By John Shiklam
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has faulted claims by the Presidency and Senator Uba Sani that the recent killing of 27 people in some communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State were reprisal and revenge attacks.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, President of SOKAPU, Hon. Jonathan Asake said the union “is pained and shocked over the reaction of the President and Senator Sani over the killings by armed Fulani herdsmen.”
No fewer than 27 people were killed on Monday and Tuesday following attacks on Gonar Rogo, Makyali, Bakin Kogi and Idanu communities in Kajuru LGA.
The Presidency, while condemning the killings in a statement by Garba Shehu, Presidential spokesman, had decried “the wave of attacks and counter attacks on people among the Fulani and Adara communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” saying that “killing people in the name of revenge is not acceptable.” Also in statement, Senator Sani who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone, which include Kajuru, had described the killings as a conflict between the Adara and the Fulanis, stating that it would “seem that in the Fulani and Adara communities, there are conflict entrepreneurs who have been reaping from the conflicts and worsening the misery of the people.”
However, Asake maintained that such statements, were deliberate attempts to cover the truth.
He declared that “anyone describing the recent attacks as reprisals and revenge is either a mischief maker or part of a grand agenda of ethnic cleansing against our people which is currently being pursued with more vigour and determination more than ever before.
“We are therefore, very pained and shocked at the reaction of the Presidency that asserted that these unprovoked attacks were reprisals and revenge.
“We are extremely disappointed that Sen. Uba Sani, who is the Senator representing Kaduna Central should describe these attacks as revenge because he should know the truth,” he said.
“Could it be that the Presidency and Sen. Uba Sani know what we don’t know?” Asake asked According to him, all the attacks, invasions and killings were being documented by SOKAPU, with names of the victims and the affected communities.
He said “on Monday May 11, 2020, Gonar Rogo was invaded by Fulani herdsmen militia. The following day, the attackers extended their murderous expedition to Bakin Kogi where residents had fled the town.
“They burnt down the town and launched another assault on another village, Idanu.
“In the early hours of Wednesday, the murderous gang of terrorists moved to Makyali where several persons were killed.
“In Agwala Village, an old lady was mercilessly hacked to death. In total, these attacks have so far claimed 27 lives within 48 hours, while the injured have been taken to various medical facilities for attention.”
The SOKAPU President said further that a fortnight ago, there were attacks in Efele, Ungwan Modi and Ungwan Rana villages all in Kajuru leading to the displacement of hundreds of residents.
Asake also disclosed that about two weeks ago, Galiwyi community in Chikun LGA of the state, was invaded “by herdsmen militia who chased away the men and turned their wives and daughters into sex slaves after occupying the community.”
“As we address you this afternoon, tension has spread to several communities in Kajuru LGA, especially Idon and Doka, with fear-stricken residents fleeing in droves for fear of impending attacks.
“The atmosphere of death and destruction now holds sway in our communities,” Asake said. “We insist that the recent invasions are a continuation of a deliberate and entrenched agenda of subjugating and occupying our ancestral lands.
“We wish to alert the world that Southern Kaduna communities have been under constant invasions and massacres that is fast assuming a genocidal proportion,” he said.
He lamented that “despite the current lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic, our communities are being invaded on a daily basis and chased out into other communities as internally displaced persons (IDPs) only for a short period before the host communities are also invaded and further displaced.”
According to him, the incessant invasions had unleashed untold hardship on survivors who can no longer go to their farms, with their children perpetually out of school even before the lockdown.
He said “the rate at which invasions were taking place across Southern Kaduna communities and the attendant displacement has assumed a dimension that would culminate into the wiping out of communities if there is no intervention.”
He called on the state government to take responsibility and provide leadership without bias.
He also urged that communities should be empowered to secure our communities, in collaboration with relevant security agencies.
“Those communities that have been sacked, government should, as a matter of urgency and necessity, cater for the welfare of internally displaced persons, resettle them and provide them with security.
“We call on men and women of good conscience, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups, faith-based organisations and the international community to come to our rescue by beaming their searchlight on the ethnic cleansing taking place in Southern Kaduna,” Asake said.