I had serious reservations when I read about the “peace declaration billboard” that was erected at Samaru last Saturday. What casted a thick cloud of doubt over that event was the fact that it was said to be commemorating an apology that 29 communities in Southern Kaduna have tendered to each other.
What kept me wondering was whether erecting a billboard with much funfair is capable of ending the gruesome attacks on innocent people in Southern Kaduna. As many of us are already aware, some of these killings are most times targeted on children, women and the aged who cannot easily escape for their dire lives.
As we look at this development, some key questions we need to ask are: 1. When was this “Peace Declaration” actually signed? 2. Who where the parties involved in signing this document? 3. Were they signing it for themselves or signing for some marauders? 4. Can they identify the perpetrators and are standing in for these murderers and destroyers of precious properties? 5. Was that the first time such document is being signed? 6. What usually follow such events of signing peace pact?
Those who have been keenly following events in Southern Kaduna would recall that the first attempt to twist the narrative of what has been happening in our zone was in March 2016 when some traditional rulers and groups across various communities were assembled at Kafanchan by Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) at the instance of the state Governor, Mal. Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai and his Plateau state counterpart, Bako Simon Lalong to sign a peace accord: http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/kaduna-29-ethnic-communities-sign-peace-accord/139857.html
Surprisingly, this event happened without the notice of many stakeholders in such communities. And unfortunately still, the killings by herdsmen in southern Kaduna continued the next day with the gruesome attack and killing of Mr. Daniel Amar at Antor the following day after signing the peace accord.
So worrisome still, His Highness, the District head of Fadan Karshi, Mallam Bala Madaki who was among the people that went for the signing of the ‘March Peace Accord at Kafanchan” was attacked and killed in his very house alongside his nephew in the Month of May. With this, the wilderness seemed to have been led loosed with the hyenas let out who wondered about eliminating lives around Sanga – Godogodo axis. Between then and now, many communities like Ninte, Ungwan Anjoh, Golkofa, Gada Biyu and Godogodo of Jema’a Local government have been reduced to rubbles with many precious lives sent to their untimely graves.
Recently, it was Dogon Fili, Antang and Pasakori that were attacked and these ugly developments almost triggered a crisis in Kafanchan, the Local government headquarters that resulted in imposing a curfew on the town to curb any ugly scenario. And yet, it was in the midst of all these that the “Public Apology Billboard” was mounted at Samaru. Again, scores of people have been killed a day after mounting the “peace declaration billboard” with the funfair that trailed it. Now, what does that signify?
Ironically, it has been articulated and presented to the world that “29 Southern Kaduna Communities have tendered a public apology” for destruction or injuries they have caused to each other. How?
Looking at the dimensions that these massacre have been taking – sometimes in the wee hours of the night; children and mothers killed with fetus from pregnant woman butchered and cut asunder sometimes; houses burnt to ashes and farm crops/produce destroyed. How could these be analyzed? To be specific, apart from sometimes when community members are forced to rise up in self defense, when has a Fulani settlement been attacked or destroyed with lives lost? When has any southern Kaduna community attacked any Fulani settlement and killed women, children/infants or the aged?
A better way curb these gruesome killings in Southern Kaduna is for the Federal and State government to beef up security with deployment or well armed and equipped security men to all nooks and crannies of the area. As a matter of serious importance, a military formation should be established around Jema’a/Sanga Local government areas with the installation of modern security gadgets to safeguard the lives of the innocent peace and loving people of the area. Security agencies also deployed to such areas should be on red alert 24/7 to ensure that no perpetrator of such evil commits such heinous act and goes scot free.
It is high time the records about happenings in Southern Kaduna are corrected and the narrative changed. Else, the victim, the so-called “29 Southern Kaduna Communities” shall soon be made to bear the cross of the aggressors if this misinformation of the general public and the gross politicization of these killings are allowed to go unchecked.
By Michael Maikarfi