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MBF condemns shooting, killing of women protesters in S/Kaduna

…Describes as barbaric, wicked, senseless, and political.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Leaders of Middle-Belt Forum (MBF) have condemned in strongest terms the shooting and killing of women and others, who embarked on peaceful protest over continuous killings in their area in Gan Gora in Atyap chiefdom of Zangon-Kataf local government area, Southern Kaduna, in Kaduna State.

The forum, under the leadership of the national president, Dr Bitrus Pogu, in a release on Wednesday, stated that it’s deeply saddened over the shooting and killing of innocent and harmless women of Gan Gora during peaceful protest in their area in Kaduna.

In a statement signed by secretary of Middle-Belt Forum (MBF), Kaduna State Chapter, John Haruna, for the Meddle-Belt Region, the body also stated that the women took to the street in protest against the missing and disappearance of some of their community leaders in Atyap Chiefdom. 

“All members of the Board of Trustees, all members of the Elders Council, all members of the National Executive Council, the National President, Dr Bitrus Pogu, all Ethnic Nationalities in the Middle-Belt Region and the entire members of the Middle-Belt Forum Kaduna State Chapter are highly and deeply saddened over the shooting and killing of innocent and harmless women of Gan Gora in Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon-Kataf LGA of Kaduna State Nigeria.

“The women took to the street in protest against the missing and disappearance of some of their community leaders in Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon-Kataf LGA.

“The leader went missing after a dispute resolution meeting on Sunday, 21/3/2021, during which financial resolution was made for destruction of crops under the watch of a herder, as reported to the Kaduna State Government by security agencies.

“The Secretary to the District Head of Gora, Mr Ayuba Bungon, and others, who attended the successful meeting, went missing, while traveling in his vehicle. The car, later found, was vandalized and empty.

“On 22/3/2021, armed bandits killed many people in Ungwan Halle in Igabi LGA in Kaduna State. 3 people were killed during the attack, namely, (1) Dayabu Yerima (2) Dalhatu Ashiru (3) Suleiman Salamatu on 19/3/2021, 13 people were killed, 7 people were also injured in Zangon Kataf LGA.

“They, in reaction to all these killings, abductions, rape and the taking-over of their own ancestral homelands decided to stage a peaceful protest to call the attention of both the Federal Government, Kaduna State Government and the International Community for help and intervention for a total full-stop to the current genocide in the Middle-Belt and Southern Kaduna when the army personnel opened fire with live bullets killing of our women.

“On this, therefore, the Forum expressed her worry, displeasure over the current situation in Southern Kaduna and condemns in its entirety and describes the action of the army personnel as ruthless, barbaric wickedness, callous, senseless and inhuman.

“The Forum hereby advises the Nigeria military personnel to leave politics and to always adhere strictly to their normal military rules of engagement of protecting the Nigeria international territorial boundaries rather than killing innocent and harmless women, who are protecting their human rights.

“The Forum hereby warns again, that, no amount of intimidation, harassment, kidnapping, killing, etc., will derail its commitment to at all times pursue vigorously its aims, objectives and the Moto, which is ‘Oou Land, Oou People and Our Heritage.’ These we shall protect to the last drop of our blood; no compromise,” it vowed.

MBF further stated that, “The blood of all the innocent people killed will cry for vengeance and, until all the people involved in the killing come and confess publicly, it shall continue to haunt them and their sponsors; they will no longer experience peace again in their lives.

“The Forum wishes to commiserate with the families of the victims and pray for the repose souls of all the dead. May God grant them peaceful rest in His Paradise.

“The Forum, therefore, called on the President, Mohammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, to quickly launch and constitute panel of enquiry to unearth the remote cause(s) of what happened in Gan Gora and offenders to justice.

“The Forum no longer accepts mere and paper condemnation, which has become our rules, each time crises occurred,” it stated.

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