The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bala-Bantex, has said that the killings in southern part of the state are reprisal attacks perpetrated by Fulanis who move into the state from other places.
He told Channels Television on Tuesday that the government had taken time to understand that the reprisal attacks were occasioned by the post-2011 election crisis.
Mr Bala-Bantex also pointed out that the security situation in Kaduna State was across the entire state as part of the legacies of previous administration.
“In 2014, prior to our coming into office, my community, Manchok, in the southern part of the state lost over 100 people to this kind of skirmishes.
“The architecture of the security situation in Kaduna state differs from one region to the other.
“In the northern part, a forest in the area was harbouring very high numbers of criminals that were rustling cattle and killing the owners of those cattle.
“We are taking adequate measure in form of a coalition of all the states concerned and there was a joint military operation to flush out these bandits up north.
“We have been able to achieve that relatively and people can now go back to their farms in the north,” he said, explaining how the government had tackled insecurity in the northern part of the state.
One of the buildings torched by the Fulanis that attack communities in southern Kaduna
In the case of the southern part of the state, however, he insisted that during the post-2015 election crisis in the area some Fulani men were killed, some of whom were not from Kaduna, but were moving through the state.
“The Fulani, as we know, unfortunately, have this highly unforgiving spirit.
“The attacks are not known in terms of their location. They simply come in as residents, do the killings and disappear,” he said, insisting that they are not Nigerians.
On what the government had done to address the situation, he explained that the governor had expressed the state’s commitment to compensating them for whatever loss they had experience.
He also told Channels Television that the government had put military presence in place to keep the attackers away.
Mr Bala-Bantex, however, dismissed claims by religious leaders in the region that there was a religious inclination to the killing.
Meanwhile, a former Attorney General of Kaduna State, Mark Jacobs, said the killing in southern Kaduna was genocide.
He claimed that security operatives that have the capacity of arresting the perpetrators were not doing anything.
“It is genocide and we have no other word to describe it.
“They have gone from one village to the other and they have targeted people and sometimes they claim that their cattle were stolen.
“I have never seen in any of these attacks were stolen cattle were recovered.
“We can count up to 2,000 dead people and it is going on unchallenged,” he said.
He suggested that a task force should be setup to handle the crisis.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had earlier said that the attacks on communities in the Southern part of the state were largely carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen from neighbouring west African countries.
Addressing reporters in his office on Tuesday, the governor explained that security reports revealed that most of the armed herdsmen come from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal to perpetrate the dastardly act.
Governor El- Rufai also said that his administration had established contacts with some leaders of the Fulani communities in those countries with a view to bringing the attacks to an end.
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