PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has called for unity among residents of Kaduna to allow for development across the state.
President Buhari made the call on Monday in a virtual speech he gave at the commencement of the fifth edition of KADINVEST, Kaduna State’s annual economic and investment forum.
While urging all indigenes of the state to cooperate with the State Government and security agencies to secure a lasting “peace and harmony in the state,” the President added that there is no development anywhere in the absence of peace.
“We must live together as brothers and sisters because, without peace, development cannot take place,” Buhari said.
The Southern Kaduna area of the state has been a spot for an age-long communal crisis between farmers and herders which has led many people to their untimely death and several persons displaced.
In a 2020 report, Amnesty International in its report, “Nigeria Government failings leave rural communities at the mercy of gunmen”, said it interviewed civilians in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states, who said they live in fear of attacks and abductions as insecurity escalates in rural areas.
It stated that villages in the Southern Kaduna area were worst affected by these attacks, where armed men killed at least 366 people in multiple attacks between January and July 2020.
Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said the ongoing failure of security forces to take sufficient steps to protect villagers from these predictable attacks is utterly shameful.
“In addition to the security forces’ failure to heed warnings or respond in time to save lives, the fact that no perpetrators have been brought to justice leaves rural communities feeling completely exposed,” Ojigho said.
“The President claims he has repeatedly tasked security agencies to end the killing so that Nigerians can go to bed with their eyes closed, but clearly nothing has changed,” she said.
However, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has said that his administration was committed to ending the 40 year-old Southern Kaduna crisis, as various groups and communities have recently signed peaceful pacts that would engender peace in their various communities.
Earlier this month, the Kaduna State chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), said it was ready to live in peace with its neighbors in the ongoing efforts to restore peace in the troubled and crisis-torn area of Southern Kaduna.
In a communique jointly signed by Hassan Tugga, MACBAN State chairman, Abdulhamid Musa, Southern Kaduna Zonal Chairman, Shuaibu Usman, the Zonal Secretary and Ibrahim Zango, the Director of Media and Publicity, the herders appealed to farmers to allow their cattle to graze on government-approved routes.
It also called on its members to prevent children from rearing cattle in the area in order to prevent the destruction of farm produce.
“The summit after all the deliberations it has reached the following resolutions: That we have agreed to reverse our olden days relationship with our neighbouring communities in the area,” the communique read.
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