By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON, Kaduna.
The attacks by herdsmen in Southern Kaduna are not ordinary attacks from herdsmen seeking revenge, but genocidal, aimed at eliminating populations and occupying their villages.
Assistant Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Reuben Buhari expressed this while speaking on a live programme on TVC on Wednesday morning.
According to Buhari, the attacks started in 2013 when a community in Kaura Local Government Area was attacked and over 100 people killed and the rest sent packing, with the herdsmen occupying their village and feeding their cattle with their farm products.
He said the next attack was in 2014, when several villages in Sanga LGA were sacked and their communities taken over.
“They attack the people, kill them and they take over their villages and send their cattle into their farms to feed on the crops,” he said.
When asked why the people of Southern Kaduna do not form themselves into vigilante groups to protect their villages, he said that the governor has labelled self protection a criminal offence.
“The Governor His Excellency, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has gone on air announcing that we should not defend ourselves. Right now over 30 of our people have been arrested for defending themselves and some are detained in Kafanchan while others have been taken to Kaduna.
“Even our Senator, Danjumah La’ah who called for self defense was invited by the DSS for questioning so there is no way we can defend ourselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the same time on Liberty TV, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex had blamed the crisis on religious and political leaders.
He said that the Governor has gone through reports from several committees on crisis in the state and discovered that none of the recommendations have been implemented, a reason why the crisis keeps reoccurring.
Bantex said the governor was deeply worried about the crisis and would do all within his powers in finding a lasting solution to it.
He said last Monday, several lives would have been lost in Kafanchan during the protest which he said was organised in a church, but for the timely intervention by the governor.
“The Governor quickly called the Emir of Kafanchan who called the Muslim youth to order and prevented a deadly religious clash from taking place,” he disclosed.