Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Adara Development Association, ADA, under the leadership of Awemi Dio Maisamari, as National President, yesterday Tuesday released an in-depth statement on how injustice and insecurity has been fueled the natives and people of Southern Kaduna through Kaduna State government actions.
From the genesis to revelation, the statement chronicled favoritism, unfairness, religious, marginalization and discrimination in injustice and insecurity from 2016 to 2018, hitherto.
Made available to journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday, the statement reads in parts: “A Press Statement by Adara Development Association on How Injustice/Insecurity Is Being Fueled by Kaduna State Government’s Actions And Inactions – Released on Tuesday, 8/1/2019.
“This is to intimate you about the continued insecurity, uncertainty and the general atmosphere of tension that has gripped Adaraland since we last addressed you in Kachia, on the 1st December, 2018.
*What happened to the alleged killers of Agom Adara?*
On the 7th November, the DSS paraded some six alleged kidnappers of/and murderers of Agom Adara, Late Dr. Maiwada Raphael Galadima. Just as we suspected, after much ado about their arrest, it now appears that the case has vanished in similar cases related to many other arrested suspect, who have killed Adara natives in recent times, as we shall show later. We demand for public trail of the suspect, if they are still under the lawful custody.
*Adaraland still under siege, as govt looks away*
On Sunday, 30th December, 2018, gun men struck again in Kutura Village of Kajuru Local Government Area. On that day, four persons were killed and several others were injured when the gun men opened fire on people celebrating in the festive season. We are glad that it was well reported in the press.
But one other person was later discovered to have been slaughtered in the nearby bush. Kutura Village is one of the places targeted for attack in an audio massage circulated several weeks earlier. Therefore, the unprovoked murders were premeditated as usual.
Even though government was notified, nothing was done before or after the incident – to show that the lives of our people do not matter. This is how since 2016 when security challenges worsened in Adara community, we have been watching helplessly as human life in general has been devalued. The responses of civil authorities and security agencies have also been steadily degenerating from concealed insensitivity to open and one-sided sympathy.
We have been complaining about these unfair actions and inactions but they seem to be becoming the norm rather than the exception. We are, therefore, constrained to once more draw the attention of government, the Nigerian public and the world at large to these disturbing recurring incidents.
*Refugees on Adara have turned to terror.*
A few years ago, our community became a refuge to many Hausa/Fulani Muslims displaced by the security and sectarian crises from other parts of the state. Since then, social frictions have been building up, especially involving herdsmen and farmers. They later became essentially criminal in nature.
The masterminds and suspected perpetrators of the crimes were predominantly non-indigenes. The situation has now degenerated to ethno-religious hostility and crises. We wish to say without any equivocation that the reactions and responses of government and security functionaries are to be blamed for this metamorphosis. Below are some of the unfair actions and inactions which have contributed in worsening the criminality and ethno-religious crises in Adara community:
*Freeing the killer and arresting the victims.*
- In 2016 and 2017, armed robbery, cattle rustling and kidnapping were at their peak in the area. Many of our people were killed, women raped, ransom collected and people displaced in many remote villages. However, security presence was concentrated on highways to ensure free movement for those that matter. But our people in remote communities were left at the mercy of criminals to resort to self-defence. They simply did not matter enough.
- Due to ethno-religious sentiments, there were only occasional arrests and, most cases, were not properly investigated. This is because the likely suspects, clues and leads to these criminal acts were almost entirely non-indigenes. Consequently, most of the criminals escaped justice and became more daring. Obviously, the criminals were treated lightly because the victims do not matter. This situation naturally breeds deep resentment by victims of the crimes.
- Up till now, some of the communities displaced during that period are yet to return to their villages. Yet, their plight did not attract any serious attention talk less of emergency or humanitarian assistance. The welfare of our innocent citizens simply did not matter enough.
- Due essentially to the mishandling of the socio-economic frictions, the crises has acquired ethno-religious dimensions. Now, government and security officials have taken more aggressive postures. In most incidents, there are now arrests or administrative actions targeted primarily at our people. The coded message here is that it matters to government only when it is our people that are rightly or wrongly the suspects. But when it is the other way round, it hardly matters. Here are a few clear examples of such questionable actions and inactions:
(i) In July, 2017, a suspected Fulani criminal was beaten by a mob of farmers and he eventually died. Some persons from our community were accused; one was arrested, detained and eventually tried in court. Some known Fulani people threatened a reprisal attack after the death of the suspected criminal. But when about 8 of our people were killed in the reprisal attack that later happened, no Fulani suspect was arrested and tried. We suspect that this sort of bias has become the standard practice of the Kaduna State Government.
