Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has accused Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, of taking side in the latest killings in some remote communities in Kajuru Local Government Areas of the state.
Governor El-Rufai made a public disclosure less than 24 hours to the postponed presidential polls, alleging killing of 66 persons by repraisal attacks in Kajuru council.
In a statement by the National Public Relations Officer of SOKAPU, Yakubu Kuzamani, the group also accused the governor of religious bias.
It said the Southern Kaduna people were still at a loss as to the motive behind the governor’s outburst at such critical period in the history of the entire country.
However, after a visit, at the weekend, to the scene of the killings, El-Rufai cautioned the people in the zone against politicising the attacks that claimed lives and property.
This was contained in a statement issued, yesterday, by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.
“The Kaduna State Government notes the concerted and apparently coordinated efforts by bigoted busybodies to deny the Kajuru killings, or to minimise the casualty figures, and the specious arguments being deployed in this despicable quest. The Kaduna State Government condemns in the strongest terms attempts to politicise the killings,” the statement read.
But, SOKAPU insisted: “We are of the view that El-Rufai’s comments over the Kajuru killings was deliberately orchestrated to inflame ethnic and religious sentiments to produce yet another cycle of bloodshed.
“SOKAPU has reached out to the various community leaders in Kajuru, including officials of the Adara nation to ascertain what actually happened. On Sunday, February 10, 2019, the Adara natives residing in Ungwar Barde in Kufana District of Kajuru local government area came under attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
The attack lasted from 10:00p.m on Sunday to 4:00a.m on Monday, February 11, 2019.
“By the time the merchants of deaths and destructions were through with their mission, no fewer than 11 lives, including a pregnant woman, were lost. Scores of victims of the attack on Ungwar Barde sustained injuries, with some of them presently receiving treatment at some health facilities in the state capital. We’ve been informed that the attackers, seven of them in number, were arrested by a team of policemen. Sadly, not a statement was issued by El-Rufai over that gruesome attack on Ungwan Barde.
“Following the Sunday attack on Ungwan Barde, residents of Ungwan Busa and Doruwa located in Kajuru LGA deserted their villages for safety. Presently, the District Head of Kufana and four of his village heads, on the directive of the governor, have been summoned to Kaduna and ordered to produce persons behind the ‘reprisal’.”
Also, the natives of Adara community, under the umbrella of Adara Development Association (ADA), have cried out over the latest killings in the area and alleged unjustly arrest of their kinsmen by the police over the incident.
The Police Commissioner, Ahmad Abdurrahman, confirmed that some arrests had been made in connection with the incident and that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.