•We won’t appease troublemakers, says gov
John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday urged the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to channel his energy towards arresting those behind the killings in Southern Kaduna.
It also warned him against making accusations and counter-accusations over the killings in the area.
The association, in a statement issued by CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, after a visit to the governor, expressed readiness to partner the state government and security agents in finding a lasting solution to the carnage.
However, the governor has accused troublemakers in the state of seeking financial appeasement to end the violence in the area.
CAN, in the statement, said: “Whenever CAN in the state and at the national level cries out against insecurity, it is because we are tired of seeing human beings being slaughtered like animals. It is because not only our heart is bleeding, but that of God our creator and maker as well.
“On many occasions, when I read of ‘unknown gunmen’ and it ends there, I wonder whether it is not the duty of those governing us to make sure that the “unknown gunmen” are ‘known’ and brought to book!
“The people causing trouble are not spirits; so, it should not be too difficult to apprehend them and bring them to book. If there are people sponsoring them, a thorough investigation should be able to fish them out and cause them to face the wrath of the law.
“Let there be a round table discussion and a pledge of cooperation rather than confrontation in finding a solution to this wicked and embarrassing development.
“In view of the foregoing, we request sir the following: A stop to accusations and counter-accusations between the government and other stakeholders over the killings in Southern Kaduna but rather a round table solution. Every provocative statement over the matter should be avoided.
“Everybody is looking at the governor as a father of the state and this is the understanding with which he should handle every accusing finger pointed at him. Your office is like that of the dung where all kinds of rubbish are dumped. When you were not in charge of the governance of the state, nobody was pointing accusing finger at you.
“No bandit, gunman or cattle rustler should be allowed to strike and disappear into the thin air any longer without being pursued to his or her base for apprehension and prosecution.
“The guns in the hands of criminals should be recovered. Bushes should be combed through surveillance to do this. Technology should be deployed extensively by the security agents to apprehend the criminals in their hideouts, including the mercenaries that may be coming from outside the state.
“All sources of ammunition the bandits and killers are using should be investigated and blocked. “Community healing, forgiveness and reconciliatory meetings should be held, bringing different ethnic groups in communities together to chart the way forward for peace.”
Responding, el-Rufai expressed sadness at the loss of lives in the attacks and reprisals.
He thanked the CAN president for the visit and promised to consider the eight recommendations made by Ayokunle for implementation.
‘’While we mourn the dead, our immediate focus remains to stop the cycle of attacks and reprisals.
“We remain committed to ending the legacy of violence that has blighted the state for 40 years,’’ the governor said.
According to him, ‘’part of the false narrative of the history of violent conflict in Southern Kaduna is the loose use of terms like land-grabbing and genocide. They are being used in this current cycle of conflict, just as they were in the 2016/17 and the 2011/2015 cycles.’’
The governor challenged anyone to characterise or differentiate the communal clashes, attacks and killings in other parts of Kaduna State as well as in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger states from those in Southern Kaduna.
According to him, “Government has ‘been consistent in saying that beyond boots on the ground, military bases and police stations, the ultimate guarantee of peace is the willingness of communities to live in harmony and their resolve to settle differences through lawful means.
“Some people do not want to hear this because it imposes responsibilities on individuals and community leaders to keep the peace and obey the law, but it is the civilised way to go.’’
We Won’t Appease Troublemakers, Says Gov
The governor also accused troublemakers in the state of seeking financial appeasement to end the violence in the area.
Speaking on a television programme on Sunday night, the governor said his administration would not appease troublemakers.
“I have no time for nonsense. I will not appease criminals. I will not appease idle people who have nothing to do but to raise a spectre of genocide. They do that to get money into their bank accounts and get donations from abroad instead of standing up,” he said.