Southern Kaduna Peoples Union ( SOKAPU)
COMMUNIQUE REACHED AT THE END OF AN EMERGENCY SOUTHERN KADUNA STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT CONVENED BY SOUTHERN KADUNA PEOPLES UNION (SOKAPU) AT THE BAJJU TOWN HALL, ZONKWA, ZANGON KATAF LGA, ON MARCH 31st 2017.
1. Affirms that the 53 ethnic nationalities in Southern Kaduna registered under the umbrella of SOKAPU regard SOKAPU only as their central body that speaks for them collectively;
2. That there has been unrelenting, bloody, unprovoked and unjustified terrorist onslaught on Southern Kaduna communities by attackers who are clearly confirmed to be Fulani armed men.
3. Noted that hundreds have been killed, several communities burnt and the inhabitants internally displaced and in many cases, the remaining houses not burnt have been vandalised and stripped of roofs, windows and doors to discourage them from returning back to their homes.
4. Agreed that farmers in many communities in Southern Kaduna cannot access their farms since last year; crops were not harvested last year; and cannot return to prepare their farms for the incoming rainy season due to safety concerns as there are still daily killings of persons on farms or on the road to farms.
5. Affirmed that what is going on in Southern Kaduna is not, ‘clashes,’ ‘conflicts,’ ‘reprisals,’ skirmish,’ ‘fighting,’ etc as wrongly and misleadingly put by government officials and adversaries of Southern Kaduna but pure genocide and pogrom against the defenceless people of Southern Kaduna.
6. Rejected the notion that only three LGAs of Southern Kaduna are caught in the pogrom, pointing out that every community in Southern Kaduna has lost persons in the genocide, hence it is an all-encompassing siege against the entire people of Southern Kaduna.
7. Insisted that the series of violence in Southern Kaduna are well coordinated and organised terrorism, and a systematic genocidal attacks carried out by Fulani militia, some of who the Kaduna State government under Governor Nasir el-Rufai, have admitted identifying in some African countries and paid undeclared sums of money to as “compensation”.
8. Pointed out that there are thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have moved to stay with relations within and outside Southern Kaduna, putting severe strain on the ability of hosting families to find daily means of feeding;
9. Summit also noted that the Emergency Management Agencies have failed, refused or neglected to play decisive roles in alleviating the sufferings and plight of the IDPs in Southern Kaduna.
10. Observed that there are greater number and presence of security personnel in Southern Kaduna, but their presence has not significantly deterred the armed militia from carrying out daring invasions of communities and isolated sniper and other killing of persons on farmlands and bushes.
11. Expressed worry that aside herding their cattle into farms to graze on crops, the armed herdsmen are now busy harvesting locust beans, crops as well as other farm products from communities they have displaced.
12. Its eminently and poignantly clear that there will be huge humanitarian crisis in Southern Kaduna communities through starvation, diseases, lack of shelter et al with children, women and the vulnerable worse hit, if urgent humanitarian assistance is not extended to the hundreds of thousands of surviving victims silently dying of dearth of basic essentials of life in the homes of their equally distressed hosts.
13. Noted that since the mass murder and arson over Southern Kaduna communities started, Governor Nasir el Rufai of Kaduna state has abdicated his duties as Governor and instead waged an unrelenting media campaign against Southern Kaduna people unabashedly taking sides with the armed herdsmen as a biased umpire while blaming and criminalizing Southern Kaduna victims as the cause of the mayhem.
14. Further stated that Governor Nasir el-Rufai is using state apparatus to insult, denigrate, intimidate, arrest and put in prison, our people, journalists, youths, political leaders, academicians, and threatening our lawyers and leader with arrest for daring to speak out against the genocide.
15. Aware that there is a deliberate attempt going on by Nasir el-Rufai to distort the history of the various attacks carried out against Southern Kaduna by our adversaries in the past and, now, Fulani militia, to make the victims look like villains while the perennial aggressors are made to look like the prey.
16. Kicked against the indignity meted out to the paramount ruler of the peaceful people of Kurama Chiefdom, in Lere LGA, His Highness Dr. Ishaku Damina who was picked and clamped in prison custody over allegations that he kidnapped a Fulani man. The Summit noted with displeasure that H.H Dr. Ishaku Damina was still in prison custody over one week before the date of the Summit.
17. Concerned that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has not only closed KASU campus Kafanchan but is trying to relocate all the three tertiary institutions in Southern Kaduna using insecurity as the reason for the relocation and in the case of the College of Nursing to downgrade it to a campus with a director answerable to a new headquarters outside Southern Kaduna. Even when the University of Maiduguri came under Boko Haram attacks in 2016, and several violence in Kaduna State Polytechnic, Zaria; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, or the Federal College of Education, Zaria and other institutions in the past, none of these schools were shut for so long and none was relocated.
