Disturbed by the endless killings by militia groups in the Christian-dominated Southern Kaduna, leaders of some socio-cultural organisations in the country would be pay a solidarity visit to the crisis ridden Southern Kaduna on Saturday.
The groups are, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, and Middle Belt Forum.
Southern Kaduna, has been under seize for quite sometime with massive killings of natives. The attack which has been carried out by militia groups has defied government curfew with no day passed without incidences of deaths.
In what was believed that government was not doing enough to curtail the incessant killings, there had been public outrage by several people and human rights groups across the country, with many calling on the state Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, to end the killings.
El-Rufai’s statement that militia attack was reprisal was widely condemned particularly as a sitting governor. Analysts believed that such comment was highly inflammatory, given that the situation was worsening by the day.
Speaking on live television last week while reacting to Federal lawmakers from Southern Kaduna’s alarm last week that ‘there was a coordinated planned attack on communities in the troubled area, El-Rufai, in his view, said the attack on Southern Kaduna communities was political, ethnic and religious, insisting that the three dimensional reasons made it difficult to end the crisis.
The latest incidents took place on Wednesday and Thursday wherein 21 persons were reportedly killed by bandits.
Amid the curfew by the.State government, killings continued unabated.
Thursday’s attack was catastrophic, with the Kaduna State Police Command confirming that the bandits attacked Apyia’Shyim, A’Piako, Atak’Mawei, and Kibori, all in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of the state.
Disputing the police figure on the number of those killed, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union claimed that 33 persons were killed in the latest attacks.
The spokesperson for SOKAPU, Mr Luka Binniyat, in a statement titled, ‘33 killed in Zango Kataf in Kaduna on Thursday,’ said that prior to the attack, there was an intensive patrol and the security personnel enforced the 24-hour curfew, but sadly, “when the gunmen struck, they were not on the ground.” Binniyat added that 30 houses were burnt by the bandits in the attacks.
The socio-cultural group leaders have condemned the killings and all forms of insecurity in the country. The group believed that government could end the attack, if it fully determined to do so, adding that their visit on Saturday to the troubled Southern Kaduna was to empathise with the people.
The spokesperson for PANDEF, Mr Ken Robinson, in an interview with journalists said the forum and other groups such as Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo felt compelled to identify with the Southern Kaduna people in their trying times.
“We felt that we should empathise with the people of Southern Kaduna, where several people have been killed and properties destroyed by suspected Fulani herdsmen and bandits,” he said.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and overhaul the nation’s security architecture, noting that killings in Southern Kaduna is unacceptable.
“The government’s insincerity and the absence of ideas from the service chiefs are the reasons these killings have persisted.
“The capacity is there, and if the will is there to stop the senseless killings and destruction of property, they can stop the crisis in a minute,” he said.
President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Bitrus Pogu, said Fulani militia enjoy killing and maiming of vulnerable innocent people. He said Saturday’s visit to Southern Kaduna was to identify with the displaced persons.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, who said he was visiting Southern Kaduna as the President of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, said the people of the area needed urgent rescue by those paid to protect them.
“As civil societies, we want to investigate the depth of the tragedy and (find the) way out,” he said.
Meanwhile, pan-Northern sociopolitical organisation, ACF, has condemned the latest attacks on Southern Kaduna communities on Thursday.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, in a statement on Friday, said it was worrisome that the attacks took place during a 24-hour curfew.
It said, “The Arewa Consultative Forum is alarmed by the daily report of killings in Southern Kaduna. Kaduna and indeed the whole of Nigeria are getting tired of assurances and promises from security agencies.
“The agencies have to prove that they are equal to the task of stopping these senseless murders. For now, Nigerians may soon in desperation resort to self-help.”
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