Governor Ahmed Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has been advised to henceforth guide his utterances, especially against the people of Southern Kaduna, who are already nursing wounds from successive perceived “herdsmen” attacks.
A Senator representing Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, Senator Danjuma Tella La’ah, gave the advice in a statement issued in messages to the people in his constituency on January 1st, 2017.
He noted that Governor El-Rufai’s words over the massacre in Southern Kaduna had not been comforting to his people, thereby creating more disaffection and anger.
“This is the time for the governor to guide his utterances, especially the ones directed at the already traumatized people of Southern Kaduna.”
“His words over the massacre had not been comforting to our people; thus, creating more disaffection and anger. He must restrain his tongue from creating more division,” the PDP Senator said.
Senator La’ah said he also observed that the 24-hours curfew slammed on Jema’a, Kaura and Zango Kataf LGAs, is more punitive on the people than a security measure.
He said, it was under the cover of the curfew that innocent law-abiding natives of Goska were murdered and the town totally razed, saying, “Governor Nasir El-Rufai should lift this curfew in the face of the influx of help from the federal government by way of more soldiers and police.”
“I hereby call on all residents of Southern Kaduna to give maximum cooperation to our troops and security personnel in the discharge of their duties. I also call on our people to give Governor Nasir El-Rufai the cooperation and encouragement he needs to bring peace to Southern Kaduna.
“I am, ever ready on my part, to partner with Government so that we can complement efforts for the best results in these dark periods. I share in your grief and pray that God heals your heart,” he maintained.
He also explained that, “As you can all recall, I have tried alongside with my colleagues at the National Assembly to seek intervention of both the State and the Federal Governments to arrest the situation. Unfortunately, these actions were met with lukewarm reactions,” he noted.
According to him, “l had to speak strongly on the matter as against the backdrop of lingering lethargy exhibited in some of Government’s actions and utterances. I am, indeed, very grateful that you stood by me to affirm that I spoke for you all.
“After a flurry of activities, I have observed that both the state and the federal governments have begun to make concerted efforts, as more federal troops and the number of armed policemen have increased by many folds in the past few days.
“We welcome this development very earnestly and hope that it will not only lead to securing our remaining communities, but that all villages presently under occupation of herdsmen, after the villagers have been chased away, will be retaken and the owners returned home to start rebuilding their lives.
“I also hope that the presence of these large contingents of Soldiers, Police and Directorate of State Services (DSS) will lead to the arrest of the culprits so that they can be brought to justice. These kinds of horrendous crimes must not go unpunished.”
The Senator, therefore, called on the Federal and Kaduna State governments to initiate a supplementary budget specifically to help the thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Southern Kaduna to cushion the harsh conditions under which the murderers have forced them to live.
“I believe that any other funds appropriated for these communities outside assisting them to feed, rebuild and provide them enduring security means very little to them.
“The governor should in turn not regard everyone, whose opinion and ideas towards solving the menace as ‘politicking with deaths’ or as an ‘enemy of peace,’ ” he said.
He equally enjoined Southern Kaduna people to always respect constituted authorities, adding, “We must always remember that we, the people of Southern Kaduna, are known for our tolerance, civility and respect to constituted authority. This is the time to express these values, even as we remain ever vigilante over our communities.
“With this development, in 2017, I hope we can start sincere and genuine dialogue with those, who for no just cause, have chosen to become our adversaries.
“I hope that the Government will initiate avenues for building bridges and seeking true reconciliation for enduring and sustained peace in Southern Kaduna through the right policies.
“I have no doubt that we shall overcome this problem, no matter how daunting it may seem today.
“May the divine guidance and wisdom of our Creator lead us this year, as I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year in these dark periods. I share in your grief and pray that God heals your heart.
“Last year was indeed a trying time for scores of communities in Southern Kaduna, who, for no faults of theirs, have become victims of unhindered mass slaughter and the tearing down of their communities by predatory armed herdsmen on a scale never experienced in the history of Kaduna state.
“I hereby express my empathy and condolence to all affected families and communities that I may not have visited.
“I welcome all members of my constituency, with fervent wishes of more peace, security and prosperity under a condition that is conducive for everyone to pursue his livelihood without fear and intimidation, while welcoming them into 2017.”