By Yakubu Kuzamani, Public Relations Officer, SOKAPU.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) commiserates with Families of the several people killed from 18th October, 2018 to now in Kasuwan Magani and several parts of Kaduna and environs. We also empathise with the injured, some in hospitals and in private homes; with Families of the missing and the unaccounted for ; with the internally displaced who are at the mercy of relations, well-wishers and sadly , some at the mercy of the vagaries of nature. In this moment of grief and sadness arising from the terror unleashed on us, we must remember who we are.
We must remain calm and we must exercise restraint. One quality and identity we have as Southern Kaduna people is that we are an inherently peaceful people. We are a very humane people. Those qualities will not be taken away from us no matter the extent of provocation, state sponsored anti-Southern Kaduna propaganda.
We condemn in totality the brutal, barbaric and unprovoked attacks on innocent souls in Kasuwan Magani and subsequent places despite or in spite of assurances by security agencies and government that they are “on top” of security situation in the State. At this juncture, we are forced to ask certain questions: Were there no security personnel and security posts in Kasuwan Magani and environs before the attacks? Were there no security personnel on the highway between Kaduna and Kasuwan Magani a distance of not more than 30kilometers?
What has been happening to the monthly budget of over ₦200million that the State Government informed us through the Deputy Governor is meant for security? Are the security agencies complicit in the attacks? Or are the security agencies and government completely incapable of securing the lives and properties of its citizens? Was annihilation of our people and the destruction of their communities the reasons why this government was voted into power or was it the contrary?
We are also worried that at a time when the state government is carrying out dubious “reforms” on the traditional institution state wide, the security of our revered traditional rulers is being increasingly compromised.
In the space of 11 months the Etum Numana, Mallam Gambo Makama, was assassinated; the Agwon Akulu Mr. Yohana Sidi Kukah was kidnapped and now the Agwon Adara, a first class chief, His Royal Highness, Dr Maiwada Raphael Maiwada on October 18, 2018. He was kidnapped along with his wife. His security details were brutally executed in a dare devil operation. The kidnap of the Agwon Adara occurred after a meeting with the Governor of Kaduna State.
The question is: Was any special arrangement made by the State Government for the safe conduct of the paramount ruler back to Kachia? Why was the governors Sunday broadcast to the State so “loudly ”silent on the kidnapping of the Agwon Adara? Could there then be any link with the savagery of his kidnap with his meeting with the governor? Was he kidnapped to further humiliate the Adara nation after scores of their people were hacked to death unprovoked at Kasuwan Magani market last Thursday? SOKAPU will very much want answers to these.
We note with satisfaction the imposition of a curfew and deployment of security personnel in the areas affected. We hope the implication of a curfew will be complied with by Government to wit : that the total security of the people is in the hands of the government ; and that any breach of security should squarely be blamed on government; also that lawful citizens will not be confined to their houses while terrorists are unleashed on them as was common during curfews in Southern Kaduna in 2016 ; and that the security agents will be totally impartial and not to start terrorizing victims and the innocent.
WE CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO:
a. Trace and account for all the persons missing;
b. We are aware that bereaved families are yet to receive corpses for decent burials. We urge relevant security agencies to ensure release of these corpses to their relatives
c. Conduct autopsy report on those killed;
d. Release the list, names/identities of those killed;
e. Release to the public the report if any of the investigation on the assassination of the Etum Numana;
f. Release the report if any on the investigation of the kidnap of the Agwon Akulu;
g. Take all available security measures to protect and defend our traditional rulers(chiefs and Emirs); as well as all other citizens of the State and of Nigeria
h. Ensure that NEMA/SEMA with all urgency decisively intervene to settle the bills of all those in hospital ; provide camps, relief materials and reconstruct structures destroyed and generally rehabilitate the victims especially the vulnerable. After all some of the attackers have even been traced to some foreign countries and paid huge sums of money as ‘compensation’. It is time government takes care of the neglected victims too.
i. Render public accountability of the security votes of Kaduna State and how deployed in the past three years; and
j. Ensure the siting of market far away from residential quarters all over the state;
k. Set up an independent and impartial judicial investigation panel made persons of proven integrity.
Finally, we once again urge our good and peace loving people to be calm. We also join well-meaning Nigerians to pray for the quick return of normalcy in our state.
We must not take the laws into our hands. We must, however, may take all available legal means to protect and defend ourselves from terrorists in accordance with all extant domestic and international laws.
Thank You and God Bless Kaduna State