AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna and Toba Adedeji, Osogbo
A VILLAGE head, his aged mother and a pastor are among 11 persons killed in another round of attacks in Southern Kaduna since the beginning of this week, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), said on Tuesday.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called for an end to killings in the country which it likened to the security challenges in the country during the 1967-1970 civil war.
Also on Wednesday, the Representative of the Pope in Nigeria, (Papal Nuncio), Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, lamented what he called “too much violence in Nigeria.”
SOKAPU spokesman Luka Binniyat in a statement alleged that the killings took place in the last three days in Zangon Kataf, Kajuru and Kachia Local Government Councils.
He added that some persons were injured and many houses burnt.
Binniyat gave the names of the slain village head as Dan’azumi Musa(67) and his mother Kande Musa (97).
The cleric, Pastor Adalchi Usman of ECWA Church, according to him, was killed on Sunday at Unguwan /Madaki, Maro in Kajuru LGA.
The SOKAPU spokesman said: “On 16th August, 2020 in Bugai village in Kachia LGA was attacked by armed militia. The village Head, Dan’azumi Musa, 67 was killed. His siblings, Aniya Musa (60), his very aged mother, Kande Musa (97) and sister Angelina Irmiya (45) were killed. Four members of a family wiped out.
“On the 17th of August, Bulus Joseph (48) who a father of nine was murdered gruesomely on his farm at Sabon Gida Idon along Kaduna – Kachia road, in Kajuru LGA, by armed militia.
“He stood up to the killers so that his wife and three children could escape, which they did. But he paid the price with his life.
“Then on Tuesday, August 18, armed militia again invaded Unguwan Gankon village in Zangon Kataf LGA and killed two persons and burnt seven houses.
“Though troops arrived a bit late after the killers escaped, their prompt response is very commendable as it in at variance with what happened in the past.”
Kadun State Police Command spokesman, Muhammad Jalige, promised to call back. He did not as it last night.
The ACF Chairman Chief Audu Ogbe lamented the worsening insecurity in the country. The former minister of agriculture said: “We have not faced this challenge before: Killings day and night. At no time has life been so tough except during the civil war,”
He spoke at the maiden meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of ACF in Kaduna.
Ogbeh, in a statement by the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Yawe, said it was a thing of concern to the ACF that the North which has about 78 per cent of Nigeria’s land mass should be faced with such magnitude of insecurity..
Ogbe attributed the development to unemployment, poverty and alienation of the youths by successive governments.
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He challenged the federal and state governments as well as religious, ethnic, traditional and political leaders in the North to take practical steps to arrest the challenges.
The statement by Yawe said: “Because of the existing tensions and crises leading to a general sense of insecurity, destruction of property and killings in the North, religious, ethnic, traditional and political leaders should be cautious in their utterances and should refrain from making wild and inflammatory utterances that will aggravate the situation.
“Federal and state governments must take urgent steps to arrest the deteriorating security situation in northern Nigeria which has led to insurgency, terrorism, banditry, ethnic and religious disturbances all over the north.”
“The government, particularly state governments of the northern region should pay adequate attention to agriculture which offers more opportunities for diversification and the development of a more sustainable economy for the north and the country.
“School enrollments have remained low in the northern region. State governors of the North should take urgent steps to enhance enrolments and eradicate the rampant incidence of street begging which is very unhealthy for the overall development of the North.
“Unemployment has become a big menace to the northern region. State governors are advised to design employment schemes for our teeming youths who have become frustrated and pose an additional threat to the security of the North and the country.
“State governors are also advised to key into programmes of the federal government designed to offer employment to the youth and alleviate poverty.”
It also called on the northern states to take advantage of the N75 billion loan to farmers in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing in Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
Ogbe clarified that the ACF was neither an ethnic group nor a political party but an organisation with over 300 tribes working for peace and stability in the North.
In Ede, Osun State, the Papal Nuncio lamented that “there’s too much violence in Nigeria and the law seems not to be enforced.”
He questioned what the government was doing to ensure the safety of lives and property of all citizens.
Speaking to reporters on the 25th anniversary of the Catholic Church St.Kizito Pastoral Centre, he admonished the government to ensure that everybody respected the law and lives of others.
He said: “The killings are not only in Southern Kaduna, but the whole Northern region.. Although Southern Kaduna is an area where Christians and Catholics are in bigger number, it is important to note that many Muslims are killed in the other parts of the North like Maiduguri where Boko Haram bombs many mosques.
‘We should not be particular that only Christians are being killed, Muslims are also victims.
“What is the state doing to ensure the security of lives and properties of the people? This is the mission of the state and we have to stop to put away the problems in terms of the antagonism between Christians and the Muslims.