Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Following recent killings in Southern Kaduna by suspected Fulani militia, the Hausa-Fulani and Muslim community of Southern Kaduna have come out strong to debunk the alleged genocide against the Christian natives of Southern Kaduna, as well as the claim that, Hausa-Fulani Muslims are minority and settlers in the area.
The Hausa-Fulani community in their response to the recent round of killings in Southern Kaduna and the reactions it has generated across the country, said facts have been distorted for too long against them, claiming that, ‘Christian militia’ of Southern Kaduna have grand plan to eliminate Muslims from the area.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the Hausa-Fulani community under the auspices of Coalition of United Muslim Group, Kaduna State, Muslim Youth Foundation of Southern Kaduna, Nasihatu Ahlizzaman Southern Kaduna Muslim Forum and Zumunta Youth Development, Kasuwan Magani, said the Muslims constitute 40% of the population, while the Hausa-Fulani are the majority of the about 30 tribes that make up Southern Kaduna.
The Hausa-Fulani/Muslim community leader, Imam Kabir Kasim Kafanchan also claimed that, the Hausa Fulani are the original owners of the area called Southern Kaduna, saying that, major Christian tribes laying claims to Southern Kaduna originally migrated from other northern states like Kano, Bauchi and Taraba.
Imam Kafanchan however asked the Kaduna State House of Assembly to enact a law stopping the the Hausa-Fulani from being referred to as settlers in Southern Kaduna and called on the state government to create Chiefdoms for them in places like Kasuwan Magani, Kachia and Zango Urban, which he said were founded by the Hausa-Fulani.
According to the community, “The area has about thirty (30) ethnic groups in the eight LGAs that make us Southern Kaduna, among which include: Hausa-
Fulani, Jaba (Ham), Atyap (Kataf), Kadara (Adara), Baju (Kaje) in addition to Nigerians from other part of the Country. The Muslims constitute about 40% while the Christians have 60% of the population.
“Most of the major towns in Southern Kaduna were founded by Hausa
Fulani, dor example, Zango, Kachia, Unguwan Rimi, Zankuwa, Kagarko, Jere and Jama’a (Kafanchan). Hausa Fulani are the largest single tribe in Southern Kaduna. In spite of this, they are always targets or victims of circumstances.
“The Muslims are always referred to as settiers, while it is historically on record that Southern Kaduna was founded by Fulani tribe called KACHECHERE. It is important to note that by immigration the tribes in Southern Kaduna migrated from other part of the Country. Some came in the morning, some in the afternoon and others in the evening.
“For instance, the Bajju or Kaje migrated from Bauchi, Atyap (Kataf) migrated
from Kargi – the East part of Zaria; Kaninkon and Kagoma from Taraba;
Jaba and Koro from Kano etc. It is also on record that, the ancient town of Kauru and Kajuru were as old as Zaria city founded by Hausa-Fulani. While Jema’a emirate was founded by the Hausa-Fulani in 1810. Zango town which was also founded by Hausa-Fulani, has been in existence right from West African Trans Sahara trade. Kagarko and Jere were also founded by the Hausa-Fulani as well as Kachia.
“We hereby debunk the claims of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union
(SOKAPU) of its personal interest that its members are the only indigenes of Southern Kaduna. Happily. the constitution of the country is seriously
against the indigene/settler dichotomy,” he said.
While tracing the history of crises in Southern Kaduna to 1981, Imam Kafanchan said, the 2011 Post-Election Violence which led to the killings of over 2,000 persons, many of them trans-human Fulani herdsmen, metamorphosed into subsequent skirmishes and recent conflicts in the area.
According to him, “In all the crisis in Southern Kaduna from 1980 to date, the most horrendous of this was the April 2011 post-election violence, it is the part that the unwarranted categorization of Christians as indigenes (sons and daughters of the soil) and Muslims as settlers started from.
“The unwholesome categorization of Southerm Kaduna as a Christian enclave
had all being factored to deny Muslim Communities deserving citizenship and political rights. However, all over the world, ancestral origin has never being used as a criteria for Social, Human and Democratic rights as it is being promoted by the elites of Southern Kaduna.
“The Hausa-Fulani people have been known to have established permanent settlements in the region since time immemorial, spanning over centuries.
We wish to remind the World that, 2011 Post Election violence was planned to eliminate the Muslims in Southerm Kaduna area. We cannot easily forget the genocide that took place in Zonkwa, Unguwan rimi, Matsirga, Kagoro, Madakiya, Kasuwan magani, Kachia, Gidan maga, Kwoi, Kafanchan, Maraban Rido, Gwanin gora. Chawai. It is sad to note that thousands of Muslims were killed and massacred in cold bloods at Southern Kaduna
“We also want the world to note that the security challenge in Southem Kaduna is agelong with recent phase dating to about forty years since the Regime of Alhaji Balarabe Musa. Contrary to the outright lies and blatant falsehood peddled by SOKAPU blaming the Federal and State Governments over the crises for reasons best known to them.
“We observe that, SOKAPU instead of being the mouthpiece of people living in Southern Kaduna irrespective of Religion or Ethnic affiation has become unfortunately a political watch dog of only the Christan of Southem Kaduna. This is an irony of history.
“We call on the Kaduna State House of Assembly to pass a law that wil stop the calling of Hausa-Fulani as settiers in Southerm Kaduna. We also appeal to the Govemment to create Chiefdoms for the following Hausa-Fulani settiements namely; Kasuwan Magani, Kacha and Zango Urban. That will go a long way in promoting the well-being of the people and give them sanse of beionging.
“It is the responsibility of any govermment to ensure that the lives and properties of peapie are protected, we therefore cail on the Govermments
at all levels to live up to their expectations and respond quickly and
dismantle any illegal roadbiocks amd halt any attack on passersby.
“The sponsors and perpetrators of these kilings should be traced and be brought to book to serve as detement to others. Poitical elites, Religious leaders and Elders of Southem Kaduna should stop playing poitics with the lives and property of the Muslims in Southem Kaduna,” the Hausa-Fulani community appealed.