Nasarawa bombing: Southern Kaduna group call out Sanusi for accusing Ortom
Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and leader of Fulani group, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been accused of “a well-packaged bouquet of deadly accusations” against the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, in a statement made available to journalists expressed condemnation of the murder of innocent citizens irrespective of their cultural and religious background.
Spokesperson for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat said, the union understand the agony of mass murder given that for the past years, that has been the experience of their people in Kaduna State.
He said those killed in the aerial bombing by the Nigerian Airforce on 24th January, 2023, in Doma Local Government of Nasarawa State who were claimed to be innocent by Sanusi should be investigated, instead of engaging in spurious altercation with Ortom.
The statement reads: “On the 30th January 2023, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, wrote and signed a strongly worded letter laced with allegations and threats against Gov Ortom to President Muhammadu Buhari and the letter found its way into the Press. For the former Emir of Kano and top Fulani elites to go far-fetched in trying to rope Ortom into the incident is preposterous and unfortunate.”
As it appears, the statement further explained that the major sin of governor Ortom is the Open Grazing and Livestock Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law that is enforced by the Benue State Livestock Guards, saying that in the enactment of that law in 2017, Gov Ortom has not only come under a blitzkrieg of verbal attacks by disgruntled Fulani leaders and groups, he has suffered and survived several attempts on his life but his accusing fingers over such murderous plots have been toward those that are in absolute rejection of the “anti-open grazing” law of Benue State.
SOKAPU observed that if a state government enacts a law that every resident of the state is bound by, no ethnic group has the exclusive right to disrespect such a law no matter how privileged and protected it may be, saying that the most civilised thing to do is to follow the democratic process of reviewing the law or repealing it.
“We, therefore, expect Sanusi and his tribal leaders to encourage his kinsmen to respect the laws of Benue State as long as they are on Benue State soil while seeking legal ways to amend or repeal any law they find objectionable to the interest of their people.
“What SOKAPU finds curious and very surprising is that Sanusi who has portrayed himself as a nationalist of some kind has reduced himself to a narrow champion of his tribesmen. We say this because Sanusi has made Kaduna his second home since his dethronement as the Emir of Kano in March 2020 but has never made a comment on the mass killings of the people of Southern Kaduna and law-abiding Fulani in Kaduna State,” the forum noted.
It said in June 2022, the forum reported with proof of how killer herdsmen on over 150 motorbikes attacked some communities in Adara Chiefdom in Kajuru LGA in Southern Kaduna as a low-flying Air Force gun-mounted plane assisted the invaders, adding that 32 innocent farmers were killed in the attack and score kidnapped.
“This is just one of such attacks in which we have accused a rogue section of the military of connivance. As a statesman which Sanusi has been trying his best to portray, we would have expected him to lend his weighty voice in criticising such criminality and asking for justice even if it is not with the zest and commitment he is putting on the Akwanaja bombing,” the statement explained.
” Sanusi wields a lot of influence on the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. But, el-Rufai has continued to show a lack of capacity or will to protect or care for the people of Kaduna State, especially from the carnage carried out by armed herdsmen who are also referred to as “bandits.” Why Sanusi decides to put his gaze on Ortom in far away Benue State (away from the scene of the killings in Nasarawa State), when Kaduna, his second home is flowing with the blood of innocent citizens from barbaric herdsmen attacks, surely smacks of a worrisome agenda against Ortom.”
It noted that Southern Kaduna, which is a formidable part of the Middle Belt, wants to affirm that if harm happens to Ortom, they know who should be held responsible.
“We stand in solidarity with Ortom and the People of Benue State. We also call for a full investigation into the Akwanaja bombing. We also ask that same be extended into similar bombings that have taken place in Southern Kaduna,” the forum said.
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