Native inhabitants flee Southern Kaduna over attacks, killings
• SOKAPU Seeks International Support
• Makarfi Expresses Sadness Over Resurgence Of Violence
Hundreds of natives of Southern Kaduna have started fleeing their communities to take refuge in other parts of the state, following fears of further attacks and killings by armed herdsmen.
Spokesman of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Binniyat, who disclosed the new development, lamented the humanitarian crisis and exodus of many indigenes of the troubled areas, saying: “SOKAPU is now faced with serious humanitarian crisis created by the recent attacks and killings in the communities in Zangon Kataf and other villages where the invaders had a field day.
“Many of the natives in Zonkwa and other parts of Southern Kaduna, where the armed herdsmen have attacked and killed our people are now fleeing their homes to other parts of the state and the other neighbouring Jos in Plateau State to find shelters where they be safe.”
Binniyat, who recounted the ugly experiences of the recent attacks on natives in Zangon Kataf, said: “When the armed Fulanis invaded the communities, the armed security men who were deployed there were there, but they couldn’t intervene in the massacre of the people and the invaders had a field day under a 24-hour curfew that has been there. They were going from house to house, killing and maiming our people.
He argued that under the present situation, “many natives are no longer comfortable, they are leaving the villages in their numbers to find safer places because of fears that the Fulanis may come back again to attack them.”
Binniyat also recounted how two of his family members were affected by the recent attack in Zangon Kataf: “For the records, we want to say that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has tied up our law abiding people under an irrational and protracted curfew, which is obviously intended to cause maximum harm to our communities.
“For example, we are inundated by daily cries for food, medicine and money, with rising cases of child malnutrition and kwashiorkor, as parents cannot go out and look for food for their starving children. The sick are trapped at home, as no one wants to risk the brutality of the military that are enforcing the curfew.
“Even if the curfew is lifted, freely grazing cattle herded by armed Fulani men have eaten up and trampled over thousands of hectares of grain farms, yam farms, sugar cane crops, among others. This portends obvious hunger and increased poverty for our communities this year and the next.
“We are appealing to the international community, men and women of conscience all over the world to come to our aide, as there is what looks like a government-sponsored genocide against Southern Kaduna communities.”
Meanwhile, a former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has called on the federal and the state governments to ensure that adequate security is mobilised to Southern Kaduna to secure the lives and people in the area.He condemned the attacks and killings in the troubled zone, expressing fears that foreigners may have infiltrated the affected areas in the to wreck havoc.
Makarfi, in a statement signed by his media aide, Mukthar Sirajo, said he was disturbed and saddened by news of the resurgence of violence in the southern part of the state, pointing out that “resort to violence as an expression of grievance complicates, rather than solve problems.”
According to Makarfi: “Constructive communication between and among people and communities is the surest recipe to mutual respect and understanding, without which there can be no development.
“I appeal to all to eschew violence and embrace dialogue as a means to a sustainable resolution to whatever problem, however knotty.”He also calls on the people to cooperate with government as it grapples with this and other challenges, and the government at both federal and state levels to ensure security agencies are adequately mobilised to properly secure the area, in particular, given the suspected infiltration from outside.
He further advised government, particularly at the state level, to intensify efforts at finding a lasting solution to the problem through the constructive engagement of all stakeholders, such as traditional, religious, community and political leaders.
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