by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Minority caucus of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, of Kaduna state House of Assembly on Friday descended heavily on the governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, saying that the southern Kaduna people have not had peace since the inception of his administration.
“It is on record that since the inception of this administration, in 2015, Southern Kaduna has not known peace as a result of incessant attacks by armed militia with the resultant consequences of loss of lives and property.
“We the representatives of the people of Southern Kaduna, elected under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, are saddened by the spate of attacks, killings and kidnappings in Southern Kaduna, particularly in Chikun, Kajuru, Kaura, Sanga, Kauru and Zangon-Kataf local government areas and Kaduna State as a whole and feel obliged to address you, Gentlemen of the Press,” it stated.
The lawmakers, who made the calls in a press conference addressed in Kaduna, also lamented that the communities that have suffered these senseless attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna are too numerous to mention and the victims, both living and dead, too numerous to count.
Speaking on behalf of the caucus, Emmanuel Bako Kantiok of Zonkwa Constituency, the caucus also expressed regret over the style of both federal and state government responses to the attacks it described as “passive.”
“Regrettably, however, governments’ style, both at the state and federal levels, in response to these attacks have been passive and non-challant, and have, consequently, emboldens the attackers with the usual narrative that the attacks are reprisals but in no way condemning the attacks and the attackers. By the governments’ approach, the attackers feel justified to continue with the attacks.
“The latest of this unfortunate justification of these attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna is the press statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, where he said that “The problem in Southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.
“It is evident from the press statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President that, there was no attempt at all to condemn the attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna nor was there any attempt – even pretentious – to commiserate with the bereaved, injured and those, who lost their properties due to no fault of theirs.
The silent and in-action of the Kaduna State Government in these recent attacks in Kajuru, Kaura and Zangon-Kataf local government areas is more worrisome,” they said.
According to them, “The attitude and response of both the State and the Federal Governments to these attacks and killings clearly speak volumes of the understanding or willingness of government to discharge its primary responsibility to the people of Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State and the country at large as envisaged under Section 14 (2) (b) of our 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“As elected representatives of the people, we are worried that these attacks, massacre and destruction of properties, particularly in Southern Kaduna, are un-abating, and we have a responsibility to remind the government to live up to its responsibilities.
“Accordingly, we call on both the State and Federal Governments to acknowledge that the life of every citizen of Nigeria and, particularly in Southern Kaduna, matters and must be protected to ensure that the people enjoy their God-given right to life.
“We urge governments to condemn all attacks and killings, no matter their nature or motive, and to stop justifying the attacks on the guise of ‘reprisals.’ Evil in whatever form and shape is evil and must be called by its name; rise up to its responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of the people of Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State and the country at large to avoid a descent to anarchy.
“We equally call on the people of Southern Kaduna to remain vigilant, calm, law abiding and avoid taking the laws into their own hands,” they added.