Abuja – The National Coalition against killings in Kajuru, Kaduna State, on Tuesday staged a peaceful procession at the Unity Fountain, Abuja decrying the carnage which it noted has set the stage for a major humanitarian crisis that has so far displaced no fewer than 10,000 persons that are presently living in four camps.
The Coalition said it believes that powerful retrogressive forces are funding and supporting the well-coordinated militia who “come in and strike at our sleepy and peaceful communities and retreat” without consequences.
It called on the Federal Government to set up an independent Commission of Enquiry to probe the Kajuru killings, including the exhumation of Fulani corpses, if any, in order to bring perpetrators to justice.
It said it cannot allow killers to turn the once peaceful and thriving villages and towns into trenches of warfare.
Addressing the crowd made up of different ethnic nationalities, Non-Governmental organisations and other Civil Society Organisations, Coordinator of the Coalition, Rev Fr Williams Kaura said the death toll in Kajuru, Kaduna State has surpassed 130 persons in addition to the several communities that have been reduced to rubbles.
Rev Fr Kaura said that the existential threat to Adara people is frightening and real, stressing that both the Kaduna State and Federal Government are playing the ostrich to the security need and humanitarian catastrophe pervading the communities.
He said that in most of the towns and villages under attacks, the difficult terrains and their locations make the task of reaching them herculean.
The Coordinator further said that the Coalition cannot remain silent in the face of the gruesome killings and deliberate agenda to annihilate Adara people whose only crime is being natives.
Rev Fr Kaura said that the bourgeoning human carnage has the propensity of spreading to other areas of Kaduna State if not effectively checkmated, adding that if we must save our shared humanity and salvage what is left of humankind, there is the need to close ranks and insist on relevant organs of government to perform their obligations without fear or favour.
Rev Kaura challenged government at both Federal and state levels to muster courage and the political will to halt the incursion of the non-state actors.
He further said; “Government should, as a matter of urgency, deploy more security forces into these hinterlands, including consistent aerial surveillance to track down the terrorists and consequently end the carnage.
“Government should provide adequate healthcare for the wounded, food and shelter for the victims. We plead with agencies of government, especially the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, to make haste and intervene in the humanitarian crisis that has displaced over 10,000, with many others admitted for medical treatment in the state.
“On this note, we want to state unequivocally, that at no time did these communities reject the Federal Government’s assistance or made themselves inaccessible to agencies of government.
“We reject the politicisation of these conflicts, be they in Birnin Gwari, Kajuru, Southern Kaduna or any part of the Nigerian Federation. We call for accountability and probity in the handling of the current gale of massacres in Kaduna State and urge government to prosecute those who promote this mayhem through careless speech of incitement for the sole purposes of stoking hatred and violence.
“We demand the immediate release of Adara elders that have been unjustly incarcerated. These leaders have committed no crime other than being leaders of an Ethnic group. El-Rufai has taken it upon himself to break the resolve of the Adara and viciously pursue their persecution.
“We reject the balkanisation of our traditional institution and therefore call for a return to the pre- 2015 status of our monarchs, with their approved normenclatures as provided for by the laws. We feel that the action of the governor in balkanising our traditional institution is a recipe for chaos and instability.
Also speaking, the National President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Barrister Solomon Musa said it is unfortunate that the victims of the carnage are being arrested and detained while the perpetrators are being protected and paid, adding that the people of Southern Kaduna are peace loving and would pursue every legal means possible to ensure that the killers are brought to book.
Musa said that if the federal Government does not want the people of Southern Kaduna to be part of Nigeria, the area has enough population and land mass to be a nation of its own.
In his own remarks, the National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko said that it is most unfortunate that Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who ought to be promoting peace, is the one encouraging crisis and killings in the state, stressing that it is high time that the injustice against a particular people and killings are stopped.