• Death toll rises to 45 • Senate summons IG
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has declared that the last Sunday killings of 31 people in some villages in Kauru Local Government Area of the state will not derail efforts aimed at peace building as the death toll rose to 45.
But the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) urged the state government to fund a formidable joint military operation that would flush out murderers and restore ‘captured’ lands to their owners.
The state government in a statement condemning the attack, expressed sadness over the incident, stressing the urgency for peace-building and enhancement security in the area.
The statement which was issued yesterday by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to the state Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, condoled with the victims of the attack.
The state government described the killings as barbaric conduct by people who are opposed to peaceful and harmonious living by communities.
The government explained that as it continues to work on security enhancements it would also keep pursuing peace-building, resolving conflicts through dialogue between communities as a panacea for sustainable peace and development in the affected area.
It said emergency relief for survivours had been ordered along with enhanced security.
In its reaction, SOKAPU lamented the fequent invasions and killings in rural communities in the southern part of the state.
The National Chairman of SOKAPU, Solomon Musa, a lawyer, said in a statement: “It has now become abundantly clear to even the worst skeptics that Southern Kaduna has become a killing field, where genocide is taking place unabated.”
He alleged that some powerful people were sponsoring terrorists to eliminate the people.
Musa demanded the release of youths whom he claimed were being unjustly detained in Kafanchan and restitution paid them over the harrowing experience.
Musa called on the youths never to take the law into their hands no matter the provocation, adding that communities should take every available legal means of defending themselves, their property and dignity against anyone out to terrorise them should government renege on that cardinal responsibility it owes them.
Senate yesterday summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to appear before its security committees to explain while the Nigeria Police has failed to curb incessant and mindless killings in Southern part of Kaduna State.
This resolution was the aftermath of a motion by Senator Danjuma La’ah (Kaduna South), in which he called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the area as a result of protracted killings of residents.
According to La’ah, incessant attacks by armed herdsmen on the people of Southern Kaduna, which he said climaxed on October 16, 2016, led to the destruction of scores of lives and wanton properties worth billions of naira.
La’ah further said the armed herdsmen had displaced a number of communities and possessed such communities for grazing of their livestock freely, pointing out that the entire Southern Kaduna is insecure as original inhabitants can no longer access their farms.
Supporting the motion, Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) appealed to the Senate to intervene in the plight of Southern Kaduna people and ensure that peace is restored to the troubled area as he lamented how previous attempts by both the state and federal governments had been futile.