Fulani Herdsmen alledgedly Massacred about 808 people in southern Kaduna State injured 57, Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan revealed yesterday that 53 villages were attacked in the state. Governor Nasir El-Rufai has described the attackers as foreign Fulani herdsmen, who were avenging past attacks on them and their livestock.
While speaking to newsmen, at a news conference in Kafanchan, the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan, Ibrahim Yakubu, said the government failed to protect locals. The Governor had earlier revealed that he had to pay them money to stop them from further killing the people of Southern Kaduna, a claim that was brutally condemned.
Yakubu, who addressed reporters along with four other priests, said four local government areas had been attacked with 808 people killed and 1,422 houses, 16 churches, 19 shops, and one primary school destroyed.
He added: “Unfortunately, our government both at the centre and state levels have failed woefully. If anything, government has shown outright partisanship in favour of the herdsmen to the disappointment of the majority Southern Kaduna indigenes and Christians.”
The cleric, however, called for immediate end to attacks, and demanded compensation for all families that lost loved ones or property. He also called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the causes of the crisis. Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) also lamented that Southern Kaduna had become a slaughter house and a cemetery where human lives had become so cheap to destroy.
Sani, who visited his colleague representing Kaduna South, Senator Danjuma La’ah, called for security presence in all the villages and towns, as well as civilians Joint Task Force (JTF) to protect the communities.
“The way out of this mess is the need for security presence in all the villages and towns in Southern Kaduna. There is also need for Civilian JTF where the communities will be fully involved, funding and supporting, to protect their own communities. “It is unfortunate that Southern Kaduna has become a slaughter house and a cemetery, where human lives have become so cheap to destroy.”
While expressing his heart-felt sympathy to the people over the magnitude of destruction of lives and property he noted: “Southern Kaduna killings is a reality in Nigeria and northern part of this country in particular of what has been happening for years. It is very clear the government is unable to protect lives and property of its citizens.
“The tragedy in Southern Kaduna is also translating to Niger State, which is close to Abuja. So you can see the danger of these killings to other cities in the country.” “There is need for an immediate action to stop the activities of these herdsmen killing innocent people,” he said
Sani suggested that there was need for an economic master plan for Southern Kaduna to address the neglect, abandonment, poverty and underdevelopment that have ravaged the zone for a very long time.
The senator argued that “neutralising Southern Kaduna is not enough without any economic agenda”. “We must develop the area and make all parts of the area accessible by providing infrastructure and developing social amenities as the only way we can have a permanent solution.“Also, there is need to have consultative community interactions to enable the natives and cattle rearers and others ethnic groups interact for better understanding.
“Enough is a word that can only be qualified when there is satisfaction by the side of those who are victims. The first right in the Nigerian constitution is the right to life. “The government cannot be seen to say it has done enough until and unless these killings stop. The Federal Government must provide the necessary environment.
“I think ending this problem has gone beyond what people are thinking. It should be accompanied with an economic blueprint to face the problem of underdevelopment and neglect of the Southern part of the state. “It is very clear that the people of Southern Kaduna are being treated as outcast. They only listen to Plateau media stations to know what is happening in Nigeria.“Southern Kaduna depends on Plateau to exist as human beings. It is very unfortunate,” Sani said