Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Adara people under the auspices of Adara Development Association (ADA) in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State have cried out over their kinsmen they claim are still languishing in prison custody following their arrest by the state government for their alleged involvement in Kajuru killings.
Since October last year, Kajuru council has been under severe attacks by suspected gunmen.
In one of the attacks, the Adara people lost their paramount ruler, Agwom Adara, Chief Raphael Maiwada, who was kidnapped during the crisis.
However, according to the Secretary of ADA, Waziri Luka, nine of their leaders have been in custody in the past one month without being granted bail.
“It is almost 31 days that our leaders, elders and chiefs of the Adara nation were indiscriminately arrested in a blatant, injurious and a one-sided reckless abuse of state power never envisaged under a democratic government in Kaduna State.
“The unfortunate crisis that erupted in Kajuru local government provided an opportunity for statesman-like conduct to flourish from the consciousness of those with the responsibility of dispensing not just justice but good governance.
“But what we got instead was an aberration. Our leaders were arrested, locked up in police cells and later transferred to the Kaduna Prison under bogus and ludicrous charges.
“And despite six attacks on different Adara villages happening after their arrests, despite hundreds killed and thousands displaced, none of the killers has been arrested. None!
“This is despite all the attacks happening for hours in daylight. But Adara chiefs from different villages in Kajuru were invited and arrested. But none from those attacking our communities have even been questioned or detained. None!”
According to the statement, the Adara leaders currently in prison include, Bawa Magaji, Wazirin Adara; acting Agom Adara, arrested on February 16, 2019; retired Commissioner of Police, Mr Sani Magaji, the Baradan Adara, arrested on February 19, 2019 and Awemi Dio Maisamari, National President of the Adara Development Association.
Others arrested between February 12 -15, 2019, include, Mr Joseph Abdullahi, National Treasurer, ADA; Mr Tanko Maisamari, village head of Maro; Mr Hosea Danladi, village head of Ungwan Gamo; Mr Josepj Ayuba, village head of Kutura; Mr Tanko Wada, village head of Ayuba and Mr Ulu Maitumbi, elder Ungwan Barde village
“Apart from coping with our leaders in prison, we are also digging mass graves to bury our dead, running up and down to provide for the thousands of our displaced ones and tending to those in hospitals. In all these, the state government is not bothered but bent on appeasing the killers while they kill us.
“We insist that our leaders are innocent and should be released. It should be noted that peace cannot thrive where there is an injustice. It is even worse when those in authority openly display a corrosive bias in favour of those they consider as theirs,” the statement added.