By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, (SOKAPU), has observed with dismay that there is plot against Agyapland and its people following the continuous detention of 15 Atyap community leaders by the Kaduna Police.
SOKAPU, in a statement through its spokesman, Luka Binniyat, observed that since July last year, no fewer than 100 Atyap natives have been killed on their ancestral lands and at least 24 villages destroyed and hundreds of hectares of farmlands with growing crops grazed by cattle all from the hands of persons who surviving victims have identified as Fulani armed men, who had settled among them for long before suddenly moving out.
SOKAPU lamented, “Not a single Fulani leader has been called for questioning not to talk of being detained. We also said that under Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, that has been the style of justice – victims are dragged and punished, while the alleged murderers are walking free with no consequence to their actions.”
The forum recalled that it had reported how the Nigerian Army, under Operation Safe Haven, whose Commander is Major General Dominic Onyemulu, tricked some Atyap community leaders in Zangon Kataf LGA, in Southern part of Kaduna State into a meeting, at one of their operational base on Unguwan Rimi-Bajju road, near Kafanchan in Jemaa LGA also in Southern Kaduna and arrested all of them on the 31st March, 2021.
The statement added, “We reported how after torturous 4 days in the illegal incarceration of the military, they were passed to the Kafanchan Police Area Command under SP Idris Mohammed Gumel.”
The forum explained that the detained Atyap community leaders, included village heads and elders, among them, elder Waje Laah, an infirmed 85 year old great, grand father who can hardly stand on his own for over a minute, have being kept under subhuman conditions for another 6 days, they were transferred to Kaduna State Police Command Headquarters under CP Umar Muri.
SOKAPU expressed concern that without being arraigned before any court of law, the detainees suffered dehumanising conditions in a narrow police cell at the Kabala Doki police Station, adding that the condition of elder La’ah got so bad that the police themselves had to rush him to their own clinic on Constitution road and later returned him to the same cell last Sunday where we are told that his condition is taking another turn for the worse.
The forum recalled that at first they were told that those detained were accused of killing 75 Fulani cows in Atyap land and a few sheep.
SOKAPU lamented that the detainees have been moved in pairs of two to different police stations including the sick, old and infirmed, stressing that they are scattered to Gabasawa Police Station, Magajin Gari Police Station, Unguwan Rimi Police Station, Kakuri police Station and two are still left at the Kabala Doki Police Station.
SOKAPU believes that with the unintelligent and laughable allegations made against the Atyap Community leaders by the police, the police may frame up more charges that would ensure that they are denied bail, pointing out that they would also do so to safe face from the embarrassment they have caused themselves since it is obvious that they are desperately playing out an agenda.
The forum also believe that the motive of seperating them is to subjugate them into brutal torture so to extract confession under duress, adding that their separation is also to remove the psychological comfort that comes with staying under one roof as persons of same identity and common problem.
The forum asked for the immediate release of the men that were literally abducted by men of Major General Dominic Onyemulu and punished before being passed to the police for further suffering.
“We demand that the Nigeria Army Headquarters inquire into how its men have now become tools used for such untowards projects. Ohaneze Ndi’Igbo should call their son to order, and remind their him that there will still be life after leaving the army.
If anything happens to these men, Major General Dominic Onyemulu and CP Umar Muri should be held responsible,” the statement explained.
SOKAPU called on volunteer legal experts, relevant NGOs, CSOs and men and women of means and conscience to assist us in enforcing the Fundamental Human Rights of these poor detainees who can obviously not afford the cost of pursuing their rights without assistance.
It called on Atyap youths and their neighbours to please remain calm and not take the law into their hands, even as they maintain vigillance over their communities.