The Christian Rights Agenda (CRA) has called on the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague to open investigation into the ongoing #SouthernKadunaGenocide. This was the high-point of CRA’s consultative meeting which ended in Abuja late on Saturday. CRA in a statement by Tom Chiahemen, Interim Director of Publicity lamented the continuous killings and annihilation of indigenous Christians in Kajuru, Chikun and other local government areas of Southern Kaduna. The statement also noted with concern the nonchalant attitude of both the federal and Kaduna state governments and said they cannot be absolved of complicity.
‘This is heightened by the fact that both the President of the country and Governor of Kaduna are not only Muslims but has presided over government policies that did not protect the interest of Christians. ‘It is time for the Prosecutor of the ICC, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, to set up a fact-finding panel in order to end the pogrom before it is too late. What is obvious is that the Nigerian state has failed to protect the Southern Kaduna indigenous Christian communities and the situation is deteriorating on daily basis.” “In some instances, villagers have reported sighting helicopter dropping strange people and parcels in the bush which they believed to be weapons for the terrorist ahead of attacks.” “The killings in Southern Kaduna has all the semblance of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The time for the ICC to act is now before it is too late. The CRA said it had taken Judicial notice of the fact that the Kaduna State Government, under the Administration of Governor Nasiru El-rufai, has not only been silent over these killings, neither has he visited any of the destroyed villages nor visited those taking shelter in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps in the area.
However reports have it that the Kaduna State government has been speaking against the attacks in the area and the menace of banditry in the state in general. Also, the military has intensified attacks on suspected bandits. Seventy suspected bandits were killed in Kachia forest, the Defense Headquarters said at the weekend. Meanwhile, the CRA recalled that in February 2019, Governor Elrufai was quick to announce alleged killings in the area where he reeled out unsubstantiated figures that were later disputed by the Police and Army. Yet, the group said, the same Governor, who, some months ago, visited victims of Banditry in Birnin Gwari and even apologized for his government’s inability to protect the people as the chief security officer of the state, has not found it worthy to do same to Christian dominated Southern Kaduna where indigenous Christians are being killed almost on daily basis, the statement noted.
“Against this background, the CRA is forced to believe or view the ongoing pogrom as nothing but a deliberately orchestrated genocide aimed at exterminating indigenous Christians from their ancestral lands and taking it over by a certain armed ethnic and religious group. “CRA commends the efforts of the leadership of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union who have been proactive in responding to the needs of these hapless communities by rallying support and distribution of relief materials to the victims.
Statistical information at the disposal of CRA indicates that from 2018 to date, no fewer than 15,000 Christian children, women, old and young have been maimed and killed by armed groups alleged to be Fulani terrorists in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba states while the Federal and State governments have been unable to protect them.
This is in addition to another 620 people who have been brutally murdered, according to documents obtained by CRA from The International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (ISCLRL). No fewer than 32, 000 Christians have been killed in the last 10 years. The report also warned that militant Fulani herdsmen and the Boko Haram have intensified their anti-Christian violence in the Middle Belt and North East regions of Nigeria with the burning or destroying of Christian centers of worship and learning. In addition, hundreds of homes have been destroyed. It is time for all Nigerians, all men and women of goodwill to rise up and speak against this evil which, if left unchecked, will set this country on fire, the statement noted.