ACF to FG: Stop Southern Kaduna Killings Now

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•Makarfi wants adequate mobilisation of security agencies to secure the area

By John Shiklam

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned the attacks in Southern Kaduna, calling on the state and federal governments to stop the killings.
In statements issu

ed yesterday in Kaduna, the ACF expressed regrets about the killings and called for dialogue among stakeholders in Southern Kaduna, to ensure peaceful coexistence.

The ACF, in a statement signed by the spokesman of the forum, Emmanuel Yawe, said it was alarmed by the persistent killings in that part of the 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 people in Kaduna and indeed the whole of Nigeria, were getting tired of assurances and promises from security agencies, noting that these promises were 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 government 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 in peace.

“This trend of shedding innocent blood on a daily basis must stop,” the statement added.

Also, a former governor of Kaduna state, Ahmed Makarfi, said he was “disturbed and saddened by news of the resurgence of violence in the southern part of Kaduna State.”

A statement signed by his spokesman, Mukhtar Sirajo, 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 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 lasting solution to the problem through 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 to the government and people of Kaduna State.

He prays to God Almighty to grant eternal rest to the soul of the dead and comfort families of those who lost their loved ones “and all of us.”