Victims of the recurrent killings in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Tuesday held a peaceful rally in Abuja, during which they cried out to the Nigerian government for justice.
Speaking at the event, the convener of the rally, Williams Abba, said it was to call the attention of the world to the insecurity in Kaduna State.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how gunmen again attacked two communities in the troubled local government area last week Monday.
Multiple sources confirmed the attack to PREMIUM TIMES, although the police and the state government did not immediately react.
The attacks occurred in Ikirimi village and Iri, Dogon Noma in Ungwar Gamo, both in Kajuru Local Government Area.
“Insecurity in Kaduna State is alarming. Every day we wake up to people being killed in their sleep,” Mr Abba said.
“We feel that coming to the nation’s capital to make a statement about the challenges going on in the southern part of Kaduna and the threat of lives there will make a difference,” Mr Abba said.
He said over 130 people have been confirmed dead in the area.
“It was the reckless statement of the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, about 66 Fulani people killed that triggered the killings in Kajuru,” he said.
This newspaper also reported that Governor El-Rufai said the death toll in the attacks on Fulanis had risen to 130.
Mr El-Rufai had earlier on February 15 announced that 66 persons were killed by unknown attackers there.
Mr Abba said the indigenes were mostly the victims of the killings. He said the people expected unbiased handling of the situation by the government.
“We cannot remain silent in the face of these gruesome killings and deliberate agenda to annihilate people whose only crime is being natives,” he said.
He called on the state and federal governments to muster the courage and political will to halt the incursion of the non-state actors to the area.
“Government should provide adequate healthcare services for the wounded, and food and shelter for the victims,” he said
“We call on the federal government to set up an independent commission of enquiry to probe the Kajuru killings, including the exhumation of Fulani corpses if any,” he said.
Also speaking, the state secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Joseph Maigida, said the two parties have the same leader who should be unbiased.
He lamented the arrest of the leaders in Kajuru who have not been charged to court or released.
“One of the major causes of confusion is the arrest of our leaders,” he said.
“There is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice,’ and that is exactly what is happening in Kaduna state.
“The unfortunate aspect is that political and religious considerations have made so many to even turn their backs on the carnage taking place in our villages,” he said.
One of the community members, Martha Adams, said the killings started early in the morning and mostly women and children were killed.
“The victims are now residents of other communities because they have no houses or farmlands,” she said.
She called on the government to intervene and also release the detained elders.
“They are our leaders, they hold our leaders and they are killing us,” she said.
Aleriba Magaji is the daughter of Bawa Magaji, one of the arrested elders. She said no fight occurred on February 15 when Mr El- Rufai announced that 66 Fulani people were killed.
“My father was detained and accused of inciting the violence that killed the 66 Fulani people,” she said.
“The problem we have with the announcement was that he said Fulani people were killed. He failed to mention that Adara People were killed as well,” she said.
Earlier, a press statement was made available to Premium Times by Adara Development Association through the National Secretary, Waziri Luka.
It contained the names of the elders allegedly arrested. Below is the list of the alleged detainees:
1. Engr, Bawa Magaji, Wazirin Adara, acting Agom Adara, arrested on 16th February.
2. Retired Commissioner of Police, Mr Sani Magaji, the Baradan Adara, arrested on 19th February
3. Awemi Dio Maisamari, National President of the Adara Development Association, arrested on 16th February.
These others were all arrested between 12 – 15th February
4. Mr Joseph Abdullahi, National Treasurer, ADA
5. Mr Tanko Maisamari, village head of Maro
6. Mr Hosea Danladi, Village head Ungwan Gamo
7. Mr Joseph Ayuba, Village Head of Kutura
8. Mr Tanko Wada, Village head of Ayuba
9. Mr Ulu Maitumbi, elder Ungwan Barde village