CONTINUOUS CLOSURE OF HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN SOUTHERN KADUNA: ANOTHER FACE OF BOKO HARAM. Read more
Southern Kaduna Diaspora ( SOKAD) continues to be troubled by your handling of the genocide in Southern Kaduna. We have expressed our concerns about this on several occasions, specific to the intimidation of your critics, with the hope that the state will modify its approach, but to no avail. While the Kaduna State government has made pronouncements on its desire to secure a lasting peace in Southern Kaduna, its actions, so far, have directly contradicted its pronouncements.
One important step in the process of securing peace in any community is to dialogue with legitimate representatives of the people of the community. However, when the state arrogates to itself the sole power to decide who it will dialogue with, and ignores the people’s choice, it shows that the state call for peace is not genuine.
A case in point is your attitude toward Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU). SOKAPU is the legitimate representative of the ethnic groups in Southern Kaduna. For the Governor of Kaduna State to refuse to dialogue with this respected group and to refer to its officers as bigots, is unfortunate and unacceptable. Your statement on National Television that you will not meet with SOKAPU to discuss strategies for achieving peace in Southern Kaduna raises serious questions about your commitment to peace in the area. SOKAPU is a nationally and internationally respected group, led by learned professionals in different fields of human endeavors, who are well equipped to offer useful advice to the Governor and others in leadership who are truly concerned about the ethnic and religious cleansing going on in Southern Kaduna.
The recent Operation Harbin Kunama in Southern Kaduna, was initially seen as a positive step toward achieving lasting peace in the area; it was hoped that perpetrators of the genocide-the armed Fulani herdsmen, would be disarmed. Many people in southern Kaduna were leery and skeptical of the effort, just as they were of the establishment of a permanent military presence in the area. Those fears are now confirmed as the Operation Harbin Kunama entered its second phase a couple of weeks ago. As it turned out, it is innocent and helpless people of Southern Kaduna who are having their hunting tools and rifles confiscated and soldiers are reported to be going house to house disarming them. The state has failed these citizens by not protecting them and now it is taking away any chance of resistance against the terrorist that are wiping them out. The state is therefore aiding and abating the ongoing genocide. This is wrong and therefore unacceptable. From available reports, no terrorist has been disarmed or arrested. The Fulani herdsmen are still armed and keeping their weapons. While some elected Southern Kaduna politicians, such as Senator Danjuma Leah have had their legally obtained guns confiscated, the Emirate in Kafanchan which is widely believed to be a repository of illegally obtained weapons, has not been searched.
SOKAD is also troubled that Kaduna State is deliberately undermining the education of Southern Kaduna. Under the pretext of security, you and your Commissioner for Education, have closed the only two tertiary Institutions in Southern Kaduna and have no plan to reopen them.
The State and Federal governments’ actions have clearly demonstrated a half-hearted and biased commitment to finding peace in Southern Kaduna. In several instances, their actions have and continue to undermine the ability of the people to defend themselves. Such actions amount to war crimes that are prosecutable. Their offices are term limited and the actions or inaction of those in power, who have sworn to protect and defend the constitution of the Republic and to comply with international agreements on basic universal human rights will be called to order and tried in due time.
SOKAD will continue to contribute its quota to ending the genocide in Southern Kaduna. We are committed to being a watchdog for accountable leadership from those elected to serve the people. In his recent letter to you, Rev Fr. Paul D.Jatau reminded you of your pledge “…. that you will do your best to restore Kaduna to a State that works for the people regardless of tribe, ethnic or religious affiliation. You said that when this is achieved, we will shout for joy, saying Liberty!, Freedom! Tyranny is dead”Governor, the people of southern Kaduna have had little cause to shout for joy under your regime as the liberty and freedom that you promised as a candidate continues to elude us. Instead, unspeakable tyranny has been visited on us under your watch more than at any time in living memory.
Meanwhile, for real first step to bringing security to our part of the State, SOKAD suggests the following:
- The State should establish dialogue with SOKAPU as the umbrella organization that represents the people of Southern Kaduna.
- The search and seizure of the hunting weapons of Southern Kaduna farmers must stop. The focus of Operation Whatever should be on the real perpetrators of the genocide.
- All Perpetrators of atrocities in Southern Kaduna must be arrested and brought to justice
- All Southern Kaduna indigenes wrongly arrested should be released without preconditions.
- The Kaduna State University Kafanchan Campus, and College of Education, GidanWaya, that have remained on indefinite closure, should be reopened.
Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, President, SOKAD
Danlami Ngboze, MA, PhD, Secretary General, SOKAD
Saidu John, B.Eng , Financial Secretary, SOKAD
I find it amusing the rare courage and forthrightness with which you, a hypocrite with bags of lies, wrote to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, about the state of the nation. Had this letter not been leaked by you (as widely rumored) one would have thought of you as among the greater lot of blind followers who would always find nothing wrong with governance or leadership style provided “their man” is in power. Evidently your display of deceptive courage means that you are not a blind follower, whatever the factors behind your new posture are…>>>
Good day, Ladies and Gentle men of the press.
The Akurmi Nation are predominantly found in Lere Local Government with a large number of us settling in part of Kauru, Kubau, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau. We are known for our rich culture, traditions and history; as an agrarian society, we also contribute enormously to the economic growth of Nigeria. The Akurmi man is known for his accommodation and tolerance for both our neighbors and strangers. In fact, it is because of our hospitality that Saminaka accommodates peoples of diverse identity coming from all over the country…Read more
PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE USEGentlemen of the Press,This morning, 9th March, 2017, my Kaduna residence was invaded by armed policemen, MOPOL and plainclothesmen numbering about a hundred.They came in trucks, buses and pick-up vans around 5am, forced my security man at gunpoint to open the gate. Under gunpoint and without tendering any search warrant from any court of law, starting destructive search on my house. They used knives to tear open my furniture, broke louvers of my doors, broke and tossed things around and destroyed the delicately plastered ceiling of my bedroom and entered the roof.In the course of their search, they took away a pump action gun with its official permit granted me since 2008.My two nephews, Friday Batan and Samson Tanko, who were in the house were manhandled by the armed security personnel and taken away to an unknown place. I am yet to established contact with them.Also my wristwatches, expensive jewelleries belonging to my wife are carted away.I am yet to ascertain the extent of missing valuables in the residence.I was informed about the incident while I was in Abuja.I cannot also establish if something very incriminating have not been planted in my residence as part of the orchestrated plot to not only rubbish my integrity but criminalise me with the aim of prosecuting me.This is in furtherance to the several interrogation and psychological harassment that the SSS in Abuja has meted out to me ever since I call Governor Nasir el-Rufai to order this year over his clearly biased stand against Southern Kaduna natives in the ongoing genocide there.It is on record that some Christian clerics from Southern Kaduna have also been quizzed by the SSS over their condemnation of the killings of members of their congregation.Some youths leaders, Journalists, and social commentators all from Southern Kaduna have been arrested and charged to court over innocuous comments on the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna starting from last year.I therefore wish to put it on notice, that not only are law abiding, harmless natives of Southern Kaduna being maimed, killed and their communities destroyed by Fulani herdsmen – some who Governor Nasir el-Rufai has traced back to some African countries and paid them sums of money – he is making it a crime for anyone to mention the killings. Including the call for lawful self-defence in the face of his failure to stop the killings.The Governor has not only made it a monopoly to be the one making very inciting and divisive statements over this killings, his clampdown on vocal voices of Southern Kaduna is making it harder for the much needed mutual confidence on the parts of the beleaguered people of Southern Kaduna to look upon him as a fair and trustworthy leader.I wish to call on the all the people of Southern Kaduna, not to be pushed into carrying the law into their hands no matter the provocationt. We must remain focused, hopeful and prayerful, while keeping our eyes over our communities watchfully.Thank You,Sign: SENATOR DANJUMA LAAH(PDP, Kaduna South Senatorial Zone)
In a democratic state, any government that understands the basic rules for good governance must respect the rights of individuals to live and work freely, especially journalists. A free and vibrant press is essential for the proper functioning of true democracies. Read more…
The Ethnic and Religious Cleansing in Kaduna State
Southern Kaduna People in the Diaspora (SOKAD)
U.S.A. & Canada
The revelation by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, that he knows the sponsors of the horrific genocide campaign directed at Christians in Southern Kaduna is very troubling yet revealing. At last, the catalyst for the unspeakable barbarism has been unwittingly revealed. That state resources have been used to pay the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity in the area is shocking. The people of Southern Kaduna have no option left but to take preventive measure and defend their communities; on this, we agree with Senator Danjuma Tella La’ah. What other option do they have, when many of their communities have been disseminated and farmland being occupied by Fulani herdsmen many of whom are not from Nigeria, while the Federal and State governments stand by?
