Rev Fr Williams Kaura Abba, a Catholic priest, working as the Coordinator of the Coalition Against Kajuru Killings, has disclosed how a statement, he described as reckless, made by an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari resulted in violence in Southern Kaduna.
Fr Abba made the disclosure in a short exhortation delivered at Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Garage during the burial ceremony of a victim of the Southern Kaduna violence saying the statement twisted the narrative of the situation, said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to the President twisted narrative of the situation and is emboldening savagery in the area.
Fr Williams Kaura Abba said: “Blood flowing across the landscape of Southern Kaduna. Community after community across the length and breath of our area have come under the severest attack by a militia of Fulani stock.
Kajuru, Doka, Chibob, Kigudu, Gora Gan, Kukum Daji, Zikpak, etc have all tasted the cruelty of these beasts in human form.
In all of these attacks, we have had the displeasure of hurriedly burying our loved ones in mass graves.
They were not even allowed the dignity of decent burial as the powers that be insisted our loved ones must be buried with the speed of light. Women, the old, the not so old, the young, children and even toddlers are not spared in the killings that have now clearly become genocidal.
The mortal remains of Kingsley, lying before us this morning, felled by the terrorist’s bullet, reminds us all about the need to rise up to defend our land, our lives and livelihoods.
I have been asked to speak for five (5) minutes only and I will hastily love to make the following points:
1. This Government doesn’t care about us. Make no mistake about this – the mien, body language, and statements of government regarding Southern Kaduna is enough to prove this.
“We have the deliberate attempt by Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to the President to twist the narrative as evidenced in the Statement released by the Presidency on 21/7/2020. The statement reads in part
“From available security records, the problem in Southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds”.
“It is a situation in which one criminal group will kill a member of another criminal group out of ethnic and religious motivations which in turn leads to the eruption of revenge and counter-revenge, thereby making the job of the security personnel deployed to protect lives more difficult”.
This statement in all intent and purposes appears to be an endorsement of the savagery going on in our area. It emboldens the enemy.
A day or two after the release of this reckless statement, violence erupted in Zangon Kataf. If the witch cried at night and the baby dies in the morning, you know who to blame.
Governments at both State and federal levels have clearly failed to carry out their constitutional responsibilities which is the protection of lives and property – the irreducible minimum.
If government cannot improve infrastructure in Southern Kaduna, or even pretend to be fair to us, then let them just guarantee that we can go to our farms safely and sleep in our homes without fear of being hacked down.
2. We must commend our youth for helping to repel the mercenaries. Were it not for their bravery, our communities today would have been overrun and taken over.
The militia came against us with powerful ammunitions, our youth had only courage and sticks to wade the attackers off. We sincerely thank you for standing up to be counted. We are proud of you.
3. There is yet another twist to these unfortunate occurrences. We are beginning to hear rumours of connivance between the terrorists and some of our people. An ce yaki baya cin gari sai da dan gari.
We are worried about this and we enjoin our youth to put in a mechanism in place to check the behavior of our people
If you suddenly see someone in the community without any verifiable means of income beginning to live ostentatious life, spending money he clearly didn’t make legitimately, and riding a bajad that you can’t explain how he came about it, it could be a red flag and such people should be interrogated.
I don’t know how someone could sleep in his house knowing that he traded his kinsmen for money and material gains. We place a curse on any Southern Kaduna person who is an accomplice and instrumental to the attacks on our people. We disown them and invoke the wrath of our forefathers upon such traitors.
To our son, Kingsley, we bid you farewell. You were a gallant cadet, a courageous soldier for Christ and his Church. Go in peace. You alongside thousands of our people who have lost their lives to violence, must now unite to intercede for us.
The blood you shed on our soil, must rise up now to defend us from future attacks. To the parents of Kingsley, and many others who were killed in the past days and weeks, we say be comforted. You gave birth to Kingsley, but he was a proud son of Southern Kaduna. He has joined the ranks of martyrs. May he rest in peace.
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