Killings: We have lost faith in FG — Southern Kaduna indigenes

THE people of Southern Kaduna have declared that they have lost faith in the Federal Government as a result of unending killings by suspected armed herdsmen in the area.

Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) President Awemi Dio Maisamar expressed the position of the indigenes in a statement released on Friday, April 21.

SOKAPU pleaded with the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), and other international organisations to speak out and take action, so as to protect the people of Southern Kaduna from “genocide”.

“However, we have actually lost faith in the Nigerian state, not in the Nigerian people. In particular, we have lost faith in the Nigerian leadership and the current political arrangement that we have.

“Honestly, we have lost hope in the system and leadership of Nigeria, and that is why we are calling on the international community to intervene.

“The truth must be told that it is possible that you can change personnel, but if you don’t change the operating environment, you are not likely to get a better result,” Maisama said.

He frowned at what he described as the silence of the international community over the situation in Southern Kaduna.

“We are also very sad about the silence of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Africa Union (AU), the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations (UN) over the unrelenting pogrom in Southern Kaduna.

“SOKAPU is calling on these continental and global bodies to send independent investigation teams to Southern Kaduna to debunk or confirm our claims of ethnic cleansing here.

“Before then, we advocate for a UN or AU Peace Enforcement Operations Base in Southern Kaduna. This will practically demonstrate that the world is interested in our collective survival as minority ethnic groups. It must not abandon us to be hounded by well-funded and well-armed herdsmen who are being encouraged and protected by their powerful relatives and collaborators in and outside Nigeria,” he added.

The SOKAPU President listed some recent attacks on Southern Kaduna communities.

“Last Sunday, April 16, 2023, the peaceful, farming Runji village (Sankwab) in Atyap land Zangon Kataf LGA in Southern Kaduna, was invaded by marauding armed herdsmen around 1 a.m. in which they carried out horrific acts of murder, arson and theft. After operating for hours, brave youths of the town, joined by others from neighbouring villages, teamed up and faced the invaders, who then retreated into the night.

“By daybreak, 42 houses were burnt, with 17 women and children roasted beyond recognition. Twelve corpses mutilated by machete cuts and bullet shots were picked in and around the village. Later in the day, four persons that were rushed to hospitals died of their wounds, making the death toll 33 and those still in hospitals eight.

“The victims were buried in a mass grave on the eastern edge of the village. Southern Kaduna is dotted by numerous mass graves of such kind of victims.”

He claimed that no fewer than 245 Southern Kaduna communities have been sacked by armed herdsmen in collaboration with terrorists.

“And the fact that the same government wants to succeed itself at both the state and federal levels, we have great doubts if the genocide, kidnapping, displacement and occupation will abate,” the SOKAPU President noted.



    According to records released by the state government on Wednesday, April 20, about 1,266 persons were killed by bandits in Kaduna State in the last 15 months, 

    Also, 746 persons were kidnapped in the state between January and March 2023.

    Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, released the figures on Wednesday, April 19, at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna.

    According to Aruwan, 1,052 deaths were recorded due to banditry and other attacks in the state in 2022, while another 214 persons were killed in similar incidents between January and March 2023.

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