The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) is extremely concerned about the resurgence of killings in Southern Kaduna. Kaura, Zango-Kataf, Kajuru and Jema'a local government areas of Kaduna state have continued to witness an orgy of killings in the past few weeks that has left people traumatized.
It is worrisome that despite the imposition of a 24-hour curfew and deployment of security agencies to the troubled area, rather than stem the tide of killings it has done the opposite. Suspected Fulani militia beat military checkpoints and in one fell swoop, killed 33 people in some villages in Zango-Kataf Local Government Area. The inability of the security agencies to stop the reign of terror has fuelled allegations of genocide against Christians in the area.
We are aware that at the heart of the crisis is the issue of ownership of land which predates the present government in the state. Added to this is the dangerous mix of built-up resentment and revenge killings. However, steps taken so far by the state government have not provided an amicable resolution because it has been largely divisive and unresponsive.
Regrettably, Governor Nasir El- Rufai has not been able to rise above the fray. His utterances as the Chief Security Officer of the state have been distasteful. He has not acted like a leader desirous of bringing the crisis to an end. His tirades directed at the critical stakeholders of Southern Kaduna have clearly betrayed lack of tolerance that has undermined a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
The Federal Government has not fared better by its lukewarm attitude to the worsening security situation in Southern Kaduna. Its indifference has allowed the crisis to fester creating an impression that the President Muhammadu Buhari led government is bereft of a security strategy that can protect lives and properties in the crisis-ridden area.
NAS as an organisation that advocates for a just and egalitarian society, calls on the Federal Government to wake up from its deep slumber to lead the charge and urgently arrest the security situation in Kaduna from deteriorating further.
It should commence the healing process by ordering the release of all innocent youths of Southern Kaduna in detention over the crisis, including all those arrested over the Saturday August 8, 2020 peaceful protest in Kaduna. The security agencies should be tasked to be professional in the discharge of their duties, and apprehend all those implicated in the murder of innocent people and destruction of properties, no matter how highly placed.
The Buhari led government should consider the convocation of a peace summit of all stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to resolve all lingering disputes pertaining to ownership of land and address issues of mutual suspicion.
It is the considered view of NAS that the Federal Government needs to take a second look at the reports of the different Commissions of Enquiry set up on the Southern Kaduna crisis, and summon the required political will to implement recommendations in the interest of peace. The people of Southern Kaduna deserve to live in peace. Enough of the tears and blood.