Over 4,000 killed in Kaduna attacks

Prof Chidi Odinkalu

Over 4, 000 people have been killed in separate attacks in the Southern part of Kaduna, Kaduna State, Vincent Bodam, the Chancellor Gurara Forum, a Kaduna-based Christian forum, has said.

Mr. Bodam, also a member of a coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations of Southern Kaduna, in a briefing in Abuja, said most of the affected victims of the Southern Kaduna killings have been women and children.

He also said the attacks have rendered many people homeless with the state government having done little or nothing to put an end to the crisis.

According to records made available to journalists, 16 of the attacks happened from 1980-2010, while 39 of the recent attacks occurred in four years – 2011 to 2014.

“In most of the affected communities, women and children have been killed and brutally murdered in a most barbaric manner. While in some cases they were hacked to death, in others they were burnt alive and or blown up with explosives,” Mr. Bodam said.

He said the attacks are systematically planned to decimate the people of Southern Kaduna with the aim of claiming ancestral lands and natural resources.

He said churches and houses have been targeted while family members have been gruesomely slaughtered, some with their bodies dismembered.

Mr. Bodam noted that the prominent attacks have occurred in Attakar Chiefdom of Kaura Local Government where over 200 were killed and 4, 000 people displaced.

He said that the attackers, which ranged from Fulani herdsmen to “terrorists” have overtime moved from using sticks, machetes to the use of sophisticated weapons like explosive and machine guns.

“These attacks have rendered thousands of our people homeless, as their homes have been burnt, their churches destroyed and their food stores, barns and granaries burnt. What is even more is their water sources have also been polluted,” he said.

He said that a frequent call for protection from security agencies and the Nigerian government, both at Federal and state level have not yielded positive results.

However, security operatives have not been spared from these attacks. On August 20, 2013, Kajuru police station was attacked, and several police officers were killed during the attack.

Mr. Bodam said a hunt by members of the community for the attackers at the police station led to the arrest of some youth of Adara and subsequent crisis in the area.

Also speaking, the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, said it is necessary for Nigerians to insist on having political leaders ready to account for the life of every citizen.

“There will be elections in this country next year, can we at least insist that every party campaigning for elections in this country for votes should have a plan for ending the killings in Southern Kaduna; is it possible? What is the life of a Nigerian voter worth?” Mr. Odinkalu asked.

He noted that although the killings are happening in Kaduna at present, they could also spread to other settlements across Nigeria.

Mr. Odinkalu said it is time for a democratic Nigeria where politicians who seek public offices should be held accountable for the life of every Nigerian voter.

He also called on the lawmaker representing Kaduna South, Nenadi Esther, to visit her senatorial zone to find out what has gone wrong and explore possible reconciliation options.


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