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SOKAPU accuses Fed Govt of dividing Nigerians along ethnic, religious lines

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Muhammadu Buhari

Claims spending N900m last year as ransom to kidnappers
Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of operating a deliberate policy of dividing the nation along ethnic and religious lines.

SOKAPU said that the insecurity in the country has cost Southern Kaduna people N900 million in ransom payment to kidnappers, while 160,000 had been rendered homeless as a result of the attacks on communities.

Addressing a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, President of SOKAPU, Jonathan Asake, advised Buhari against such division, urging him to work for the country’s unity.

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According to Asake, SOKAPU is disappointed at government’s handling of the nation’s security challenges, alleging that the Presidency was politicising genuine criticism and solutions proffered by patriotic Nigerians.

“We feel gravely concerned, particularly with the spate of insecurity that has ceaselessly engulfed the nation, especially in communities across the Northern and Middle Belt regions.

“Nigeria, as a nation, is seriously undergoing severe security challenges where terrorists, who pose as Boko Haram, bandits or kidnappers continue to unleash premeditated and unprovoked attacks on our people and turning our communities into rubbles of devastation and desolation,” he said.

The Guardian gathered from the indigenes of Southern Kaduna that across the 12 councils of Southern Kaduna were cases of daily abductions on the road, farms, homes, markets and worship centres.

“As I address you today, no fewer than 143 communities in Southern Kaduna have been completely displaced, with over 160,000 persons, mostly women and children, now living under very harsh and dehumanising conditions devoid of food, medication and other necessities of life.

“From reports of kidnappings available to us and the amount of money paid in ransom, our poor, vulnerable and defenceless people in Southern Kaduna have had to cough out over N900 million from January to December 2020 in ransom to these heartless criminals, with many killed when relatives of victims are unable to raise the ransom and at times even when ransom is paid. This undoubtedly has placed Kaduna as the nation’s capital for kidnappings and abductions.”

He argued that while the government of the day continued to appear helpless in their capacity to tackle the challenges or turn a blind eye to the atrocities against humanity, the chances of bringing back hope to the communities became slimmer by the day.

“It is against this backdrop that the Christmas homily by the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, serves as a timely wake-up call on national leadership to confront the monsters of destruction that are committed to the annihilation of our communities.”

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