While the Governor asserts that the payments were made to entice them to stop the massacre, it is clear to anyone who casually follows events in the region that the deadly attacks have actually increased in frequency and ferocity. Thousands of people, including infants, women, aged and infirm men have been butchered in ways that shock the sensibilities of any modern human. We are convinced, based on the pattern of the heinous activities in the area, that such payments were actually rewards and prizes for the terrorists.
A candidate who paraded himself as a progressive and who has the benefit of good western education in one of the best colleges in the world should not allow his social conscience to mutate and die to the point of permitting and funding the inhuman conduct of the Fulani terrorists. This should be an absolute position for a modern human, regardless of education or religious affiliation.
Attempts to justify the genocide on events following the 2011 elections are false and disingenuous at best. Communities in southern Kaduna have been visited with this brutality since 2010. The attacks began an attempt to forcefully occupy land in the area by settlers who have decided to bite the fingers that fed them. The ill-advised Grazing Reserves programs proposed by the Governor have further exacerbated the situation. These two actions by the Governors — payments to the terrorists and attempting to use the machinery of state power to the benefit of a small minority, many of whom are non-Nigerians — have been deliberately developed by the Governor to achieve a desired outcome. On this basis, we can conclude that the Governor has little to no regard for the people of the area.
The lack of goodwill towards the people of southern Kaduna is further demonstrated by his response to the ideas offered by many well-meaning Nigerians, including the Senator representing the area, Senator Laah, aimed at finding real solutions to this grave problem.
To oppose the suggestion that affected communities should find ways of defending themselves is difficult to understand. We expect that the Governor should be the loudest voice calling on affected communities to defend themselves. In fact, he should take the lead by arming them for self-defense. Such a policy of arming the victims would align with his claim that he wants peace in the area. We will achieve peace faster by arming the victims rather than paying the perpetrators.
There are reports that the state is tracking and documenting names of people who support self defense by the communities. If they are true, it suggests that the Governor has allowed religious zealotry to obscure the progressive idea that he has embraced only in theory and not in practice.
The people of southern Kaduna have suffered enough. Granted, the current atrocities predate the Governor, but he has catalyzed and fueled the genocide directly and indirectly. These atrocities rise to the level of crimes against humanity. It is time to begin to explore how to press charges accordingly. In the interim, yes, affected communities should and must defend themselves against this state-sponsored barbarism for survival and self-preservation.
Aminu Likita, MD,MPH (President)
Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD (Secretary General)
Ibrahim A. Maikori, MA (Financial Secretary)
CC: Home and Global media outlets
World Press Conference
Statement by Evangelical Church Winning All, (ECWA) 19 DCC Fellowship, Kaduna State On The Persecution Of The Church in Kaduna State.
16 November 2016
At ECWA Kaduna Central DCC Secretariat, No 6, Ali Akilu Road, Challenge Bookshop Compound, Kaduna.
Gentlemen of the press,
We welcome you to this important briefing by ECWA 19 DCC Fellowship.
Gentlemen, ECWA 19 DCC is the fellowship of all the ECWA Districts in Kaduna state, with about 2000 pastors in 950 churches and over 2 million worshippers in the State. ECWA is about the biggest Christian denomination in the state.
Having made this clarification, gentlemen of the press, deeply concerning events that have been occurring in our beloved state, and particularly in Southern Kaduna, during the past few months seem to be taking a turn for the worse. As servants of the God of peace and justice, who has charged us to care for all humanity, we cannot keep silent as unprecedented violence is visited on communities and on the Church by malign forces whose motivation is now becoming clearer.
Since the violent aftermath of the 2011 Presidential Election, there have been increasing indications of the existence of a desperate, well-funded, organised and executed campaign not only to make life unbearable for the entire Southern Kaduna territory through threats, intimidation and psychological warfare, but also to occupy the land through what can only be described as ethno-religious cleansing by Fulani herdsmen militia.
This campaign has been devastating. The Attakad Community Development Association, has confirmed that at least 180 people have been killed in Attakad Chiefdom, Kaura LGA, since 2013 and 10,000 persons displaced.
Since 24 March 2013, 16 Attakad villages have been lost to the Fulani militia, and Fulani men are now fully settled with their cattle and families, in Mayit, Agwom, Zakai Gira, Tunga Magwot, Telak, Zakum and Kirim. Several ECWA churches have been destroyed, along with those belonging to other denominations, and many of our members have become IDPs.
In 2014, several communities in Sanga LGA, were invaded and hundreds of people killed by these armed herdsmen, with no apparent provocation. In an indication of their underlying religious hostility and motivation, churches are usually prime targets.
