What is happening in Southern Kaduna is very worrisome. I watched a syndicate session organized by Southern & Middle Belt Christian Forum and hosted by a social media television channel some days ago and the revelations are disturbing. In this twentieth Century, a people group is being attacked almost on a regular basis, women and children are killed, many are wounded, the remnant are displaced and the attackers come back to occupy the abandoned places of the victims. As one of the contributors alleged, these attackers are enabled by those in government. In fact, he claimed that the grazing reserve that the government created some years ago have been expanded with land belonging to the indigenes and Fulanis of different nationalities come to settle there and almost all the attacks come from this settlement. Islamic Emirates are created by the present State Government over a people group that is predominantly Christians and animists. He alleged that a case in point is the Adara Kingdom whose traditional ruler Dr. Maiwada Galadima was gruesomely murdered after he was kidnapped on his way going home from a meeting he had with the Governor. Though ransom was paid to the kidnappers, yet they killed him and his wife. Instead of appointing a new king for the kingdom, a new emirate has been created that will oversee the area.
Other contributors equally alleged that it is not just that the government is supporting and enabling the attacks, the military and security forces are accused of being complicit in the unfortunate situation. In a situation where the State Government will declare a curfew, every member of the community stays at home with the military manning the check points, yet the attackers will evade all the check points, enter and attack the sleeping communities, murder and maim for hours without any challenge, then when they have completed their mission and gone, the military will yet again enter these ravaged communities to arrest the youths who come out to protest the killings. On some occasions, a contributor alleged, the military will first enter the communities and search and confiscate and arrest those who have bows and arrows, locally made guns and matchets in their homes and almost as they leave, the attackers will come back to ravage the communities. Several reports have been done on these wanton and senseless killings. The narrative presented by the State and Federal Governments is that it is a communal clash, yet the question is “what is the essence of government if not to resolve cases such as this and bring peace?” If they are communal clashes, will the government stand by and see a genocide committed under its watch? The army brass said that it is not a genocide but “activities of criminal elements on both sides and not ethnic cleansing as it is being claimed”. The problem with this narrative is that it is only one side that is continually doing mass burials as reported by CNN here.
However, the question actually is, “must we wait until it degenerates to what can be categorized as ethnic cleansing before the government stop the killings?” Who are the providers of these weapons? Why is every section of the country complaining about the same ethno-religious group?
As Christians, the purpose of this review is for us to earnestly pray for our governments and those in authority. Also, we need to start to speak up and engage at all levels so that security can be restored and we can “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim.2:1-4 ESV). We have to start to speak out because we do not have another life to live than the one we live now. No other time to make impact than now. No other generation will deal with our issues than our generation.
Today it is Southern Kaduna, where will it be tomorrow?
"Speak up for those who
cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."