For several weeks now, Adara communities in Kaduna state as well as those in Niger State have continued to suffer severe violence in the hands of armed Fulani militia, who the press has chosen to window dress as ‘bandits’ and ‘kidnappers.’
For the records, between October and December 2020, kidnappings sometimes accompanied by killings had become a weekly and sometimes a daily activity. Within this period, 44 persons were abducted from these communities and tens of millions of Naira paid in ransom while six persons were killed. From January 2021 to date, there has been a further escalation. The biggest attack was on 24th January when the terrorists sacked 9 villages and killed two persons in Adara and Gbagyi communities of Paikoro and Munya LGAs of Niger state. The displaced persons lost all their belongings and are now squatting with relations in the absence of any government relief, sympathy or mere solidarity visits.
In the Kaduna State axis, reported security breaches in January alone total up to 17 persons kidnapped, millions of Naira paid in ransom and three persons killed. These exclude mass highway abductions of commuters in the area. In the latest incident, the terrorists descended again on the peaceful Adara Village of Kujeni in Kajuru LGA on Saturday 6/2/2021, burnt down all houses and killed five persons in a senseless orgy of unprovoked violence. Consequently, the above settlements have joined the infamous long list of displaced and or occupied villages. The modes of operations of the invaders are becoming more open, undisguised and more confident because it is clear even to government that the killers are on top of their game. In all these incidences and many others, surviving victims affirm that the perpetrators are Fulani. And at last, Governor El-rufai and others are have belatedly owned up to this wornout truth. Therefore, the pertinent questions are no longer who or how but why?
We shall therefore boldly say it for the umpteenth time that these preventable security challenges are deliberate efforts to inflict terror; deprivation; impoverishment; social, religious and economic destabilization and displacement of indigenous populations to bring about demographic restructuring. These are to ultimately pave the way for full Fulani elite imperialist hegemony being surreptitiously orchestrated by government. We are just waiting for the inevitable implosion that is being triggered by numerous government acts of commission and omission intended to culminate in the suspected climax. That is why weeks, months, and years are painfully but sluggishly passing by without any genuine and decisive action by our Local, State and Federal governments to end this lawlessness and chaos. All we see and hear are occasional and puerile ritual statements that follow some of the dastardly terrorist acts. Meanwhile, government security agents take pleasure in shows of strength on peaceful, helpless, traumatized and panicking citizens. The sight of lawless gun trotting Fulani teenagers has now become the new normal in Kaduna and other states. Peasant farmers can only teal their farms or harvest their crops at the pleasure of Fulani occupiers.
We sadly wish to note another weird peculiarity of, most especially the Kaduna State Government. The February 3rd statement by Governor El-rufai is a classic example. He is now wailing loudly for the alleged wrongs supposedly being suffered in southern Nigeria by Fulani. According to the governor, the alleged wrongs include attacks, massacres, destruction of properties, violent eviction or displacement of law-abiding citizens, denial of their rights to life, liberty, peace, livelihoods wherever they choose to reside and peaceful resolution of issues. But this is the height of dishonesty, hypocrisy and double standards because Fulani terrorists have been wrecking much more havoc on other ethnicities under his watch. In all this time, the standard response of “His Excellency” has always been to sermonize, berate and even threaten the non-Fulani victims to live in peace with their tormentors. Therefore, why did Mr. Governor suddenly discover persuasive statesmanship and sensitivity to the very atrocities that have become the hallmark of his administration? It is simply because in this case, his chosen people are not in a position of strength. His claim that his government has resisted the attempt to tag all members of any ethnicity is untrue. The entire Adara community in particular and Southern Kaduna in general are practical examples of communities that have been earmarked for humiliation and dispossession. Governor El-rufai’s statement gives the impression that the primary mandate of his government is to canvass for supposedly ‘victim’ Fulani herdsmen interests, rights and privileges nationwide. By continuing to do so overzealously, exclusively and at the expense of justice, equity and fairness, he has created the dreaded El-rufai nightmare, the worst in the history of Kaduna State.
In conclusion, any honest observer will agree with me that the Governor has been consistently inconsistent in his policies, attitudes, actions, inactions and pronouncements in relation to preferred and less preferred citizens in our state and Nigeria at large. Therefore, the Governor must remedy this mortal flaw by practically showing that “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander” Failing to do so, the commendation due to him for any good works done will be certainly denied him for dubiously turning governance into a “zero sum” game in which the negative completely cancels out the positive.
Sign: Awemi Dio Maisamari
President of Adara Development Association