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Southern Kaduna crisis and impartiality question

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Three Fulani herdsmen have been reportedly killed in the wake of the continued mayhem in southern Kaduna, in Kaduna state, by alleged Atyap natives, signaling the declaration of full-blown communal conflicts between the two tribes.

Report from eyewitness sources said the Fulanis were attacked in their settlement by youth of the natives and killed three, including a young lady, in cool blood.

The southern Kaduna indigenes have a long history of complaint of serial attacks and killings against the Fulani herdsmen suspected to be foreign mercenaries over times.

But the attackers consistently attributed their actions to “revenge and reprisal attacks,” which was re-echoed and amplified by the Governor el-Rufai-led administration.

President of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), Hon. Jonathan Asake, had lamented that over 50 communities have been displaced, with thousands of its members in IDPs in southern Kaduna as a result of invasions in the communities by alleged Fulani militia. 

Every effort made to find lasting solution in ending the attacks and killings (to stop the mayhem) by spirited individuals and organizations have failed to yield positive results.

The current government’s efforts also seem to have not made much progress, as it has been labeled as accomplice and not impartial in dealing with the situation. In fact, the governor was castigated and demonized as spokesman of the Fulani militia for consistently and expressively stating that the attacks and killings were “reprisal and revenge missions” for the attack and killings previously launched against foreign herders by the southern Kaduna native youths.

The governor did not stop at those “utterances” as described by opposing views; he went further and stated that the perpetrator foreign herders were located and paid compensation to stop the killings, in line with the previous government’s alleged recommendation.

However, the attacks and killings continue unabated with Fulani being the recent victims of attacks with both sides of the warring communities currently in IDPs in tears after counter-attacks on each other.

The government must still look inward in finding lasting solution to the crisis, which lies on its table, with clean hands and utmost sense of neutrality.

It must also be seen to be conspicuously impartial now, or be prepared to bear the unpredictable long-term consequences of actions in crises degenerating to a mini war.

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