Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Fulani leaders under the auspices of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have cried out to relevant authorities in Kaduna State and Nigeria in general, saying that their people are no longer safe to live in Southern Kaduna, following recent killing of their kinsmen and cattle in Zango-Kataf local government area and environs of the State.
Recalled that on June 11, a farmer’s lifeless body which was found on a disputed farmland, sparked off violence, leading to Killings of innocent persons in the area.
However, Fulani leaders noted that they are no more sure of peaceful coexistence with other ethnic groups whom they alleged, often than not, resorted to destroying their homes at the slightest misunderstanding and provocation in the area.
Addressing Journalists on behalf of other Fulani leaders, Chairman MACBAN, Kaduna State chapter, Alhaji HarunaTugga, expressed displeasure over alleged lukewarm attitudes of religious, traditional, and political leaders towards finding last solution to the crisis in the area.
“It is with heavy hearts that we converge here today to issue this Joint press statement over the unprovoked, wicked and brutal killing and destruction of property of Fulbe pastoralists in Zangon Kataf and parts of Kauru Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
“We are compelled by the said criminal activities and cowardly attacks by some disgruntled youth and their evil cohorts to address the press jointly as a coalition of Fulbe Associations in Kaduna state, comprising the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Kaduna State Chapter, Mobgal Fulbe Development Association (MOFDA), Kaduna State Chapter, the Bandiraku Fulbe Youth Association Of Nigeria (BAFYAN), Gan Allah Fulbe Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) and the Fulbe Development And Cultural Organization (FUDECO), Kaduna state chapter.
“It is imperative to bring to the attention of the government, the media, civil society organizations and the international community the unfortunate events that have been taking place in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area and parts of Kauru Local Government Area commencing from 11th June, 2020 to date whereby our members are deliberately targeted, killed and maimed in a coordinated and systematic manner that leaves us with no other conclusion than the fact that they are premeditated and well planned.
“The purpose of this press conference is to put the records straights and to clear certain mischievous misinformation regarding the incidence especially as paraded by certain individuals and groups that have deliberately chosen to make misleading representations calculated at diverting the attention of public and the government from the true facts on ground and the actual level of carnage and wickedness meted on our peace-loving and law abiding Fulbe communities in the Atyap (Kataf) Chiefdom and its surrounding villages.
“It is on record that the current crisis emanated from a land dispute between the native Kataf (Atyap) farmers and the indigenous Hausa farmers of Zango town which eventually metamorphosed to an allegation of killing of a farmer of Atyap tribe who went to cultivate the disputed farmland by unknown persons.
“We acknowledge the fact that the level of damage to the lives and property of our members during the attacks is enormous as it cannot be possibly assessed and quantified in money terms.
“In addition to the Fulani people that were killed on the highways, many other travelers, were brutally murdered and burnt beyond recognition especially along the Samaru Kataf to Bakin Kogi portion of the Federal highway from Kafanchan to Saminaka, which is linking many parts of southern and northern parts of the country.
“We deeply commiserate with the immediate families of all our members who lost their loved ones in the incidence, the entire Fulbe family and the government of Kaduna state and we pray to Almighty Allah to repose the dead and comfort their families.
“We assure them that we will stand with them in this trying moment and that we will not relent until justice is duly served on all the perpetrators of the heinous crimes as well as their accomplices, conspirators and sponsors.
“The above highlighted level of damage to the lives of our members and their property is not just unspeakable but not justifiable in any civilized society. They are cowardly, unwarranted and condemned in the strongest terms. The several displaced persons are currently taking refuge at various places such as Zango Urban, Mariri, Ladduga, Fadan Chawai, Bauchi state, Plateau state etc.
“We urge our members to remain calm, steadfast, law abiding, optimistic and cooperate with all relevant stakeholders/authorities to ensure that justice is served on the perpetrators of all the attacks no matter what it takes and no matter how long.
“While we appreciate the efforts and prompt response of security personnel and the government towards ensuring the return of normalcy and rule of law in the area, we urge them to please go farther by not only ensuring that the dead bodies of our members that have not been recovered for burial are all recovered and buried accordingly but all missing persons and cattle still scattered in the villages are recovered and handed over to their families and owners.
“The government should ensure that culprits and their sponsors are identified, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and executed to serve as deterrence to other intending culprits and their sponsors.
“The government, nongovernmental organizations and all well-meaning individuals and groups should urgently come forward and render humanitarian services and assistance to the injured and other surviving victims of attacks as well as to cater for the internally displaced persons who are scattered across different areas in dire need of food, shelter and other forms of assistance in order to get them resettled and restart their normal lives once again.
“We want to state without equivocation that we will not fall our arms as individuals and groups to allow anybody no matter how highly placed to intimidate, harass, blackmail, undermine, oppress or underrate our people any longer in any form or in any part of this state. We therefore warn that any form of aggression, intimidation, blackmail, attack, hate, victimization or oppression of our people must stop immediately and the government should ensure that the perpetrators are dealt with according to the laws of the land”. The Fulani leaders stated.