By John Shiklam
The Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF) and a former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, have condemned the attacks in Southern Kaduna, calling on both the Kaduna State and the federal governments to stop the killings.
In separate statements issued on Friday in Kaduna, the ACF and Makarfi expressed regrets about the killings and called for dialogue among stakeholders in Southern Kaduna, to ensure peaceful coexistence.
The ACF, in its statement signed by Emmanuel Yawe, spokesman of the forum, asked the Kaduna State and the federal governments to stop the killings.
The forum said it is alarmed by the persistent killings in the Southern part of Kaduna State.
“Today, there are media reports, quoting the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) that 33 people, mostly women and children, were killed in raids carried out between Wednesday and Thursday in communities in Zangon Kataf.
“All the mentioned areas have been under a 24-hour curfew for the past 65 days.
“That an operation in breach of security could go on, on such a massive scale and such a long period is a serious indictment of our security system,” the statement said.
Yawe said Kaduna and indeed the whole of Nigeria are getting tired of assurances and promises from security agencies, noting that these promises are made to be broken.
“The agencies will have to prove that they are equal to the task of stopping these senseless murders.
“For now, Nigerians may soon be in desperation to resort to self-help. Apart from the security agencies, the Kaduna and the federal governments must demonstrate the political will to stop the killings,” the forum said.
The statement noted that the state recently set up a white paper drafting committee on reports of 1992 riots in Zangon Kataf, pointing out that “this does not show seriousness”.
The forum also called on the people of Southern Kaduna to, irrespective of tribe and religion, come together and resolve to live together in peace.
“This trend of shedding innocent blood on a daily basis must stop,” the statement added.
In his statement, Makarfi said he was “disturbed and saddened by news of the resurgence of violence in the southern part of Kaduna State”.
The statement signed by Mukhtar Sirajo, his spokesman, said the resort to violence as an expression of grievance, complicates issues rather than solve problems.
According to Makarfi, “Constructive communication between and among people and communities is the surest recipe to mutual respect and understanding, without which there can be no development.”
Makarfi, who served as governor of Kaduna State for eight years, appealed “to all to eschew violence and embrace dialogue as a means to a sustainable resolution to whatever problem, however knotty”.
He further called on the people to cooperate with the government as it grapples with the security and other challenges.
He also called on the government at both federal and state levels to ensure that the security agencies are adequately mobilised to properly secure the area, in particular, given the suspected infiltration from outside.
He urged the authorities, particularly at the state level, to intensify efforts at finding a lasting solution to the problem through the constructive engagement of all stakeholders, such as traditional, religious, community and political leaders.
The former governor expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives as well as the government and people of the state.
He prayed to God Almighty to grant eternal rest to the dead and comfort families of those who lost their loved ones “and all of us”.