SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
By John Danfulani
The topmost proviso of social contracts in a post-Hobsian State of Nature is the protection of the lives of the citizens of a nation by its government. Due to the importance attached to this, it is referred to as the Traditional Duty of government. For a while now, we have seen how this chief duty is becoming too hard for the government of Kaduna State to perform vis-a-vis the genocide going on in Southern Kaduna. From the onset, we were tempted to believe that the magnitude and sophistication of the genocidal strategy currently being executed in Southern Kaduna caught the government unawares, thus its barren initiative to truncate this diabolical agenda using the security agencies. But now, we think otherwise. We greatly doubt the sincerity of the state government in tackling this menace.
For fear of getting overwhelmed in a catalogue of events and losing sight of facts and curious coincidences, let us not stretch too far by chronicling events that transpired years ago. A few weeks ago, Aduwan village in Zangon Kataf LGA was attacked, lives were lost, and properties destroyed. What was the government’s reaction? It took the Kaduna State government days to visit the areas ravaged by a marauding militia to commiserate with the victims. When state officials finally visited, what were their words and actions? They stated that the survivors of the terrorist attack be referred to advanced medical facilities in Kaduna metropolis! What did the government spokesperson tell the world? “We shall hunt down perpetrators of these acts and punish them”. This statement didn’t condemn the act but rather tried to create scapegoats from those accusing government of negligence in the handling of the security situation in the area.
As the state government’s hunting of terrorists, killers of the Aduwan people, was going on, Attakar villages in Kaura LGA were being savagely attacked, with dozens killed (mostly women and children), and even more uprooted from their ancestral homes and forced to seek refuge in IDP camps. For days, the whole world was denied the knowledge of this atrocity by some ‘official cover-up’. The world only got to hear of it when the Center for Development and Rights Advocacy (CEDRA) went to the ravaged communities with journalists and relief materials. That bold step by CEDRA forced government to act by physically visiting and dragging state and national emergency bodies along. True to type, in the IDP camps, the government sang the, now familiar, song of, “hunting and punishing the perpetrators”.
Now this genocide scheme has been transferred, in the form of arm banditry, from villages in the hinterland of Southern Kaduna to all highways leading to it. Last week, a senior NNPC staff was attacked and killed on one such highway. After that nasty wasting of a promising engineer, there are so-called daily robberies that occur in all the routes leading to Southern Kaduna. In all robbery incidences, lives and properties are lost. Still, the Kaduna State Government and security agencies sing the same old sad song: “we will hunt and prosecute perpetrators of these acts”.
These incidences clearly show that there are loose ends in the administrative and physical security arrangement in the state. There is no clear congruence between the quantum of resources oozing through the pipeline of security votes and the actual security people are (not) enjoying in the southern part of the state. It’s now difficult to extricate government from being consciously or unwittingly complacent in this reign of impunity that is akin to the formative stages of a genocidal scheme. As this reign of impunity persists, the assaults, killings, and so-called robbery in Southern Kaduna are taking the pattern of events that may climax with a Rwanda-like genocide.
If there aren’t skeletons in government’s cupboard, if they want to set themselves free from the conspiracy theory making the rounds, they should, with immediate alacrity, form a powerful committee to look into allegations of a genocide scheme targeting the people of Southern Kaduna. Anything short of this will proof right the allegation of the state government’s complacency.