By Ralph Madugu
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, has accused the Federal and Kaduna State governments of turning a blind spot to the plight of their people after who have come under unprovoked violence and destruction of their communities in the hands of armed Fulani militia, some who they can identify in series of attacks that bear all the signs of genocide in the past three years.
According to a press statement signed by itsspokesman, Luka Binniyat, the Union said many out of the thousands displaced are SOKAPU members spread in twelve local government areas of Kaduna State.
It noted that neither the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, nor his deputy have never visited any of the IDPs camps or any of the attacked community in Southern Kaduna. Kaduna State government has not given these people any form of palliatives as if it was at war with the victims. There is no sympathy or empathy from both the Federal and State government.
“Yet, Governor Nasirl el-Rufai had last month, officially acknowledged that 973 people were killed in Kaduna state in 2020 alone by ‘bandits’, the bulk of which come from Southern Kaduna communities, especially the Gbagi and Adara of Chikun and Kajuru LGA.
“This lack of concern for these victims is raising questions on whether they happen to be people of different faith and ethnicity with the governor. Because in March, 2nd, 2020, el-Rufai tendered a well publicised apology to the residents of some villages in Igabi, Giwa and Birnin Gwari when he visited them after they were attacked by bandits. He was there to see the destruction. But never to Southern Kaduna.”
The Union alleged that for the second year running, large areas of the 26,000kmsq that made up Southern Kaduna have been ‘captured’ and are now in full control of armed Fulani herdsmen, as identified by surviving victims.
The statement read in part said: ” Our estimation is that these ‘captured’ areas make many LGAs in a state like Abia (6,320kmsq). These contain some of the most fertile, prestige farmlands of Southern Kaduna. The rains are about to start and the hope of these halpless victims returning to their homes and start rebuilding them in preparation for the farming season seems bleak. In the same manner, thousands of their children have been out of school, some for over three years with government not making any remedial effort to assist them.”
According to SOKAPU, in the IDP camps where some have managed to relocate, they live in sub-human conditions, barely able to feed, without sanitation and medications stating that it is an indictment of Government adding that no excuse can be given why citizens should be so forsaken by those they voted to protect them and make their welfare and security as basic rights.
While drawing public attention to the plight of the displaced communities, the SOKAPU leadership disclosed that the displaced persons could be found in various IDP camps located in Chikun, Zangon Kataf and Kajuru LGAs and in some areas bordering Kaduna State and Niger State and some areas of Kaduna State bordering western part of Plateau state.
The statement stated that, currently, there are 1004 communities that have been displaced in Southern Kaduna following series of attacks on the natives leaving several persons dead with churches and schools burnt since 2018.
SOKAPU also disclosed that the number of displaced villages are on the increase on daily basis making specific reference to the Gbagyi villages of Chikun, Kachia, Birnin Gwari and Kauru LGAs.
The Union also added that there are at least 50,000 IDPs leaving in several camps in Southern Kaduna or with relations in and out of Southern Kaduna this according to SOKAPU, their villages are either too unsafe to return to or have been taken over by Fulani militia.
While calling on the Kaduna State Governor and the Federal Government to do everything to ensure the return of the IDPs to their original place of abode “by chasing out the criminals occupying their ancestral lands and bringing the brigands to justice,” it appealed to the Government to also show “compassion and assists these law abiding citizens in the meantime with food, medication and clothes and also called on the International Community, Civil Society Organisations as well as public spirited individuals to come to the aid of the internally displaced persons.
“We are still appealing to him and the Federal Government to ensure the return of this IDPs, by chasing out the criminals occupying their ancestral lands and bringing the brigands to justice.
“Government should also show some compassion and assists these law abiding citizens in the meantime with food, medication and clothes. The IDPs can be found in Agwam Bije, Buyaya, Unguwan Sunday, Gwagwada, in Chikun LGA. In Kajuru, they can be found in Rimau, Kallah and Gefe,” SOKAPU stated.