SOKAPU PRESS STATEMENT ON KILLINGS IN SOUTHERN KADUNA
SOUTHERN KADUNA AND GODOGODO: DESERTED, ABANDONED AND NEGLECTED
Once again we are forced to issue this Press Release against the backdrop of the fact that the people of Godogodo, Jama’a and Sanga Local Government Areas (LGAs) as well as the entire people of Southern Kaduna have been deserted, abandoned and totally neglected by the authorities at the Federal and State levels and left to be maimed, raped, brutalized, killed, slaughtered and destroyed by the enemies of Southern Kaduna.
Godogodo communities once again came under very fierce, terrifying, brutal, savage and barbarous attack by Fulani herdsmen without provocation of any nature from Saturday 15th October, 2016 to Sunday afternoon. This is despite the frantic calls for help from the beleaguered villagers to those constitutionally saddled with the task of safeguarding their citizens.
The barbarians wreaked maximum havoc and destruction by killing uncountable number of lives of our people. So far, the locals have been able to identify not less than 40 corpses aside from the several other corpses burnt beyond recognition. Virtually all houses have been burnt in Godogodo. Property worth hundreds of millions destroyed while crops have been grazed by cattle and the rest destroyed by the invaders. The savagery and barbarity of the attack is beyond belief. Yet, governments at the Federal and State levels appear quiet and noncommittal. We have been abandoned, deserted and neglected.
The Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) is also curious that the attacks on villages in Godogodo started since May 2016 but has been left to linger despite the Government’s explanation that it spends N200 million monthly on security in the state.
From the previous attacks on Sanga Local Government Area to the current attacks on Godogodo towns which haven’t shown any sign of diminishing, lend credence to the fact that cattle rustling receives more attention from the monthly N200 million supposedly spends on security in Kaduna State than on marauding armed herdsmen in Southern Kaduna.
The Tutsis were abandoned, deserted and neglected during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 until over 800,000 Tutsis were brutally massacred by the Hutus. This is the scenario that is taking place in Southern Kaduna. We are being killed, slaughtered and decimated by Fulani Herdsmen, yet it will appear to our people that the government has failed, refused or neglected to intervene decisively to end the carriage. As a peaceful people we have spoken, we have carried out peaceful protests, we have appealed and pleaded for intervention by the authorities, yet our appeal and plea has appeared to have fallen on deaf ears. It will appear to our people that government is not concerned, moved or bothered by the carnage and pogrom in Southern Kaduna.
SOKAPU regard it a national shame and an indictment of the state government’s commitment to security issues in Southern Kaduna that about seven villages in Godogodo chiefdom are now completely deserted after being ransacked, burnt and the people killed.
More nauseating is the added fact that in villages like Ninte, Akwa, Ungwan Anjo, and Antang – where the people had been sacked from their villages, the armed herdsmen have permanently taken over the villages and boldly grazing their herds on the farms of the villagers. With thousands of people that have been displaced, the current attacks can only add to that number if the State Government does not muster up the will to urgently address the ongoing genocide in our zone.
It will appear that Southern Kaduna does not deserve the attention, sympathy or intervention of government. It will appear that we have been abandoned, deserted and neglected. We do not deserve the intervention or sympathy of the Federal or State Governments. Security personnel are posted to the main highways only; from April to date, there does not appear to be any form of intelligence gathering, any form of surveillance, any form of proactive measures to forestall future occurrences; any form of intervention by government. From April to date, neither NEMA nor SEMA has seen it fit to rehabilitate, resettle or to bring any kind of relief materials to the victims of the attacks in the area. No relief materials, no IDPs camps; no protection for our villages. What have we done to deserve this? Is it because of who we are? Why have we been abandoned, deserted and neglected? Will this have happened if it is elsewhere? Are we part of Kaduna State? Are we part of Nigeria? If we are not, we then deserve our state and our nation. We can stand on our own.
If we have not been abandoned, then government should tell us whether they are ready, willing and capable to defend us; or not ready, not willing or not capable of defending us. They should tell us so that we will know the measures to take. But If government is willing to intervene, we demand for the following:-
1. The arrest and prosecution of all the terrorists;
2. The siting up of permanent security formations in the area;
3. We encourage the State Government to intensify its intelligence gathering mechanism and also include aerial surveillance of those attack-prone villages as a proactive measure.
4. The State Government is urgently asked to quickly come to the aid of the injured and the displaced, as a means of proving to them that they indeed have a Government that cares for its people.
In view of the fact that Boko Haram has been degraded; cattle rustling was brought to an end in Kamuku forest and Zamfara State by the joint action of several states and the Federal Government, we call on both the State Government and Federal Government to place greater premium on human lives by carrying out decisive and combined operation to halt the genocide immediately in order to assure the people that we are indeed part of Kaduna State and Nigeria.
Signed: Barrister Solomon Musa