Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has accused the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai of profiting from the recurring attacks and killing of people in the southern part of the state.
SOKAPU is the socio-cultural umbrella body of the 53 indigenous ethnic nationalities registered and spread across 11 of the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State.
The group stated this on Tuesday in Abuja while addressing the press to draw what it called ‘global attention to the plight and suffering of the region;’ said “it is no longer news that Southern Kaduna has been under the clutches of wicked, mindless, heartless and murderous armed terrorists.”
Mr Reuben Buhari who spoke on behalf of SOKAPU President, Barr Solomon Musa, accused the governor of drawing huge political capital from the attacks on the southern Kaduna communities.
He said before 2015, where El-rufai promised ‘formidable security architecture in which no person that kills a Kaduna indigene would go unpunished.’
According to Reuben Buhari, the group came to Abuja to inform the world of the dark and gloomy tragedy that has been hanging over the state, especially in Southern Kaduna.
Narrating their ordeals, the SOKAPU leader said “various sleeping peaceful communities have, without provocation and, or any previous conflict with the Fulanis, been surrounded, homes set on fire and occupants either killed by gunfire or slaughtered with the swords. “
“In such killing-spree all lives, especially the vulnerable (women, children and the aged) have always been the major victims as the marauders only spared those who could outrun them. Farmlands and harvested crops either stored at home or in the farmlands are equally destroyed.
“Thereafter, the marauders, with their Cattle settle on the sacked villages and prevent any returning survivors from either returning to their homes or the farmlands. Up to 61 different communities have been attacked; some repeatedly with huge human casualty figures and millions of Naira in loses.”
“The Governor himself has threatened to withhold any development from the Local governments where attacks have been carried out thereby punishing the victims for the attacks. The Government has deliberately withheld any form of support from victims and survivors of the attacks, thus with thousands of IDPs there is no single government funded IDP Camp in Southern Kaduna, indeed there is no effort to even enumerate the IDPs.”
He disclosed that six young men from different Southern kaduna villages namely; Joshua Baba, Reuben Baba, Lot Sule, and Zabrang Bamaiyi.
SOKAPU further stated that the people of Southern Kaduna have been greeted with intimidation and arrests by the state government while the aggressors are being pampered.
The group also revealed that the thousands of displaced persons displaced as a result of the attacks in Southern Kaduna are at the verge of starvation
“The only visible action from the State and the Federal Government has been the cosmetic deployment of the Army and Police to Kafanchan who, for a larger part of the time, have always refrained from engaging the attackers in their well-secure camps in the bushes.”
He pointed out that even the well heralded “Operation Harbin Kunama” has targeted “our villages and towns for a house to house search for weapons while the known hide outs of the attackers are left unchecked. No wonder it is only 73 Dane guns used by our traditional famers to wade off monkeys in their farms that were recovered.”
According to him, it is sad to recall that during the Campaigns for the 2015 elections the current governor; Mallam Nasiru el-rufai drew huge political capital from the attacks on our communities that occurred before 2015, wherein he promised a “formidable security architecture in which no person that kills a Kaduna indigene would go unpunished.”
Mr Buhari added: “It is astonishing that since he was sworn in the attacks on our communities have grown in scale, magnitude and style. The attackers have rather become bold and more aggressive as they sometimes attack in the daytime and in the full glare of security personnel (who confess they have no instruction to engage the attackers), thus we have witnessed situations where the attackers in huge numbers attack a community for hours and withdraw after the attacks before the government troops arrive the scene. Thus, there is hardly any arrest or casualty on the part of the attackers except a few arrested by the local vigilante.”
“As we speak, the attackers that have often surrounded villages in large numbers have always peacefully withdrawn from the burning villages without any casualty and no arrests but the Army, the Police and recently the Airforce have after the attacks, returned to the villages to arrest and detain anyone that was seen or alleged to have attempted to ward off the attacks.”
“Beside arresting, detaining and prosecuting several people from our communities including some traditional rulers and Journalists, the Kaduna State Government has a list of targeted individuals from our communities for arrest and imprisonment simply because those individuals are mentioned by the armed terrorists as ‘the stubborn community leaders or leaders of SOKAPU’ or just outspoken against the government.