*Adara leaders arrested/Miyetti Allah left alone after Fulani reprisals.*
(ii) The Fulani reprisal attack resulted in further clashes and loss of lives. Three leaders of Adara Community Development Association were arrested, detained and tried in court for being unable to identify the Adara people, who participated in the clashes. But Miyetti Allah officials were not arrested and also tried for failing to name the Fulani attackers. This is a clear example of double standards by government.
*60 Christians, 3 Muslims arrested after abduction of Christian girl sparked violence.*
(iii) In February, 2017, Christian youth went to the house of a Hausa man to demand the release of a Christian girl abducted and hidden in the house. This resulted in violent and fatal attacks on the Christian youth and serious destruction in the first Kasuwan Magani crisis. The persons, who abducted the Christian girl and those, who attacked the Christian, youth were never arrested and charged to court. And yet, about sixty Christians and only three Muslims were arrested, detained for several months and are still standing trial in court for causing the crisis. Such openly one-sided government actions are indefensible and not logical.
*Adara Chiefs suspended for bailing their people.*
(iv) A court demanded that only reputable persons like traditional rulers would be allowed to bail those arrested. After our Village Heads bailed the accused persons, government directed that they be suspended from their offices for bailing their subjects. Government is always so desperate to punish our people whenever any allegation is levelled against them by Hausa/Fulani residents in our community. When the reverse is the case, government is silent. Such government inconsistency is unjustifiable.
*More injustice on Adara after Kasuwan Magani violence.*
(v) In October, 2018, some Hausa Muslim residents of Kasuwan Magani massacred more than 100 unsuspecting Adara indigenes and others, who were busy buying and selling in the local market. Some of our people were slaughtered right within a Police post in the full glare of witnesses. Yet, no proper investigation has been done and none of the perpetrators has been arrested. But once again more than twenty of our people were arrested and are still in prison custody after narrowly surviving that attack. This is a situation where many lost several members of their families and the survivors were again arrested as ‘accused’ persons. Such levels of inhumanity and insensitivity are simply unbelievable.
*Deliberate posting of hostile Security commanders to Adara communities.*
(vi) In June just as it was on 30th December, 2018, Adara villages of Ungwa Aku and Kutura were attacked with attendant loss of several lives. But after the incidents, there were no visits by government functionaries to the affected Adara villages. There were also no security deployments to protect the affected villages from further attacks. But each time there are security challenges at locations with Hausa/Fulani residents, several and high government functionaries visit the areas to issue threats and make offensive statements directed at our people. Also, security reinforcements are always hurriedly provided and concentrated in Hausa residential areas. The Commanders of the security agents are, more often than not, Muslims. Christian Commanders are only brought in for very brief spells of time and removed at the slightest excuse. Afterward, our people are routinely molested, arrested, tortured, detained or even shot at the slightest pretext, while overlooking obvious threats and criminal acts by other parties. These acts are continuously fuelling more social friction and ultimately insecurity.
*Abrogation of Adara Chiefdom still a security issue.*
(vii) Another fundamental source of long-term bitterness threatening security is the abrogation of Adara Chiefdom and the subordination of its people to the traditional rulership of much smaller Chiefdoms. It beats our imagination why Adara as the second largest tribe in the State do not deserve a Chiefdom. But ironically, mini-Hausa/Fulani communities are given Chiefdoms with names and nomenclatures of their choice. This is a major, unnecessary and unparalleled affront to the soul of the Adara Nation.
*We call for External Intervention.*
We are, therefore, passionately appealing to the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government to urgently address these lapses. We are also calling on all lovers of genuine peace to engage the authorities concerned and make them see reason. The government despises any engagement with some legitimate socio-cultural groups even on matters of public concern. We are, therefore, calling for these external interventions to ensure long lasting peace for all. Our fear is that the self-destruction of the legitimacy of government by a continuation of these lapses will ultimately fuel even greater insecurity.
We shall conclude by saying that subtle and overt acts of favouritism and differential treatment like the above are immoral, very unjust and provocative. And they are contributing in no small measure to the deterioration of ethno-religious harmony and the worsening security situation in general.