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Endless deaths in Southern Kaduna: Is Nigeria a failing State?

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History is repeating itself as the Southern part of Kaduna state has become the epicenter of deadly hostilities, resulting in several deaths. Reports have it that Kukum Daji, Kagoro, Manchok, Malugum to mention a few were among the several communities that were attacked.

There is still no accurate statistics available on the number of casualties recorded from these attacks. However, what we do know is that so many lives have been lost, with hundreds injured and/or displaced.

It would be recalled that prior to these attacks, concerned individuals and groups from the affected areas have ceaselessly cried out for help. One of such calls came on 20 June through a press statement reportedly issued by the Kaura Youth Coalition and National Association of Takad Youths.

These two groups raised the alarm about the presence of about 600 heavily armed militia men in the Zangang Hills. The Kaduna state government was said to have responded swiftly by sending security operatives to the area, but eventually dismissed the report as false when no such persons were found there. This has raised several salient questions.

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The incessant attacks on communities by unknown gunmen in Southern Kaduna have adversely affected the social and economic lives of the people. As the cloud of fear hung over the people like an ominous omen, farming, commercial, religious and most social activities had come to an abrupt halt. To say that the people are in a precarious situation, is putting it mildly.

The continuous killings, maiming and displacement of the people of southern Kaduna is an indication of the failure of the authorities to adequately address the widespread cases of violence that is gradually rendering Nigeria impotent.

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This apparent deficiency of the authorities in Nigeria that has resulted in security lapses is breeding an unprecedented aggravation of deadly vices across the nation.

Killings in Southern Kaduna are a symptom of the increasing security vacuum in Nigeria. Curiously, the government’s response to the situation betrays a high degree of levity. From a broad context, the unfolding scenario in Southern Kaduna is not only a threat to that region, but to the entire country.

Therefore, we are reiterating our call to Nigeria’s federal government as well as state authorities to wake up to their responsibility and fulfill their duty of care and protection towards all citizens of this country regardless of creed or ethnicity.

We are also calling on the government to fully resource the armed forces and other security agencies to enable them to secure the nation before it is too late.

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The ugly situation requires security policy change; the one that is functional and effective which should result to safety of lives and property of citizens.

Southern Kaduna people are Nigeria citizens who deserve to live to fulfill destinies and irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliation, the State should do all it could to protect them, even as the protection of lives and property is its core mandate.

It would not be out of place to conclude with an urgent call to the United Nations Human Rights Council to urgently convene a special session on the human rights breach in southern Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria.

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