A journalist and prolific writer, Mr Reuben Buhari, has written an open letter to Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, over killings of the Southern Kaduna people despite several curfews imposed on the area.
Residents say the atrocities being meted on the Southern Kaduna people despite several curfews that have been imposed by the state government under el-Rufai are unquantifiable.
Buhari, a former spokesman of former governor Patrick Yakowa, is one of the people running around to solve the humanitarian crisis created by herdsmen attacks on several Southern Kaduna communities.
He said: “Then General Muhammadu Buhari and Malam Nasir el-Rufai launched the All Progressive Congress (APC) at a hall in Kagoro, Kaura Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna with a promise to provide security but over six years after coming to power, the killings have increased in intensity while corpses are buried daily.
“No arrest has been made concerning the killings of several people and displacement in the last six years, with locals alleging that suspects they captured, hands over to authorities have been freed on several occasions.”
He said that the governor admitted tracing some of the herdsmen to their countries and paid them to stop the killings, “an action pundits say is strange to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“Despite paying the herdsmen, the killings have not stopped, residents say, insisting the governor has not hid his dislike for the people of Southern Kaduna, following his utterances whenever the terrorists strike,” he said.
He noted that a first class traditional ruler, the Agwom Adara, Mr Maiwada Galadima, was kidnapped and killed when his local government was under a curfew imposed by the el-Rufai’s led government.
According to residents, “even before and after the killing of the Agwom Adara, curfew imposed by the el-Rufai’s led government have always given the terrorists an opportunity to kill more.”
But worried by the consistent killings of locals in Chikun, Kajuru, Kaura, Kachia, Zangon Kataf and Jema’a local governments despite the curfew, journalist Reuben Buhari advised the governor on a better way to stem the carnage.
“I woke up this Saturday morning to the news that your government had extended the almost two month’s curfew in Zangon Kataf and Kauru LGAs to Jema’a and Kaura LGAs. I have a concern with this sir.
“I am not averse to curfew as a short time measure. Its immediacy in restoring calm most often outweighs the pains. But when repeatedly used without yielding the intended result, it becomes counterproductive and calls for more creative strategy.
“My reasons are these sir:
“The outbreak of the COVID-19 necessitated a total lockdown in Kaduna state. The goal of the total restriction on human and vehicular movement was to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus ravaging the world. Even interstate travel to and fro the state were banned.
“But From March 25, 2020, when the lockdown came into effect in Kaduna state, to Friday, May 15, 2020, 16 armed attacks were carried out across 5 LGAs,” Buhari said.
“In the attack, 59 people were killed with about 155 houses burnt down while hundreds were displaced from their villages.
“Dozens were left with permanent injuries,” Buhari disclosed, stating that under a 24-hour time frame, 29 people were killed from five attacks on four villages of Gonan Rogo, Idanu-Doka, Ungwan Rani-Doka and two attacks on Makyali village in Kajuru LGA.
“The worst cases of injured survivors with severe machete cuts on their bodies are from these attacks,” the Journalist said.
“The boldness of the attackers and the brazen way the attacks were carried is so sad sir. While the attackers easily moved around, residents of Kaduna could not and those who dare were considered violators of the lockdown, arrested and fined.
“More pointedly is the fact that nobody has been arrested for the killing of these 59 people, mostly children, old people and women. From the attack on Labi village on Thursday, March 25, 2020 in Chikun local government where five people were killed to the attack on Makyali village in Kajuru Local government on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, where 11 people were killed, it has been daily tales of pain and destruction under the 24 hour lockdown,” he said.
“More recently, the Journalist said under the el-Rufai’s 24-hour curfew in Zangon Kataf, about 64 people were killed in less than 10 days of coordinated attacks on rural villages.
“Four villages in Zangon Kataf Local Government were attacked between Friday 11 – 12, July 2020 and about 29 people killed. 5 people were killed when Efele Doka village in Kajuru Local Government was attacked on 17th July. Kukum Daji in Kaura Local Government was next on Sunday, 19th July where 18 people were killed, while Gora Gan in Zangon Kataf Local Government got attacked on Monday, 20th July. 10 people were killed.
“The injured, some critically are on admission at the Zonkwa General Hospitals, Throneroom Hospital, Kafanchan, St Gerald Catholic Hospital and Barau Dikko Specialists Hospital in Kaduna metropolis, all under a 24-hour curfew,” he said.
“Now, you have extended the curfew to Kafanchan and Kaura LGAs and a 24 hour one for that. Don’t you think that you need to adopt more creative ways of securing the people? The fact that more people have died under your curfew renders the imposition useless sir,” Buhari said.
“It was under your almost 4 month 24-hour curfew that Goska village was attacked on Christmas Eve in 2016 and so many killed. Other attacks occurred under that curfew and yet you have slammed another curfew now on two more LGAs.
“My suggestion sir. Instead of curfew, provide security to those areas, reduce your urge to constantly apportion blame to one side in a crisis, treat all citizens of Kaduna state as your own, build confidence in your people to reduce the suspicion, remove disdain in relating to some people, religion, ethnicity and politics shouldn’t be criteria for relationship.
“Most importantly, measure your words always before speaking,” Buhari said insisting that the transient nature of everything in the world should make all sober to prepare for tomorrow today.