…Says, over 1,004 persons now displaced with no support.
…At least 50,000 IDPs without govt’s relief materials.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has decried abandonment of Southern Kaduna native minorities living in Kaduna State by the Kaduna State Government and Federal Government of Nigeria after violent attacks and the destruction of their communities by armed Fulani militia.
The Union also lamented that over 1,004 communities have currently been displaced in Southern Kaduna areas after their natives have been attacked and several persons killed, and all churches and schools in affected areas have also been burnt between 2018 till date.
A statement issued and signed by the Union’s spokesman, Mr Luka Binniyat, on Friday stated that, the thousands of their displaced members spread across some of the 12 local government areas (LGA) of Kaduna State.
“We wish to draw your attention to the plight of our people, who have been abandoned by both the Federal Government and Kaduna State Government after they have suffered unprovoked violence and the destruction of their communities in the hands of armed Fulani militia, some who they can identify in series of attacks that bear all the signs of genocide in the past three years.
“We are talking about scores of thousands of our displaced members spread in some of the 12 local government areas (LGA) of Kaduna.
“For the second year running, large areas of the 26,000kmsq that made up Southern Kaduna have been ‘captured’ and are now in full control of armed Fulani herdsmen, as identified by surviving victims.
“Our estimation is that these ‘captured’ areas make many LGAs in a state, like Abia (6,320kmsq). These contain some of the most fertile, prestige farmlands of Southern Kaduna.
“The rains are about to start and the hope of these hapless victims returning to their homes and start rebuilding them in preparation for the farming season seems bleak. In the same manner, thousands of their children have been out of school, some for over three years with government not making any remedial effort to assist them.
“In the IDP camps where some have managed to relocate, they live in sub-human conditions, barely able to feed, without sanitation and medications. This is an indictment on government, as there is no excuse that can be given why citizens should be so forsaken by those they voted to protect them and make their welfare and security as basic rights.
“All men and women of conscience should also show interest in these displaced people, who can be found in various IDP camps in Chikun, Zangon Kataf and Kajuru LGAs and in some areas bordering Kaduna State and Niger State, and some areas of Kaduna State bordering western part of Plateau State.
“Today, there are at least 1,004 communities that have been displaced in Southern Kaduna after the natives have been attacked and several persons killed. All churches and schools in affected areas have also been burnt, some dating back to 2018,” the statement noted.
According to SOKAPU, the numbers of displaced villages are increasing by the day, especially in Gbagyi villages of Chikun LGA, saying that Kachia LG alone is down with 32 communities displaced since 2020, from 4 wards in Doka, Ankuwa, Bishini, Kateri wards. Others include Kajuru, Chikun LG wards with 24 from 3 and 45, among others.
SOKAPU maintained that, “There are at least 50,000 IDPs leaving in several camps in Southern Kaduna or with relations in and out of Southern Kaduna, all because their villages are either too unsafe to return to, or have been ‘taken over’ by Fulani militia.
“It should also be noted that, neither Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, nor his deputy have never visited any of the IDP camps or any attacked community in Southern Kaduna. Kaduna State Government has not given these people any form of palliatives as if it was at war with the victims. There is no sympathy or empathy from both the Federal and State Government.
“Yet, Governor Nasirl el-Rufai had last month, officially acknowledged that 973 people were killed in Kaduna State in 2020 alone by ‘bandits,’ the bulk of which come from Southern Kaduna communities, especially the Gbagyi and Adara of Chikun and Kajru LGAs.
“This lack of concern for these victims is raising questions on whether they happen to be people of different faith and ethnicity with the governor; because, in March 2nd, 2020, el-Rufai tendered a well publicized apology to the residents of some villages in Igabi, Giwa and Birnin Gwari when he visited them after they were attacked by bandits. He was there to see the destruction, but never to Southern Kaduna.
“We are still appealing to him and the Federal Government to ensure the return of these IDPs by chasing-out the criminals occupying their ancestral lands and bringing the brigands to justice.
“Government should also show some compassion and assist these law-abiding citizens in the meantime with food, medication and clothes.
“The IDPs can be found in Agwam Bije, Buyaya, Ungwan Sunday, Gwagwada, in Chikun LGA. In Kajuru, they can be found in Rimau, Kallah and Gefe.
“We are also calling the International Community, CSOs, NGOs, men and women of conscience and Goodwill, to come to the assistance of these people,” the statement added.