and the destruction of their communities in the hands of armed Fulani Militia”.
The union said: “Thousands of our displaced members are spread in some of the 12 Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.”
According to the statement: “For the second year running, large areas of the 26,000kmsq that made up Southern Kaduna have been ‘captured’ and are now in full control of armed Fulani herdsmen, as identified by surviving victims.
“Our estimation is that these ‘captured’ areas make many LGAs in a state like Abia (6,320kmsq). These contain some of the most fertile, prestige farmlands of Southern Kaduna.
The rains are about to start and the hope of these hapless victims returning to their homes and start rebuilding them in preparation for the farming season seems bleak.
“In the same manner, thousands of their children have been out of school, some for over three years with the government not making any remedial effort to assist them.”
They also said that, “in the IDP camps where some have managed to relocate, they live in sub-human conditions, barely able to feed, without sanitation and medications.
This is an indictment of the government as there is no excuse that can be given why citizens should be so forsaken by those they voted to protect and make their welfare and security as basic rights.
“All men and women of conscience should also show interest in these displaced people, who can be found in various IDP camps in Chikun, Zangon Kataf and Kajuru LGA, and in some areas bordering Kaduna State and Niger State, and some areas of Kaduna State bordering western part of Plateau State.
“Today, there are at least 1004 communities that have been displaced in Southern Kaduna after the natives have been attacked and several persons killed.
All churches and schools in affected areas have also been burnt, some dating back to 2018. “And the numbers of displaced villages are increasing by the day especially in Gbagyi villages of Chikun LGA.”
Part of the statement also said: “There are at least 50,000 IDPs living in several camps in Southern Kaduna or with relations in and out of Southern Kaduna, all because their villages are either too unsafe to return to or have been taken over by Fulani militia.
“It should also be noted that neither Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, nor his deputy have visited any of the IDPs camps or any attacked community in Southern Kaduna. Kaduna State government has not given these people any form of palliatives as if it was at war with the victims.
There is no sympathy or empathy from both the Federal and state governments. “Yet, Governor Nasirl el-Rufai had last month, officially acknowledged that 973 people were killed in Kaduna State in 2020 alone by ‘bandits’, the bulk of which come from Southern Kaduna communities, especially the Gbagi and Adara of Chikun and Kajuru LGA.
“This lack of concerns for these victims is raising questions on whether they happen to be people of different faith and ethnicity with the governor because on March, 2nd, 2020, el-Rufai tendered a well publicised apology to the residents of some villages in Igabi, Giwa and Birnin Gwari when he visited them after they were attacked by bandits. He was there to see the destruction but never to Southern Kaduna.
“We are still appealing to him and the Federal Government to ensure the return of this IDPs, by chasing out the criminals occupying their ancestral lands and bringing the brigands to justice.
“Government should also show some compassion and assist these law-abiding citizens in the meantime with food, medication and clothes.”