Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) have alleged that agents of genocide are on the prowl in Southern Kaduna, a predominantly Christian-dominated area that has been under sustained armed attacks.
Citing the inability of security forces to end the armed attacks on the defenseless people, the socio-cultural groups have also alleged that security forces seemed to be supervisors in the killing field of Southern Kaduna.
MBF’s National President, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, Afenifere Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; PANDEF’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ken Robinson and Ohanaeze Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu expressed these concerns during a solidarity visit to the people of South Kaduna yesterday.
The leaders of the socio-cultural groups, who were received by the leadership of Southern Kaduna People Union (SOKAPU), also donated food items worth N2 million to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) during the solidarity visit.
Odumakin noted that it was shameful that the Nigerian security forces had failed in bringing those unleashing terror in southern Kaduna to justice.
Odumakin said the attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna were attacks on all socio-cultural groups nationwide, hence the decision to pay the visit.
He said: “We are so sad to visit you in this condition. We are not here to bring you relief. There is no relief we can bring at this time to the families who have lost their loved ones in these gruesome attacks, this genocide, in the hands of enemies that we know.
”If we say we do not know these enemies, we are deceiving ourselves. We in the South-west, South-south, South-east and Middle Belt have all agreed that whatever affects one affects all,” Afenifere spokesperson said.
He, therefore, declared that the attack on the people of Southern Kaduna “is an attack against all of us. That is why we are here this afternoon to commiserate with you.”
Citing their failure to end the killing, Odumakin lamented that Nigerian security forces seemed “to be supervisors in the killing field. They watch as agents of genocide kill our people without being able to bring them to justice.”
He said it was unfortunate that the government attributed these genocidal massacres “to revenge or reprisals by some people. If it is revenge, who are the people? Who spoke with them? Who did they complain to?
“The government knows where the attacks are coming from. The government is just rubbing it on our faces. But we are praying today that God Almighty should bring justice to the land. The people, who are killed, should not be killed in vain. The land is crying for justice” Odumakin said.
Also during the solidarity, Pogu said the four socio-cultural groups had been crying for the restructuring of the country, saying if there were native policemen, in the affected communities, the people would have been protected from the killers.
Pogu, MBF’s national president, alleged that the security personnel under the control of the federal government, had no commitment to the people.
He said: ”We have everything centred at the federal level. The Nigeria Police is federal. The Nigeria Armed Forces (NAF) is federal. Everything is federal. So, these security forces have no commitment to the people of Southern Kaduna.
“That is why we are crying for restructuring so that we can be defended by our people. El-Rufai said you should not go on self-defence, yet these killers move around under the 24-hour curfew he imposed on you.
“They come in the night and kill you. Has the government ever gone after them? The answer is no! El-Rufai said it is revenge killings. Revenge killing against who? Have they gone to challenge them in their camp? No!
“They come to your villages in the dead of the night and kill; burn and destroy just like a thief comes to steal, kill and destroy,” he lamented.
According to him, when the government fails to live up to its primary responsibility as provided in the constitution, especially security and welfare of the people, anarchy sets in.
He maintained that in the absence of security, people would naturally resort to self-defence, which according to him, is constitutional.
He sympathised with the victims over their losses, urging them “to be strong and not be discouraged. Let us not be dismayed because these people are not better than us. The only thing they have is that they are protected by powers and they have arms, which we do not have.
”But God is always with the oppressed. God will not leave you alone. God will not abandon you. Just like God is bringing people to come and assist in alleviating your sufferings, He will also provide the defensive mechanism to keep you on your soil,” Pogu consoled the victims of the attacks.
Responding, President of SOKAPU, Mr. Jonathan Asake thanked the groups for identifying with the Southern Kaduna people.
He said victims of the attacks were at seven IDP camps in Gonin Gora, Chikun LGA. He said other IDP camps are located in Kajuru and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas of the state.
Asake added that there were serious humanitarian crises in southern Kaduna and called for help, adding that the people had been subjected to serious hardship.
He called on groups and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the people (Text, excluding headlines, courtesy ThisDay)