18. Agreed that there are Hausas, Fulanis Yorubas, Ibos etc whose rights, privileges and obligations are not only protected under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but who we will always protect and work with.
19. Submitted that the pervasive violence in Southern Kaduna by armed Fulani militia is replete with examples in many places in the Middle Belt, and the Southern States, pointing to a common evil agenda against the Middle belt and the Southern States.
20. Worried that the agitation for the restructuring of Nigeria and even the call for its break up is getting louder from even the core north; but that the position of Southern Kaduna and the Middle Belt is still not known.
The Summit, therefore reached the following resolutions:
1. Southern Kaduna recognises only SOKAPU as its umbrella body; and that only elected officials of SOKAPU can represent Southern Kaduna as far as developmental, socio-cultural and sundry issues are concerned;
2. While Summit acknowledges the presence of more security personnel in Southern Kaduna, their presence has not significantly added any new hope that displaced communities can not return and attempt rebuilding their homes; nor has it added assurance that farmers can return to their farms ahead of the rainy season. Southern Kaduna is still under siege; Summit therefore resolves to call on the security agencies to be more proactive in their duties.
3. All Southern Kaduna communities should cooperate with security agencies sent to their areas, who in turn are expected to respect our people and not behave like an army of occupation. In places where police and troops cannot reach, communities must brace up for self-defence in the face of terror. They must not engage in self-help but subscribe to the universal right to self-defence.
4. That Governor Nasir el-Rufai must have a rethink over his shockingly biased and anti-Southern Kaduna posture. His utterances, actions and incendiary comments against Southern Kaduna is a major factor against genuine overtures by possible repentant Fulani militia who may seek to drop their weapons and opt for peace.
5. El- Rufais illegal clampdown on only persons of Southern Kaduna origin, and criminalizing victims is stoking indignation and fuelling further division, not only in Southern Kaduna but the state and the country at large.
6. Summit resolves to condemn the statement by Governor El- rufai that his Government is working on posting all security agents in Southern Kaduna who are indigenes of the Zone. Summit is baffled by the fact that El- rufai as Governor, has taken over the duty of the security High command and resolves that where the security agencies decide to transfer security personnel then all Fulanis and Northerners should be transferred from Southern Kaduna and only security personnel from southern States be brought to the Zone.
7. IDP centres should be established so that all our IDPs in many areas of Southern Kaduna will be properly documented. The centres will also serve as easy points for distribution of relief materials.
8. The Summit calls on SEMA, NEMA, the Red Cross, charity organisations, all good spirited individuals to come to the aid of our suffering people, as starvation is imminent if no relief is extended to them urgently.
9. That it is in the interest of the minority Hausa and Fulani of Southern Kaduna, not to be carried away by the anti-Southern Kaduna posture of Governor Nasir-el Rufai but cooperate with the people of Southern Kaduna with SOKAPU in the genuine search for an enduring solution to the wanton violence in the area, noting that a safe and secure Southern Kaduna will be a better place for all to thrive.
10. The Summit calls for the immediate release of the Chief of Kurama, H.H. Dr. Ishaku Damina in line with the bail granted him by the court.
11. The Summit is totally against the continuous closure of Kaduna State University (KASU) Kafanchan Campus, or the threat to relocate the institutions including the College of Education, (CEO), Gidan Waya and School of Nursing, Kafanchan. Southern Kaduna totally stands against the relocation of these schools under the guise of insecurity.
12. SOKAPU was directed to create committees that will accommodate the vast intellectual resource that abounds in Southern Kaduna. These committees will assist SOKAPU with certain responsibilities.
13. Summit resolves to have a Southern Kaduna cultural re-orientation and renaissance with regards to the renaming of our villages, traditional titles, names, traditional clothes for our people, traditional head gear /crowns and regalia used by our revered traditional leaders in order to be culturally distinct.
14. Summit resolves to deepen relationships with other ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt, the East, Niger Delta and the South West particularly as concerns the restructuring of Nigeria.
15. The Summit mandated SOKAPU to liaise with other similar organisations in the Middle Belt, Niger Delta, East and South West with the view of taking a common position on the restructuring of Nigeria. Southern Kaduna must align with similar agitations and be ready to do so should other regions decide to go their separate ways.
226 stakeholders attended the summit with representations as follow:
Community Development Associations (CDAS) or ethnic nationalities.
SOKAPU Chapters or States
Southern Kaduna Lawyers Forum
Comrade Anto Ambi Ogah,
Barr. Solomon Kaptain Musa, National President