Following the incessant killings and abductions in the southern part of Kaduna State, the umbrella body of the mostly Christian indigenous tribes, the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU), has called on government to rethink its strategies in tackling the twin menace in the area.
Just Tuesday, the Chief of Ikulu, Mallam Yohanna Kukah, the brother to re
nowned public commentator and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese in Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hhassan Kukah, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
A day before, another prominent traditional ruler, the Etum Numana, Dr Gambo Makama, was shot dead with his pregnant wife. His injured son escaped with gunshot injuries and is receiving treatment.
Said SOKAPU in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Yakubu Kuzamani:
“With so much sadness and concern, the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU) is constrained again to point out to the general public that the ominous signs coming out from the renewed attacks on our people, which has shattered the relative peace we have been enjoying, calls for serious concern.
“SOKAPU is actually wondering why the Government continues to adopt the same strategy with regard to security in Southern Kaduna when such a strategy has not translated into stopping these attacks and killings.
“Issuing press statements after each attack with intent to show empathy and even announce the redeployment of more troops also look good but has not stopped the attacks. Rather these approaches, good and commendable as they look have not curbed the killings because they are all reactionary in strategy.
“What is needed is more proactiveness, more sincerity, and more determination to stop the attacks that have been occurring for a long time.
“In Kajuru LG, after a heightened sense of insecurity pervaded the area, hostilities erupted in July, 2017 that led to loss of lives and displacement of so many people. Then the insecurity moved into the next Local Government – Chikun, where so many lost their lives from unprovoked attacks, robbery and whole scale kidnappings. Some displaced people still can’t return to their villages today.
“Then on the 22nd December, Nindem village under Godogodo chiefdom was attacked in the night. Next, Ungwan Mailafiya in Gwong chiefdom was attacked on Christmas Eve. And while we were wondering what the bigger picture is behind these renewed attacks on our innocent people, the Etum Numana, Dr Gambo Makama and his pregnant wife were killed on 31st December, 2017 when he went to his village to celebrate the New Year amidst his people.
“Our concern is further highlighted by the fact that none of these killers have been caught to serve as an assurance to us that the Government is on top of the issue. We remember the dozens of attacks in Sanga, Jama’a, Kaura and Kauru and the fact that the perpetrators of those attacks are today walking freely around. This lack of arrest has simply emboldened these terrorists to keep attacking and killing at will while the Government is left to issue flowery press statements after each attack and deploy security to already destroyed communities.
“In view of all these killings of our people, SOKAPU is urging the Government to show more determination, willingness and sincerity in being more proactive in curbing these killings rather than the reactionary method it’s been deploying that hasn’t stopped the killings. We also urge Government to increase the space for more meaningful engagement in searching for more viable deterrents to these killings. We also urge the security personnel to increase their intelligence gathering and go after these terrorists rather than wait for them to attack.
“It is the same atmosphere of insecurity that has led to the violent abduction of the paramount ruler of the Ikulu nation, HRH Mallam Yohanna Kukah from his palace in Anchuna, Zangon Kataf LG yesterday, 2/01/2018. His abduction is a reflection of other kidnappings all over the state and we urge the State Government to do more in securing his release and all others.
“We strongly hold the opinion that putting a stop to these attacks on our communities is very possible. It is doable if the relevant authorities really, and sincerely want to.
“SOKAPU again condoles with the people of Kajuru, Chikun, Jama’a and now Sanga LGs over these avoidable attacks and urge the Government to live up to its sworn constitutional responsibilities of securing its citizens.”