The Southern Kaduna Elders Forum (SOKAF), led by Zamani Lekwat, a former military governor of Rivers state, has broken its silence over the killings and wanton destruction in the area, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to stop the killings.
In a statement on Tuesday, the forum said it could not continue to sit and fold its arms in the face of continued violence that “portends a bleak future for generations yet unborn”.
The elders also urged the president to call Nasir el-Rufai, the governor, to order.
“Southern Kaduna has been in the eye of the storm over the incessant attacks and massive destruction of lives and property in the past few weeks,” the statement read.
“As elders of the area and indeed Kaduna state, we are greatly disturbed by the unfolding tragedy ripping across our land. We cannot, therefore, afford to continue sitting and folding our arms in the face of the violence that portends a bleak future for future generations.”
The elders commended the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, an umbrella body for ethnic nationalities in the area, saying: “We have come to acknowledge SOKAPU as the voice and hope for Southern Kaduna. And we call on our people to support SOKAPU for the good work it has been doing.
“As everyone knows, in their oaths of office, Mr. President and all the 36 state governors undertook to create a conducive environment for the peaceful co-existence of all citizens irrespective of creed, religious or ethnic, to ensure a seamless development and healthy growth of our country, given the fact that we have lived together in an integrated and symbiotic manner until the brutal invasion of our communities by those who government have come to confirm as foreign Fulani.
“What is happening in Southern Kaduna today and by extension some states of the federation is at variance with the above laudable objective.”
The elders appealed to Buhari “to urgently intervene in a more effective way, given the magnitude and rapid spread of the killings, especially in the past five weeks, notwithstanding the 24 hours curfew imposed by the state governor.”
“More troops and equipment should be deployed to Southern Kaduna to battle the situation urgently just as was done in Birnin Gwari and Katsina State,” they said.
“What is more, he (el-Rufai) once publicly confirmed the knowledge of where the bandits come from and even paid them money to stop the killings which still persists on a massive scale.
“All in all, the heartless destruction of lives and property in Chikun, Kajuru Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Kaura, Sanga and Jema’a LGAs, despite the curfew, is a serious embarrassment which should worry the power that be.
“The time for government to justify the confidence reposed in it by the people is therefore, overdue.”
In one of the latest attacks in Kaduna, bandits broke into the residence of a lawyer and abducted his wife and son after killing him.