Irked by the recent killings of about 200 people in Sanga local government area of Kaduna state, youths in the area, under the aegis of Concerned Southern Kaduna Youths (CSKY) have asked the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna State.
The group also blamed the Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero for allegedly not showing modest regard for the victims of the attacks, saying that the people of the area have lost confidence in the state government “which is seemingly unperturbed by the continued decimation of our people and the destruction of their means of livelihood.”
The youths who staged a peaceful protest against the killings on Thursday in Kagoro, Kaura local government area of the state, maintained that the declaration of state of emergency in Kaduna state was imperative to stem the tide of invasion by armed Fulani herdsmen who have killed many people and destroyed homes and crops.
The youth in a letter presented to the paramount ruler of Kagoro, Chief Ufuwai Bonet in his palace during the protest, argued that there was no difference between the massive killings and destruction going on in the southern part of Kaduna and the situations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states which were currently under state of emergency as a result of the deadly activities of the Boko Haram sect.
Spokesman of the youths group, Vincent Bodam who read the letter at the palace before handing it over to the representative of the traditional ruler for onward delivery to President Goodluck Jonathan and other traditional rulers in Southern Kaduna, said the people of the area were facing serious threat of total elimination by Fulani herdsmen.
According to the group, the latest invasion of rural communities in Sanga local government area of the state, where over 300 people were killed and their homes and farms destroyed by Fulani militias was unacceptable and called on the government to take urgent steps to put an end to the killings which had been going on for too long.
“We do not see any difference between the mass killings in our area and those carried out in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states where a state emergency was declared.
“Your Royal Highness, we implore you to pass on this plea on to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to immediately declare a state of emergency in Kaduna State until normalcy is restored, considering that our people at this point in time, have lost confidence in the government in the state which is seemingly unperturbed by the continued decimation of our people and the destruction of their means of livelihood” the letter partly read.
They further advocated for the formation of Southern Kaduna Vigilante Service (SKAVIS) to boost the lean effort of the military in tackling the security challenges facing the southern Kaduna people.
“If Borno State has a civilian JTF, and South Western States have the OPC, to enforce security and provide useful intelligence to rightful authorities, it would be very unfair for government to deny, or frustrate southern Kaduna people from forming such a body”, Bodam said.
The group also castigated political leaders in the area and passed a vote of no confidence on them for allegedly choosing to remain silent over the predicament of the people.
“In the face of the inexcusable silence and inaction by most of our political leaders, both elected and appointed, with the exception of Hon. Shehu Sarkin Noma, who bluntly and openly presented the security situation of our area on the floor of the House of Representatives in Abuja on July 1, 2014, we hereby pass a vote of no confidence on all the those who have chosen to sit on the fence and not identifying with us”, the youths declared.
The letter reads in part: “Your Royal Highness, we like to bring to your attention, in case you are yet to observe, that the Governor of our state, Alh. Mukhtar RamalanYero, has not in any way whatsoever, shown modest regard for our people neither has his government demonstrated empathy for our suffering masses.
“Thus we have no choice than to call him to take responsibility for his government’s failure to curb the ongoing pogrom in Southern Kaduna being the Chief Security Officer of the state. For his snub to visit and have first-hand evidences of the violence against our people or show concern to our people, we feel let down and disenchanted.
“How can 147 sons and daughters of a state be killed in one fell swoop in Kaura villages, and a sitting governor would not go to see and speak to the aggrieved since February, and again about 200 have been killed in mass invasion of Sanga villages, and the Governor does not have the moral courage to visit any of the affected places or persons?
“Our Royal father, to ameliorate the situation of the affected people, we appeal to you to set up a Southern Kaduna Relief Fund for Displaced Persons. This will go a long way to reduce the level of starvation, disease and mental trauma from the surviving victims. More so that this is happening during the farming season it signifies the untold hardship that is imminent in these affected villages the following year.
“His Royal Highness, we are watching with consternation the spirited, if not desperate attempt by poorly informed government officials to create new exclusive grazing vast lands for Fulani nomads and to resuscitate dormant ones in our area".