by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Middle-Belt Forum (MBF), Kaduna State Chapter, has called on the Federal Government to declare a full-scale state of emergency in Kaduna over what it described as continued genocide operation taking place in the region.
In a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, the Forum stated that it’s constrained to once more voice out to the government and the entire world over the continued genocide operations been carried out in the Middle-Belt and Southern Kaduna in particular.
Signed by the secretary, John Haruna, the Forum stated that it’s worried at the recent ugly situation currently rocking Southern Kaduna where hundreds of people have been kidnapped, killed, properties destroyed, households burnt, animals rustled.
“What manner of country are we, and what type of Government are we running that bandits will in their hundreds enter a community, overrun it, destroy properties and farmlands, kill and maim innocent people, including children, for several hours unchallenged, and we have a sitting Government that oversees the welfare and security of people with all the relevant security agencies working and patrolling every day throughout the state?
“What offence have we committed as people in the Middle-Belt and Southern Kaduna that we are being treated this way? The situation is so bad that people are now reacting in various ways to defend themselves.
“More worrisome is the fact both the President and the Governor are all human beings that blood runs through their veins every day and, still yet, all these things are still happening without remorse and action from anywhere to combat the tensed atmosphere. It is disheartening and uncalled for.
“The recent abduction and subsequent release of the Emir of Kajuru is a ploy decor to deceive innocent Nigerians into believing that it is all around affairs. NO, IT IS NOT.
“The Kaduna State Chapter of the Middle-Belt Forum (MBF) is hereby declaring its total and full support to the press statement released by our National President, DR BITRUS POGU, on 11/7/2021, asking President Muhammad Buhari to declare full State of EMERGENCY now in Kaduna State, effective immediately.
“All these are happening under the watchful eyes our Governor, who is created by God, breathes through his nostrils equally accountable to His Supreme Being and authority. In fact, the situation is so bad and worrisome and a sad moment once again for the people of the Middle-Belt and Southern Kaduna.
“Right now, all the major entry routes and points into the city of Kaduna from other parts of the country have been fully taken over by the kidnappers where they continue to unleash terror on the road, harassing everyone that plies the road,” it stated.
The Forum stated, “Please, take a look at the following incidents,” adding that, “Recently, two nurses were abducted from Idon General Hospital in Kajuru LGA of Kaduna State, on 22/4/2021, and are yet to be released even after the payment of #10 million to the kidnappers.
“On 5/7/2021, the bandits launched another attack on the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Center in Zaria, where they abducted 10 persons, including five nurses, infants and their mother.
“On 21/5/201, about 77 members of the Libere Community in Kajuru LGA were abducted when they returned to their land after taking refuge in an internally-displaced persons (IDP) camp since MAY, 2020. They include both men and women. The sums of 350 million are being demanded as ransom.
“Recently, over 120 students of Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi Village, located in the outskirt of Kaduna were abducted. Those students are yet to be released.
“For the 7 days running now, these bandits, popularly referred or known as ‘Fulani herdsmen,’ have been laying siege to several communities in Atyapland, Zangon-Kataf LGA of Southern Kaduna and left 33 persons dead in an unabated ongoing genocide and land grabbing in which 108 Southern Kaduna communities have been displaced and taken over by them since 2019.
“On Monday, 12/7/2021, the Magamiya Community in Zangon-Kataf was attacked around 11:00pm. The family compound of the paramount Traditional Ruler of Atyap Chiefdom, Agwatyap of Atyap Chiefdom, Sir Dominic Gambo Yahaya, was attacked, several blocks of flats and rooms that make up the family compound of five household were looted, food items, valuables were carted away into four waiting Hilux vans; houses were set a blade. A relation of the Paramount Chief, Mr Toma Tauna, 70, was killed by the assailants.
“They attempted to burn down St. Pius Catholic Church in the village, but with prompt reaction from other villages, the attackers retreated to another village.
“These attackers were operating unchallenged and they returned and passed beside Zangon-Kataf Town and drove 5km west of the town and attacked three other villages, from 1:30am on 13/7/2021. In the attack, Matyei Community, made up of 156 homes was all burnt down. The Church in Matyei and its Altar and the Sacristy were all burnt down. The Catchiest in-charge of the parish, Catchiest Yau, and an infant were killed.
“They went further to Abuyab Community (about 500 meters away) and burnt down ECWA Church. Abuyab is the home village of former ECOMOG Field Commander, Maj-Gen. Shakari Billyok (Rtd), and 11 houses were burnt down. Their attempted to attack Runji Community but were repelled by the villagers.
“The attempt to destroy the bridge linking Matyei with Zangon-Kataf Town and other Atyap communities succeeded partially. They went to Makarau and Kachechere communities leaving 10 persons dead, 12 houses burnt down after looting. On 13/7/2021, 20 Atyap natives were killed; on Sunday, 11/7/201. Warkari community (about 7 km east of Matyei) came under heavy attacks and gunfire by the assailants.
“The Forum hereby sympathizes and commiserates with the affected communities and families of both the deceased and the injured. The Forum equally sympathizes with SOKAPU President and his team over the ugly incidents.
“The Forum is now calling on President Muhammad Buhari to declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY on Kaduna State, with immediate effect.