The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union has called for the resignation of the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai over his inability to end the crisis in the region.
The group also demanded the investigation and prosecution of el-Rufai for admitting to paying Fulani herdsmen.
The group, which is an umbrella body of the 53 indigenous ethnic nationalities registered and spread across 11 of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, said the governor had failed to protect the minorities in the state.
A statement issued by SOKAPU National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yakubu Kuzamani in Kaduna noted that one of the constitutional duties of a governor was to protect lives and property but El Rufai had woefully failed to live up to that standard.
While listing its demands, SOKAPU said, “We demand that the Kaduna State governor should resign immediately if he cannot uphold his first and most important responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens, especially in Southern Kaduna.”
SOKAPU called for the reopening of the Kafanchan Campus of the Kaduna State University and the College of Education Gidan, Waya that have been closed since December 19, 2016.
The group said it was sad to recall that during the campaigns for the 2015 elections, el-Rufai drew huge political capital from the attacks on Southern Kaduna communities that occurred before 2015, wherein he promised a “formidable security architecture in which no person that kills a Kaduna indigene would go unpunished.”
The group added, “It is astonishing that since he was sworn in the attacks on our communities have grown in scale, magnitude and style. The attackers have rather become bold and more aggressive as they sometimes attack in the daytime and in the full glare of security personnel.”
SOKAPU also noted that the excuses given by the state government had been nonsensical, as it portrayed a deliberate connivance with the attackers.
It added, “As we speak to you today, the attackers that have often surrounded villages in large numbers have always peacefully withdrawn from the burning villages without any casualty and no arrests but the army, the police and recently the air force have after the attacks, returned to the villages to arrest and detain anyone that was seen or alleged to have attempted to ward off the attacks.
“Besides arresting, detaining and prosecuting several people from our communities including some traditional rulers and Journalists, the Kaduna State Government has a list of targeted individuals from our communities for arrest and imprisonment simply because those individuals are mentioned by the armed terrorists as ‘the stubborn community leaders or leaders of SOKAPU’ or just outspoken against the government.
“As we speak today, six young men from different Southern kaduna villages namely: Joshua Baba, Reuben Baba, Lot Sule, Zabrang Bamaiyi, Usman, and a yet to be identified youths have been in detention at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna for over two months at the instance of the Kaduna State Government without trial and subjected to horrible torture. This is the level of wicked display of unequal justice that we are subjected to.
Meanwhile, the governor has finally lifted the curfew imposed on two Local Government Areas in the crisis-ridden Southern part of the State.