By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Elders Consultative Forum (SKECF) has called on both the Kaduna and the federal governments to urgently intervene to put an end to the ongoing genocide in the Southern part of Kaduna State.
The call came following the killing of seven people in yet another attack in four villages, of Pasakori, Mile One, Misisi and Tudun-Wada, Jema’a Local Government Area of the state on Thursday night by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
The latest attack came barely two weeks after the Godogodo massacre in which 40 people were killed and several houses burnt by suspected herdsmen.
The Southern Kaduna elders in a statement yesterday by its chairman, Maj. Gen. Zamani Lekwot and the Secretary, Mr. Peter N. Buba said they were deeply concerned about the killing and destruction of property by herdsmen in rural communities in Southern Kaduna.
They noted that “for centuries our Southern Kaduna communities had lived in peace with the Fulani herdsmen”, wondering why the herdsmen had abandoned such age long beneficial relationship.
The elders therefore urged the authorities to take urgent steps to bring an end to the mindless killings and destructions going on in the area.
In the statement titled “Enough of this genocide in Southern Kaduna” the elders noted that, “Our forefathers and we the current generation have lived a symbiotic life with Fulani herdsmen who have depended on their host communities for the provision of basic needs such as grains, shelter and indeed, husks from the harvest which have provided fodder for their animals.
“The sudden turn of events where herdsmen have abandoned this long mutually-beneficial relationship, by taken up arms against their host communities is giving us a serious cause for concern.
“The people have been displaced from their homes, their farms destroyed and occupied by armed herdsmen.
The Southern Kaduna Elders Consultative Forum notes with sadness the destruction of lives and properties last night at Pasakori, a community in Jema’a Local Government Area.
“Coming less than two weeks after the destruction of property and massacre of over 40 lives in Godogodo, has made it mandatory for us to cry out aloud to the Kaduna State and the Federal Governments to take decisive action to bring this genocide to an end.
“The Elders Forum commends previous actions taken by our Representatives in the National and State Houses of Assemblies and the leadership of SOKAPU (Southern Kaduna People’s Union) in drawing the attention of the authorities and Nigerians in general to these coordinated attacks on the peace-loving people of Southern Kaduna.
“While we acknowledge the previous efforts of the security agencies in containing these persistent attacks, we however, appeal to them to be more proactive, more professional and more committed in the discharge of their duties, to accomplish the mission
“A situation where none of the attackers has ever been arrested has created suspicion in the minds of the people.
“It is in the interest of peace that we call on the Kaduna State and Federal Governments to urgently intervene to put an end to the ongoing genocide and direct all security agencies to be more proactive and be seen to be committed without bias, in order to restore confidence in the minds of the victims.
“We also call on the State and Federal Governments to come to the aid of the displaced people through the provision of relief materials, restoration of peace and the rehabilitation of their homes.
The statement called on the youths to remain calm and refrain from taking the law into their hands and urged the government to do the needful to restore permanent peace and stability in the communities.
Also, the Kaninkon Development Association (KADA) whose communities were affected in the latest attack have accused the state and the federal government for alleged complacency in addressing the security challenges in the area.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Kaduna, the National chairman of KADA, Mr. Waje Goska Williams said the attacks were meant to wipe out communities in southern Kaduna.
“We are particularly worried because there seems to be a conspiracy of silence and complacency on the part of the Security Agencies and the Kaduna State and Federal Governments on the plight of our people.
“While these attacks are going on, we do not observe the presence of security men in the area giving protection to our people since we are not at war with anybody.
“The weapons of death used by the assailants are so sophisticated that we suspect these people to be Boko Haram that are on mission to clear our people. The professionalism employed by the attackers is such that only trained people who have the backing and aid of some people in Government and the security forces” he said.