Today, Fulani occupy Unguwan Dauda, where they have cultivated large farmlands and have erected permanent structures roofed with corrugated zinc. Antor Maisamari in Aboro District, Numana Chiefdom is now occupied by Fulani, and indigenes who survived the attacks have fled the area.
To further buttress the assertion that there is an orchestrated plan to drive our members and other indigenes out of these parts of Southern Kaduna, it appears that the next stage will involve the full take over, Godogodo Chiefdom, in Jema’a LGA. Part of Godogodo town, Ninte, Akwa, Ungwar Anjo, Gada Biyu have been overrun and occupied by the Fulani. Churches in these villages are laid to waste after being burnt.
It is deeply shocking that in the 21 Century, not only are Fulani militia carrying out a campaign of forced displacement and occupation reminiscent of previous centuries , but also that this is occurring so blatantly under the full gaze of a succession of modern, democratically elected governments.
Even more worrying is the assertion by both the Kaduna State Government and many Fulani groups that 20,000 hectares of land is earmarked for the exclusive use of Fulani as grazing reserves in Sanga LGA. Note that this is in addition to the lands that have already been seized by violence.
While we have always suspected a quest for territorial acquisition motivated the Fulani attacks , the press conference organised by Jema’a Foundation, Miyetti Allah and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association on 7 November 2016 confirmed that Fulani and Hausa Muslims have been behind the ethnic cleansing and destruction of villages and houses of worship. They claimed they had to do this to entrench their rights to practice Islam, alleging they were being marginalized in Southern Kaduna.
In a statement signed by Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Ahmad M. Yandeh and Abdulhamid Musa, the groups also claimed that they were “irked into responding appropriately” in launching the Godogodo violence.
The consequences of “responding appropriately” can be summarized as followed:
1. Ninte Village
Ninte has two ECWA churches and a Baptist Church. On 31 May 2016, and as confirmed by the aforementioned groups, Fulani burnt down the entire village. The two ECWA churches , a pastoruim and two auditoriums were razed. Also, three vehicles, and foodstuffs in barns were set ablaze. The attackers were not done ; the nearby villages of Unguwan Kafinta, Dangwa were attacked and the residents chased out. The Fulani then herded their cattle to graze on their crops.
Five persons were killed. 298 properties were destroyed
2. Unguwar Anjo
This village has an estimated population of 3,500, and also falls under Godogodo Chiefdom. Between 1 and 2 August, 2016, Fulani carried out an unrestrained attack, leading to the death of Mr Danjuma Tanko and Pastor Luka Adamu of the Redeemed Church. The entire village was burnt. The ECWA and Redeemed churches were burnt. Destroyed inside the church buildings were 450 chairs worth N67,500; two generators worth N60,000, and musical instruments valued at N3 million.
In an attack that took place on 2 August 2016, two persons were killed, 20 houses, including churches, were burnt and the village was emptied of its owners.
Nine people were killed and the entire town razed during an attack on 2 August 2016.
5. Godogodo town
On 24 September 2016, Fulani militia mounted an attack on Godogodo town, where thousands of people who had already been forcibly displaced from surrounding communities were taking refuge. Seven people were killed.
The next day, an attempt by the militia to re-enter the town was repelled by a combination of local vigilantes, police and the military.
Then on 15 October, as affirmed by Jema’a Foundation, Miyetti Allah and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, a combination of armed Fulani and local Hausa Muslim residents of Godogodo numbering over 300 laid siege to the town. The killings and arson continued into 16 October unchallenged. By the time it ended :
A total of 30 people had been killed;
27,819 had been displaced;
326 were injured, and
326 homes were burnt.
Six ECWA churches and a Baptist Church were burnt
The value of property destroyed and looted runs into billions of Naira.
Attacks on Kaninkon Chiefdom
On 25 October 2016, armed Fulani descended on Misisi village, just as soldiers had called the youth and some of the elders for a meeting. The village head and seven others were killed, and 26 houses were burnt. During an attack on Pasakori, situated around 3km away from Misisi, two people were killed and 16 houses burnt.
On 13 November around 3pm, Fulani herdsmen laid siege to Kigam, Kitakum, Unguwan Magaji , Unguwan Rimi and Kizipi, all in Chawai Chiefdom, of Kauru LGA, about 300km east of Kaduna metropolis. Leaving 35 people dead. 120 houses were looted before being destroyed. In Kigam, not a single home is spared, apart from the primary school. All 8 churches in these communities were razed.
