Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) and Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBLF) have cried out to the Federal Government and the international community for urgent assistance over the humanitarian crisis in Kaduna State as a result of continuous attacks by armed herdsmen.
In a statement at the weekend, spokesman of SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, said despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on Zango Kataf and Kauru, armed herdsmen still invaded their communities.
Claiming that 23 persons were killed in Jema’a, Kauru and Kujama councils within 72 hours, SOKAPU alleged that the curfew gave the gunmen the opportunity to attack the community and kill 10 persons.
According to the socio-cultural group, the latest attacks created a humanitarian crisis in Chikun, Zangon Kataf, Kaura and Kajuru councils, as thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) can barely survive hunger, sickness and trauma.
“It is totally untrue that the mass murder of our people is an outcome of clashes between criminal gangs as portrayed by President Muhammadu Buhari, through his spokesman, Garba Shehu,” Binniyat stated.
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has confirmed on his Twitter handle that gunmen attacked three villages on Friday and killed nine persons.A curfew, he explained, was to take immediate effect to curtail the violence, enforce law and protect lives and property.
On its part, SMBLF called on Buhari to immediately stop the killings and bring the perpetrators to book, rather than keep making statements that seem to justify the killings.
In a statement yesterday, spokesmen of SMBLF, Yinka Odumakin (South West), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt) said it was quite worrisome that the orgy of killings continued despite the curfew imposed by the state government.
The forum said, “Instead of the Buhari-led Federal Government stepping in to find a lasting solution in the midst of tardiness by the state government, it resorted to provocative statements. One of such is credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, on July 21, 2020, that ‘the problem in southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.’”
SIMILARLY, the Christian Rights Agenda (CRA) and Middle Belt Forum (MBF) have berated the presidency for trivialising the killings, among other criminal activities by terrorists in Kaduna.
The two groups, in separate statements in Abuja yesterday, expressed concern that the presidency and Kaduna government had stayed aloof while the killings continued unchallenged.
While the MBF statement was signed by its National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, that of CRA was signed by its media team. Bitrus stated, “Appraising the content of the statement signed by President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, it is rather unfortunate and tragic that those who should stop the horrifying human carnage would attempt to turn the truth on its head.” Such statement from the presidency, he added, depicts either ignorance or choice to toe the path of falsehood.
“The MBF wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government under Buhari to the fact that the corporate existence of the nation is being threatened by these premeditated attacks, as no country can survive these unprovoked assaults for long.” In the same vein, CRA accused Buhari and el-Rufai of turning a blind eye to the genocide against Christians in the state.
HOWEVER, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to call out the federal and state governments over the genocide in the Christian-dominated part of Kaduna by armed herdsmen.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, the group maintained that it had become imperative to ask the United States of America’s President Donald Trump and other world leaders, including the Vatican, to quickly step in to stop the constant decimation of Nigerians by armed Fulani herders and terrorists.