TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ORGANIZED BY THE YOUTH WING OF THE SOUTHERN KADUNA PEOPLE’S UNION ON GOVERNMENT’S COMPLICIT ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE UNABATED KILLINGS BY FULANI MILITIAS AND ARMED BANDITS IN SOUTHERN KADUNA
It is now well known to the people of Nigeria and beyond, that since 2010 to date, the people of Southern Kaduna have been subjected to unprecedented attacks by vicious well drilled and well-armed Fulani militias and bandits. It is likewise not news that the killings in the region, for reasons best known to the government, have failed to attract the desired attention they ought to from the government. While the barbaric killings continue to increase in regularity and intensity the Federal and Kaduna State governments have been indifferent, and in fact careless about the Fulani attacks, to the extent that the killer squads now move in full sight of the security forces in the area. Since these attacks began, many armed Fulani militants were caught in different locations or during some of the attacks by the locals and were handed over to the Police in Kafanchan and Kaduna but, were allowed to go scot free and never faced the wrath of the law.
While some of the security apparatuses deployed to some of the troubled communities didn’t do enough to protect lives and properties, others contributed in making our case worse by giving people wrong information that made them cheap targets to Fulani militants. This is why the Southern Kaduna people, in many fora, have described the role played by the security agents and the lackadaisical attitude of the state government towards the strange happenings as acts of tacit connivance with the Fulani bandits. This view point is backed by the fact that, the Kaduna State government used Helicopter and well-armed security apparatus and fought back cattle rustling in Birnin Gwari. In a related development, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari was physically on ground in Zamfara and commissioned a Task Force to combat cattle rustling. Both efforts yielded positive results but, they refused to replicate the same effort in Southern Kaduna where people are being maimed and killed every day.
For the sake of the records, we hereby state that between 2010 and May 2016 the Fulani have attacked various Southern Kaduna communities more than 60 times, killing hundreds of our people, maiming thousands more, destroying our farmlands, our houses, our businesses, our churches and schools. The following communities have been attacked by the Fulani in the month of October 2016: Ninte, Ungwan Anjo, Akwa, Gada Biyu, Golkofar, Godogodo, Pasakori, Sabon Gari, Ungwan Ali, Manyin Kanju, Gidan Waya have been evacuated following spate of attacks by the Fulani militants. And in all of these attacks, about 4,000 people (mostly women and children) were gruesomely killed, maimed or driven out of their communities. Many of the women were raped before they were killed. As it is, about 700 houses were burnt down in Godogodo and environs, while in Pasakori and Gidan Waya more than 300 houses were burnt down in the last ten days by Fulani militias. Chikun, Galwyi, Kaso, Buruku, Kashebo in Chikun Local Government were also attacked. These killings and destruction by the Fulani were done with extreme barbarity and despicable inhumanity against the host communities.
During a recent media briefing, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai “vowed” to bring the perpetrators of the genocide against our people “to book”. Thereafter the Governor has kept mum; the security forces claim that they have not been given orders to stop the Fulani. The situation is only worse, as the Fulani are harvesting the crops of the communities they have driven off their lands, and looting the churches and houses of the communities and loading them onto trucks and driving them away without any hindrance from the security forces.
Since the government has abandoned the communities of Southern Kaduna and turned their backs on our people, we hereby urge our people not to lie down and be slaughtered. The Southern Kaduna people under attack should invoke the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended, to claim their rights to life and safety of their property by rising up to defend their communities. In this regard, we the people of Southern Kaduna hereby demand from the federal and state government:
1. As matter of urgency, government should intervene and put an end to these killings.
2. Drive out the Fulani MILITIAS from Southern Kaduna as they are doing to Boko Haram.
3. The security forces must STOP arresting our people when they defend themselves while under attack from the Fulanis.
4. Should accept the right of the Southern Kaduna people to defend themselves and their property from the attackers.
5. Arrest and put on public trial all the Fulani that have written and stated to the government that they have been deliberately attacking and killing the people of Southern Kaduna and destroying their communities, their businesses and livelihoods.
6. Stop all the hypocritical calls for signing peace pacts when there has been only one party to the so-called “herdsmen/farmers conflict” in Southern Kaduna as our communities have not attacked any Fulanis.
SOKAPU NATIONAL YOUTH LEADER