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Warring Kaduna, Katsina communities hire militias to settle scores –Reps

Communities hire militias to settle scores

Members of the House of Representatives from Southern Kaduna have said warring communities in Southern Kaduna and parts of Katsina State now engage militias to fight themselves.

Communities hire militias to settle scores

The lawmakers from this zone also identified herdsmen and farmers’ clashes, forceful land grabbing by non-natives, reprisals, banditry, and criminality as some of the major causes of the killings and hostilities in the area.

The address which was read by the Minority Whip of the House, Mr Gideon Gwani, on Wednesday in Abuja while responding to questions from journalists was signed by Gwani, representing Kaura Federal Constituency; Nicholas Garba, Jema’a/Sanga Federal Constituency; Mukhtar Zakari, Kauru Federal Constituency; Gabriel Zock, Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency; and Amos Magaji Zagon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency.

They faulted Governor Nasir el-Rufai for allegedly refusing to recognise the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, stating that the people must enjoy their constitutional right of association.

El-Rufai and security chiefs had met on Tuesday over the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the southern part of the state.

Zango-Kataf, Kaura, Kauru, and Jema’a Local Government Areas in Southern Kaduna are under a 24-hour curfew, following the suspected Fulani herdsmen’s attacks on communities in the area.

But Garba alleged that some of the communities in these LGAs and parts Katsina now use militias to fight themselves, adding that some unnamed prominent persons now keep militias for that purpose.

He said, “The situation in Southern Kaduna has taken a pattern that is predictable and we are saying, as a government we must have the capacity. If A and B have a quarrel, they should settle that quarrel either through the rule of law by going to court or the police to prosecute.

“A situation where you avoid that civilised channel of settling issues and you go and use militias…there is a militia and nobody can deny that. We have militias and we are asking why is it taking the government so long to fish out the militias. A and B have a problem and one goes out to commission a militia to settle the score, and that has been the pattern in Southern Kaduna.

“Every attack is done by a militia that is quite different from the parties that have a quarrel or misunderstanding. Are the security people telling us they are not aware? To some extent, we even know where the militias come from, but of course, it is only the state that has the resources and the intelligence to be able to go out there and identify. I’m sorry to say this: even in Katsina, the crisis happening in the state, everybody knows it.

“There is a problem in a community, they have a militia arm. A group of people in this country that have perhaps organised and are financing militias to settle scores outside the rule of law established by our Constitution. We are saying that we cannot continue to close our eyes to this fact because it is at the root of the crisis.

“The killing of the people of Southern Kaduna or anybody at all in Nigeria is highly condemnable and must be brought to an end. The inability of any government to secure the lives and property of its citizens or ensure their welfare implies failure of government.

“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 the public glare, with little success in investigating and apprehending the perpetrators of the said attacks.”

The caucus stressed that statements by people in authority should serve to heal and unite the people, rather than inflaming passion and justifying the heinous acts “in these difficult times.”

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