Nigeria: Southern Kaduna Reps Disagree With El-Rufai On Killings

30 July 2020

The House of Representatives members from Southern Kaduna have disagreed with Governor Nasir El-Rufai on the causes and nature of the lingering crisis in the area, which had claimed many lives, saying it was banditry and herdsmen/farmers clash.

The governor had, at a security summit held at the Government House on Tuesday to find solutions to the Southern Kaduna killings, said what prompted the crisis was a clash between two communities over farmlands.

He had said: "The current crisis is a result of 'the tragic aftermath of events of June 5, 2020, when youths from two communities clashed over farmlands in Zangon-Kataf and the upsurge of violence in the same area that started on June 11, 2020.

"Like an unwanted virus, the violence has spread to and has necessitated extraordinary measures in four local government areas in Southern Kaduna."

However, at a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, the lawmakers listed a number of factors.

Led by the Deputy Minority Whip of the House, Gideon Gwani (Kaura federal constituency), the lawmakers said they were not privy to the governor's position.

Their position: "Your first question has to do with what our governor, His Excellency, Nasir El-Rufai, said yesterday (Tuesday).

"We are not privy to that information until now that you have declared it. As far as we are concerned, as members representing the various federal constituencies in that area, we want to tell you that what we have presented to you in our statement are clearly reasons that brought about the killings, it is not land.

"It is no longer news that the people of Southern Kaduna have become preys in their fatherland, they have consistently been invaded, slaughtered in cold blood, raped, killed and their properties destroyed and pillaged in public glare, with little success in investigating and apprehending the perpetrators of the said attacks.

"As representatives of the people, we have identified herdsmen and farmer clashes, forcible land grabbing by non-natives of Southern Kaduna, reprisal attacks, banditry and criminality as some of the major causes of the killings and hostilities in Southern Kaduna.

"These problems can only be solved if the rule of law is allowed to take its full course. Rule of Law entails adherence to the principles of supremacy of the law over all citizens and subjects in Nigeria, equality of all citizens and subjects before the law.

"While we note that these attacks are deeply rooted and multi-faceted in nature, the failure to investigate, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators has continued to embolden the attackers," Gwani added.

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