Southern Kaduna killings worrying–Saraki

Senate

  • Says senate ‘ll dig to the root of the crisis

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday described as worrying the latest killings in southern Kaduna.

Saraki vowed that the Nigerian senate would probe the killings in order to establish the root cause, the mastermind and find lasting solution that would avert recurrence.

He said the upper chamber of the National Assembly would make the probe a priority as soon as it resumes.

Saraki made the promise in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on New Media, Mr Bamikole Omishore, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Omishore said the senate president made the promise while responding to a tweet posted by one Chimeze Ukoha on the Kaduna killings.

The statement quoted Ukoha as saying that “about 800 Christians were massacred in Southern Kaduna and nobody is talking about that, very bad.’’

It  quotes Saraki as responding that “once @ngrsenate resumes, this issue will be addressed to get a clearer picture of what the real situation is and find a lasting solution.

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“Every Nigerian life matters and @ngrsenate will work to ensure that rule of law is always upheld as prescribed by the Nigerian Constitution.’’

The statement explained that Saraki was already in touch with senators from Kaduna State and that he was constantly getting updates on developments.

Bar and Bench Watch reports that the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna State had earlier raised the alarm that a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across the four local governments areas in the state ridden by the crisis.

Giving a statistics of the killings and destruction in a statement in Kafanchan, the church leaders said 57 people were injured while farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion were also destroyed.

The statement disclosed further that a total of 1,422 houses and 16 churches were burnt during the attacks.

The affected communities are spread across Kaura, Sanga, Jama’a and Kauru Local Government Areas where there had been persistent attacks on communities by gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen.

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A 24-hour curfew had been imposed on the affected areas by the state government following the frequent attacks.

A combined team of soldiers and anti-riot policemen had been deployed on the area to maintain law and order following recent protest by people of the area over the killings.

According to the church leaders, “The herdsmen and their ilk turned the towns into killing fields and killed mostly women, children and the elderly who couldn’t run for cover.

“The level of barbarity was such that pregnant women got their wombs blown out and massacred before their children. And these innocent children were not spared either.

“This level of viciousness was never witnessed even in the brutal tyranny and regime of Adolf Hitler. What is most intriguing is the level of sophistication of weapons like AK 47, machine guns and many other deadly instruments of death which were freely used.

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“The viciousness of these self styled Jihadists sends shivers into the spines of our traumatised people. In the Godogodo and Pasakori attacks for example, the military merely watched and supervised the burning of our homes. When the youths mobilised to repel the attackers, the soldiers deliberately blocked them from entering the town.”

The statement was signed by the Vicar General of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Ibrahim Yakubu; Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Aaron Tanko Rev. Fr. Williams Abba and President, Laity Council, Mr. Joseph Bayei (KSJ).

But the Inspector-General of Police had faulted the figure of casualty given by the religious leaders.

He said the figure was not as high as claimed and that the police was on top of the situation.