THE EXISTENTIAL THREATS TO SOUTHERN KADUNA PEOPLE 8/8/2016

Being a Press Statement by Barrister Solomon K. Musa National President – Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU)
1. It is with great sadness, anguish and grief that this press release is being issued today. A couple of weeks ago, precisely the first week of June, 2016, the village of Ninte, Godogodo District of Jema’a Local Government was savagely attacked; two villagers were killed; several were injured and all the 300 houses in the village were burnt down. That attack typified similar savage, brutal and barbaric attacks on several villages in Southern Kaduna.
2. Lawful denizens of our communities are attacked in their homes, farmlands, bushes, on
the road, in their villages at all times of the day. The attacks have become a recurring decimal in
our peaceful and law abiding communities where thousands have been gruesomely murdered
without provocation, cause or justification of any nature. While still licking our wounds, consoling
and comforting the bereaved as well as rehabilitating our IDPS who lost their entire properties, on Tuesday and Wednesday 2nd and 3rd August 2016, three communities in Godogodo District of Gada Biyu, Akwa’a and Angwan Anjo were raided and invaded by gunmen killing 11
people and severely injuring several others. The incidences at the three villages took several
hours. The next day several houses were burnt to ashes but particularly, virtually all houses in
Angwan Anjo were burnt down. All the above took place for hours despite or in spite of the
distress calls made by the villagers at the earliest opportunity.
3. With all sense of responsibility, let me give my personal side of the story. As early as 9-10am
on 2nd of August when I received information at the onset of the attacks, as the National
President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, I placed distressed (akin to mayday) calls to
several “eminent” personalities in the State not only to alert them but to seek for the intervention of government. Some that ought to pick the calls either did not see the calls or deliberately failed, refused or neglected to pick the calls. We remain grateful to the Senator, Southern Kaduna Senatorial District and a few others for answering our distressed calls. I decided to send SMS to those who did not pick my calls explaining the dire situation the villagers have found themselves in, there was no response from those who I directly expected response from (Knowing I do not make frivolous calls). At 2:44pm one of them responded to my SMS with the words “This is receiving attention. Thanks”. Yet at 6:30pm of the same day, I received several distressed calls from Angwan Anjo that they have once again been surrounded by the invaders, despite assurances that the security situation was being addressed. I had to work the phones again. The invaders were driven away. Yet in the morning of 3rd August, houses in Angwan Anjo were on fire despite the fact that
security personnel were ostensibly said to have been drafted to the villages.
4. What became particularly painful was that after each attack, government and security personnel kept assuring the people of Southern Kaduna that they are on top of the situation; that they are taking all proactive measures to forestall such future occurrences; and that security is the business of the state; that the people are assured of adequate protection; that the government and security personnel will protect its citizens, therefore the citizens should be calm, and do nothing by way of personal measures which will border on breach of the law to defend themselves. Southern Kaduna Communities painfully believed government and security apparatchiks. They decided to be law abiding. Painfully also, we as a Union believed Government and the Security. We appealed to
our people to remain calm and not to take the laws into their hands. Painfully, our trust and
belief in government and security personnel to defend and to protect Southern Kaduna Communities has now been clearly proven to be misplaced; Southern Kaduna Communities appear painfully to have been abandoned; the incessant attacks rather than abating have been increasing; the basis of our trust and confidence on organs of government to protect our people is increasingly appearing to be unfounded and without basis.
5. Our people are now asking us several questions that we are unable to answer. Some of
the questions includes the following: a. Why is it that regardless of security assurances Southern
Kaduna Communities are under perpetual, recurring and chronic attacks? b. If the organs of
authority are truly working, how many of the culprits, bandits and terrorists have they
apprehended? c. Is government incapable or unwilling to defend Southern Kaduna
Communities; or are some personalities deliberately sending or shielding the invaders? d. In the case of the latest attacks, while information was within public domain early in the morning of 2nd August, and presumably security organs swung into action, where were the security organs when up to the next day houses were been burnt?
6. While we note with appreciation the condemnation of the Godogodo attacks by His Excellency, the Governor of Kaduna State, as well as the assurance that a detachment of soldiers and police have been drafted to the affected communities, the question our people are asking is: when the dust settles, will the security personnel still be there? Is that an assurance that other communities will not come under similar attacks? Or will the security personnel wait until other communities are
attacked before being drafted for protection? Indeed, government commended security
agencies for their prompt response. If they responded promptly and worked throughout, how
comes that the attacks, especially the burning of houses occurred several hours later despite their
“prompt response”?
7. Our communities have noted governments’ commendation to the security agencies as well
as governments’ admonition urging that active steps be taken to improve intelligence gathering
so as to deter attacks and prevent any outbreak of violence in our communities. The question is:
between the attacks on Ninte community on 2nd June, 2016 to the recent attacks on the three
Godogodo communities, what did the security agencies do “to improve intelligence gathering so
as to deter” further attacks?
8. On Wednesday, 6th April, 2016, Kaduna state government assured us on Channels T.V
programe: Sunrise Daily, that government put in so much effort in terms of security such that no
killing from suspected herdsmen took place in the Zone six months preceding that Television
programe. That assertion was disputed as untrue; but assuming without conceding that the
assertion was true, did government withdraw those good security measures after the T.V
programe?
9. Southern Kaduna Communities have been suffering incessant attacks from suspected
herdsmen for sometimes now. It appears that instead of confronting the issue headlong, some
persons began to champion the calls for more grazing reserves largely in Southern Kaduna.
With those agitations, it appears the attacks have become more ferocious. Are the attacks
designed to cow our communities to succumbing to the establishment of more grazing reserves as
a panacea and conditionality for peace? Is the increase of the attacks at the time when there
are advocates for more grazing reserves in Southern Kaduna merely a coincidence or a
grand design to foist a situation of helplessness on our communities? Is there a design to
decimate and cleanse our communities in order to pave the way for the new population data that
revisionists are given as the population ratio in Kaduna State?
10. We note with great satisfaction the active and proactive measure taken by the President in
launching a great operation in combat fatigue against cattle rustling in Zamfare State. By the
President’s personal visit and pronouncement as well as the action of the security personnel
thereafter, a clear message was sent to the vandals, marauders and criminals who are being
decimated and fleeing in their numbers. The President is our President. The Governor is our
Governor. Human lives are involved here. We will appreciate the President or the Governor visiting
the people of Southern Kaduna to launch a decisive operation against these terrorists and
invaders so as to send a clear message to them that this government will not tolerate these
attacks.
11. We believe that government has the capacity to do so. Where however, government lacks the
capacity, is unable, or unwilling to defend us,government should boldly tell us.
12. We however call on the government to set up permanent military and police formations in the
belt stretching from Kaura traversing Sanga on to Jema’a Local Governments where we hope
these invasions will stop. Because it will be difficult for our people to fold their hands and
watch themselves being annihilated. Consequently, we call on our government to intervene.
Thank you.
Barrister Solomon Kaptain Musa,
National President, SOKAPU.

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