Afenifere has watched in horror the mindless killings that have taken place in Southern Kaduna and the seeming indifference by the state and Federal Governments to these callous murders of innocent citizens of our country .
The leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna State has disclosed that a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across the four local governments areas in the state ridden by crisis.
Giving a statistics of the killings and destruction in a statement in Kafanchan, the church leaders said 57 people were injured while farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion were also destroyed.
The statement disclosed further that a total of 1,422 houses and 16 churches were burnt during the attacks which spread across Kaura, Sanga, Jama’a and Kauru Local Government Areas where there had been persistent attacks on communities by gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen.
“The herdsmen and their ilk turned the towns into killing fields and killed mostly women, children and the elderly who couldn’t run for cover.
“The level of barbarity was such that pregnant women got their wombs blown out and massacred before their children. And these innocent children were not spared either.
“This level of viciousness was never witnessed even in the brutal tyranny and regime of Adolf Hitler. What is most intriguing is the level of sophistication of weapons likeAK 47, machine guns and many other deadly instruments of death which were freely used.
“The viciousness of these self styled Jihadists sends shivers into the spines of our traumatised people. In the Godogodo and Pasakori attacks for example, the military merely watched and supervised the burning of our homes. When the youths mobilised to repel the attackers, the soldiers deliberately blocked them from entering the town.”
The statement was signed by the Vicar General of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Ibrahim Yakubu; Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Aaron Tanko Rev. Fr. Williams Abba and President, Laity Council, Mr. Joseph Bayei (KSJ).
We have also read statement issued by the Force Headquarters that the figures are exaggerated .But given the fact that police couldn’t give its own figures beyond bland assurances that measures have been put in place to respond to further attacks ,we are persuaded to hold on to the accounts of leaders of the affected communities for now.
It grieves us that the Federal Government has been quiet on these killings relying on the Governor of the State who has openly confessed that he looked out for the killers to compensate them because they are of the same ethnic stock with him.A state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna as the governor by that claim can no longer be trusted to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of ALL citizens.
We are further embarrassed by the statement credited to the Spokesman of the President,Mr Femi Adesina that our Leader has been quiet on these killings because he cannot speak on every issue.How can the killings of citizens in hundreds be “every issue”?Has our President not sent messages to other countries where tragedies of lesser or proportion occurred ?
When Mr President was to visit Bauchi a few days ago and couldn’t make the trip because of bad weather ,did he not speak directly to the people in Hausa Language?The disappointment the people of Bauchi experienced over cancellation of a visit cannot be compared in any way to the sorrows ,pains and anguish of the people of Southern Kaduna.
In order to be true to his pledge that he belongs to everyone in the country ,Afenifere implores the President to immediately take charge of the Southern Kaduna and do the following :
A .To speak to the people of Southern Kaduna with comforting words as their President on the mindless horrors that have been visited on them.
B .Set up an inquiry into the killings to identify the remote and immediate causes of the killings and identify the perpetrators of the wanton killings .
C .Compel the State Governor to disclose all the killers he has interfaced with and compensated so that diplomatic channels can be used to bring them to trial.
D .Instruct security agencies who have been accused of taking sides in the conflicts to perform their duties without fear and favour.Examples should be made of identifiable officers involved in such acts.
E .Ensure that the FG fully compensates the victims of these barbaric attacks.
Our hearts go to the people of Southern Kaduna in their anguish and we pray that God Almighty will see them through .
Chief Reuben Fasoranti(OFR)
Leader of Afenifere.