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10, 000 persons displaced by Kajuru killings

…As Southern Kaduna takes protest to Abuja, want FG to probe killings

…Appeals for relieve assistance to victims

Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

As the killings of women and children in Kajuru Local Government Area and other communities in Southern Kaduna by alleged Fulani militia continues unabated, over 10,000 persons have been displaced from their homes, while many injured persons were receiving medication treatments in various hospitals in the state.

Worried by the spate of killings, the people of Southern Kaduna under the aegis of Coalition Against Kajuru Killings, took their protest on Tuesday to Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja demanding a stop to the carnage.

Addressing journalists at the Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja, the Coordinator of the group, Reverend Father Williams Kaura Abba, said that they cannot remain silent in the face of these gruesome killings and deliberate agenda to annihilate Adara people whose only crime “is being natives.”

According to the Rev. Father, the bourgeoning human carnage has the propensity of spreading to other areas of the state if not effectively checkmated.

He said that the aimed was to call the attention of fellow citizens and the international community to the horrendous attacks on many Adara communities living in Kajuru, Kaduna State by herdsmen militia.

“If we must save our shared humanity and salvage what is left of humankind, we need to close ranks and insist on relevant organs of government to perform their obligations without fear or favour,” the clergy stated.

According to Rev. Father Abba, the latest death toll of this mindless carnage has already surpassed 130, with several communities reduced to rubbles.

He said that the situation was setting the stage for a major humanitarian crisis that has so far displaced no fewer than 10,000 persons now living in four camps.

The clergy recalled that the present spate of killings started on Sunday February 10, 2019 when herdsmen militia, without any form of provocation, attacked Ungwar Barde in Maro ward of Kajuru LGA.

“In that blistering attack, 10 persons, including a pregnant woman, were killed. To our shock and consternation, not a single word over the killing was issued by the Kaduna State Government.

Five days after the attack, exactly on February 15, 2019, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, on National Television disclosed that security agencies had recovered bodies of 66 Fulani killed by Adara natives. He was later to increase the death toll to 130,” he stated.

“The governor’s allegations over killings of Fulani is still an allegation that is yet to be proven, as he has neither shown the world the pictures of recovered Fulani corpses nor commenced investigation to prove his allegation.

The Kaduna State Police commissioner recently debunked the death toll as announced by the governor, insisting that investigation into Fulani killings is still at “embryonic stage.”

“The allegation by el-Rufai over killings of our brothers of Fulani extraction set the stage for reprisal killings and weaved the labyrinth of insecurity over the besieged Adara communities such as we are currently witnessing.

Within the space of one month, we have been horror-stricken at the barbaric attacks carried out by these merchants of death against children, men, women, including the aged. Communities have been reduced to rubbles and insecurity now stalks these towns and villages unchallenged.”

The coalition noted that the existential threat to Adara people was frightening and real, as both the Kaduna State and Federal Government “are playing the ostrich to the security need and humanitarian catastrophe pervading the communities.”

In most of the towns and villages under attacks, the difficult terrains and their locations made the task of reaching them herculean, the Reverend Father said.

“We call on fellow Nigerians and the international community to mount pressure on the Nigerian government to come to our aid by ending the genocide that is rippling across Adara communities and other areas of Southern Kaduna where there is a resurgence of violence, such as Gerti and Sanga where no fewer than 12 persons have been killed by these rampaging herdsmen.

Most disturbingly is the fact that while Adara Nation mourns, Governor El-Rufai rounded up and put in jail Adara leaders and elder statesmen, including the Waziri Adara who’s next in the line of seniority in Adara chiefdom on phantom charges,” the group stated.

Thereafter, the group made a seven-point demand that Government should, as a matter of urgency, deploy more security forces into these hinterlands, including consistent aerial surveillance to track down the terrorists and consequently end the carnage.

“Government at both Federal and state levels must muster courage and the political will to halt the incursion of these non-state actors. It is our firm belief that powerful retrogressive forces are funding and supporting these well-coordinated militia who come in and strike at our sleepy and peaceful communities and retreat without consequences.

“Government should provide adequate healthcare for the wounded, food and shelter for the victims. We plead with agencies of government, especially the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, to make haste and intervene in the humanitarian crisis.

“We call on the Federal Government to set up an independent Commission of Enquiry to probe the Kajuru killings, including exhumation of Fulani corpses, if any, in order to bring perpetrators to justice. We cannot allow killers to turn our once peaceful and thriving villages and towns into trenches of warfare.

“We reject the politicisation of these conflicts, be they in Birnin Gwari, Kajuru, Southern Kaduna or any part of the Nigerian Federation.

We call for accountability and probity in the handling of the current gale of massacres in Kaduna State and urge government to prosecute those who promote this mayhem through careless speech of incitement for the sole purposes of stoking hatred and violence.

“We demand the immediate release of Adara elders that have been unjustly incarcerated. These leaders have committed no crime other than being leaders of an Ethnic group. el-Rufai has taken it upon himself to break the resolve of the Adara and viciously pursue their persecution.

“We reject the balkanisation of our traditional institution and therefore call for a return to the pre- 2015 status of our monarchs, with their approved nomenclatures as provided for by the laws.

We feel that the action of the governor in balkanising our traditional institution is a recipe for chaos and instability,” the coalition stated.