Afenifere, a leading socio-cultural group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to show respect for human life and condemn the violence and killings in southern Kaduna believed to be orchestrated by Fulani herdsmen.
This is following a report by the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna, which disclosed that a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across four local governments in the state. The report also revealed that 57 people were injured, farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion were destroyed, and 1,422 houses and 16 churches burnt.
In a statement by its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the group urged the president to set up an inquiry into the killings to identify the remote and immediate causes, identify the perpetrators and also compel Governor Nasir El-Rufai to disclose all the killers he has interfaced with and compensated so that they can be brought to trial. The group also demanded that the victims be compensated.
Afenifere also asked Mr. President to instruct security agencies accused of taking sides in the conflicts to perform their duties fairly.
The statement read in parts: “It grieves us that the Federal Government has been quiet on these killings, relying on the governor of the state who has openly confessed that he looked out for the killers to compensate them because they are of the same ethnic stock with him.
“A state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna as the governor, by that claim, can no longer be trusted to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of all citizens.”
Afenifere condemned a statement credited by the spokesman of the President, Mr. Femi Adesina that Buhari had been quiet on the killings because he could not speak on every issue.
“How can the killings of citizens in hundreds be ‘every issue’? Has our President not sent messages to other countries where tragedies of lesser proportion occurred?
“When Mr. President was to visit Bauchi a few days ago and couldn’t make the trip because of bad weather, did he not speak directly to the people in Hausa language?
“The disappointment the people of Bauchi experienced over cancellation of a visit cannot be compared in any way to the sorrows, pains and anguish of the people of Southern Kaduna.
Also, the Bishop of Kaduna Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Timothy Yahaya yesterday urged Buhari to declare a national day of
mourning over the killing of innocent citizens.