By Kucha Jeremiah, Abuja
The National Youth Leader of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), John Isaac said since Governor Nasir el-Rufai took over power in 2015, the only development Southern Kaduna have is mass graves as a result of Mass burial.
He said this during a peaceful protest at the Unity Fountain in Abuja over the killings in Southern Kaduna.
Isaac said that they are not gathered to merry or razzmatazz, but to mourn their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers that are being killed in an avoidable genocide. “We are here to plead with the government to withdraw the military from Southern Kaduna, so that the people can defend themselves.”
He frowns at government continuous reference to Southern Kaduna killings reprisals. Isaac said the people of Southern Kaduna are peace loving and wonder what reprisals the government referring to. He asked is it the killing of people in their sleep to take over there farmlands that the government is calling reprisals?
Isaac said despite the tight curfew yet the Fulani herdsmen come at night to kill. “We have been living under curfew for the past two months, I mean tight rigid curfew, and yet the Fulani herdsmen come at night to kill. Assuming the security were doing their job accordingly, this wouldn’t have been happening.
“For failing to do their job, we are calling that they withdraw and the curfew lifted, because we feel the curfew is imposed to pave way for the Fulani herdsmen to come and complete the unfinished job they have started,” Isaac ended.
In the same vein, one Hauwa Mohammed, an indigene of Katsina State during the protest said the northern people voted majorly to put President Muhamad Buhari in power in 2015 hoping for improvement in security in the region but that their efforts turned out to be futile as security situation in the region is worse than it was under President Goodluck Jonathan.
“During President Jonathan, when the crisis was in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, we protested demanding that if Jonathan cannot manage the security situation in the north-east, he should resign. There were clashes between farmers and Fulanis, but it was not as bad as it is now,” Hauwa said.
Also speaking was the convener of the protest, Mr Beevan Magoni who said he is saddened by events that have been unfolding, Magoni said he was born in the village and he knows the history of Southern Kaduna people back to over 200 years, even before the British came in.
“The struggles between us and these people…our people will run into caves, when they come in their horses, they will capture some of us and then we will fight back and capture them. Now, when the British came in 1897 down to 1902, a lot of our people were killed to a point the British said it is just a thousand people that were killed. So, you can imagine if in 1902 a thousand people were killed, imagine the damage that was done.
“In 1903 the Southern Kaduna kingdoms were captured and were heavily taxed, forced into an emirate, and forcefully tried to convert our forefathers into Islam but our people never like that. That is why till date a lot of us are not Muslims.
“There’s a script written some years back for these people and it is what they are following, our governor is aware of it.
“We are in 21st century, so you cannot just come with a script and tell me you want to take over my land. Where do you want me to go to, where do you want to disgrace me to?
“What Southern Kaduna needs is just three things, first to stop the killings, give us our state or you take out the soldiers and give us the go ahead to defend our people. I give you one month and there will never be an attack again in Southern Kaduna,” Magoni said.