Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Northern Governors Under Fire Over Silence As Kaduna Death Toll Hits 51

The Northern States Governors’ Forum was on Tuesday condemned over its silence on the killings, which took place in Southern Kaduna a few hours before it met in Kaduna State on Monday.

Groups, including the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Middle Belt Forum and civil rights organisations,  in separate interviews with The PUNCH,  described the forum’s silence on the killings in Kaduna State as insensitive.

The organisations said this as the death toll in the bandits’ attack on Southern Kaduna increased to 51 on Tuesday with the recovery of three more corpses.

The  NSGF had in a communiqué issued after at its meeting on Monday berated southern governors for insisting that the presidency should shift to the South in 2023.

The northern governors also faulted moves by Lagos and Rivers states to collect the Value Added Tax.

How could govs meet in Kaduna and silent on killing of 48 people, says SOKAPU
Between Sunday and Monday, no fewer than 48 people were killed by bandits in Zango Kataf and Kaura local government areas of Kaduna State within 24 hours of unrestricted bloody violence.

Commenting on the governors communiqué’s silence on the  killings and their preoccupation with the 2023 presidency and the Value Added Tax, the  Southern Kaduna Peoples Union spokesman, Luka Binniyat,  carpeted the governors, saying they were “still in yoke with the obsolete mentality of  one North.”
He specifically knocked the governors from the Middle Belt whom he described as “mere pawns to be used to further the interest of the core North.”

Binniyat said, “SOKAPU sees the Northern State Governors Forum  as nothing other than an assembly of governors from the former Northern Region (today’s 19 northern states) who are still yoked in with the obsolete mentality of  one North.”
“Unfortunately for governors of the Middle Belt states among them, who do not have the courage, wisdom and vision to pull out and form a “Middle Belt Governors’ Forum like their counterparts in other parts of the country, the agenda of every meeting of the NGF always proves that they are mere pawns to be used to further the interest of the core North.
“If not so, how could a meeting of the NSGF take place in Kaduna State where at least 48 persons were murdered on Sunday in cold blood in the Christian Southern Kaduna, and nothing was mentioned of it?
“Was it not the same NSGF that made so much fuss over the killing of 22 Fulani commuters in Jos recently and threatened fire and brimstone because the Fulani were alleged to have been killed by Christians?
“Are the 48 Christian women and children killed in their homes in Madamai and Adum villages in the Kaura LGA in Southern Kaduna not supposed to raise emotions of the so-called NSGF to elicit even a mention in their meeting?
“But, the lives of non-Hausa-Fulani natives of an enclave they claim as part of their North do not qualify to be that of humans.

“SOKAPU condemns such cold, snobbish and inhuman attitudes of these governors to the latest tragedy that hit us.

“Kaduna State cannot be used as ground for bickering over power sharing while the citizens of the states are being massacred as selfish and unfeeling governors meet while we are deeply mourning.
“We reject membership of such a body. We do not identify with those who don’t care about us.”

He also condemned the role played by the Governor of Plateau State,  Simon Lalong.

“He (Lalong) seems to carry his curious role as Chairman of the NSGF not caring whether he is being used or not. He does not seem to bother about the opinion of our Plateau neighbours who are openly embarrassed and miffed by his  poster face of anti-Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria.
“Southern Kaduna and Plateau State do not only share a very wide physical boundary, we have had centuries of inter-communal relationship and share almost the same problems of insecurity and mass murder of our people. Yet he did not have the courage of calling the attention of his colleagues to the ongoing genocide that took place less than 24hours before their meeting.

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