As the lurid and gory picture showed, kids less than two years, pregnant women and the aged form most of the casualty. This cannot be “self-defence” or “retaliatory” in nature. This is a premeditated evil and we have no explanation for it, except that people are forced out of their villages for herdsmen to take over
Violence Centres on Three LGAs
The murder and displacement of communities is occurring across Southern Kaduna. However, it is intensified in Jema’a, Sanga and Kaura LGAs, which are adjoining landmasses.
The worst affected areas are Attakad chiefdom and Bondong district in Moroa chiefdom of Kaura LGA; Numana Chiefdom in Sanga LGA, and Godogodo district, Kaninkon and Kagoma Chiefdoms in Jema’a LGA.
In Summary, since the latest onslaught on Southern Kaduna began, according to our documented evidence and other reports, at least 138 persons have been killed, most of them women and children, and about 1,300 homes and churches have been razed.
Abduction, Forced conversion and Marriage of Minors
On 15 November 2016, Mr. Jonathan Usman, a member of ECWA Church Abadawa in Saminaka town, Lere LGA was scheduled to appear before a Sharia Court.
He is being forced to appear before this court by the abductors of his 15 year old daughter, Sarah Jonathan. She was abducted and taken to the Emir of Saminaka’s palace on 16 August 2016. Her abductors stated that they have married her off to an unknown person, on the pretext that she had converted to Islam. Yet, according to the laws of the land she is a minor who is subject to parental religion until reaching the age of majority, and who cannot marry without parental consent.
Unfortunately there are more such illegal actions occurring in Kaduna State; which are rarely made known to the public.
Gentlemen of the press
As preachers of the Word of the Living God, we follow the practical teachings of Christ, who abhors violence in any form. We are forever for peace, brotherliness and everything that will advance reconciliation and the wellbeing of humanity.
While we stand in unity with every Fulani, Hausa and Muslim groups that seeks peace, unity, justice and development, we can no longer maintain silence in the face of unabated illegality, violence and the wasting of innocent lives.
The attacks by Fulani are not self-defence. No group that invades a community, kills women and children, burns homes, foodstuffs and houses of worship can legitimately claim to be acting in self-defence. Even in ancient times, non-combatants were spared from slaughter.
We have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the announced intention of the Kaduna State Government to “re-create existing cattle grazing reserves” in Southern Kaduna serves as a major motivation for the renewed ethno-religious violence and cleansing currently being visited on Southern Kaduna communities.
We are aware that the Kaduna State Government, through the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Army, is currently arresting our members, including Royal Fathers, on trumped up charges while the Fulani who have publicly taken responsibility for this carnage are walking free. We therefore request that Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Ahmad M. Yandeh and Abdulhamid Musa, be arrested and be made to produce those who are behind this grim sin against man and God. Failure to do so would be a clear indication that the Kaduna State Government has taken sides in this matter.
We also acknowledge the gesture of Kaduna state governor in offering N100 million for the rebuilding of churches and mosques in Southern Kaduna destroyed through violence, we wonder who would be worshiping in these churches, since most of the worshippers have fled for safety or do not even have homes anymore to live in.
We appeal to the Kaduna State Government, in the interests of justice, peace and security, to respect the wishes of the electorate of Southern Kaduna and their elected representatives and stop the creation of grazing reserves in the area, especially since this is tantamount to rewarding perpetrators of murder, arson and destruction for their crimes.
As perpetrators continue to evade consequences for their illegal and violent actions, impunity and lawless are becoming entrenched, to the detriment of the entire state. We therefore call on the State and Federal governments to restore all occupied areas to their rightful owners. Failure to do so will not only encourage further lawlessness; it may also eventually compel the owners of these villages to resort to forceful means to recover their ancestral and only God given lands.
We appeal for compensation for affected persons, and for relief materials to be provided to the displaced.
We also appeal to the Federal Government to locate an Army Barracks near the affected areas in order to deter such killings in the future.
Finally, we urge state and federal authorities to uphold the rule of law and the primacy of the national constitution by securing the return of all abducted female minors who have been married illegally, and to combat impunity by ensuring that anyone involved in this appalling violation of the rights of young girls is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
At this point, we hereby declare a three day fast beginning from Monday, 21st – Wednesday 23rd November 2016 and call on all ECWA members and other Christian faithful to join in this spiritual exercise for God’s intervention in the persecution of the Church in Kaduna state.
Thank you, and God Bless our State and our Nation.