A group, Southern Kaduna in Diaspora (SOKAD) has decried the non-inclusion of Kaduna among states to be visited in the ongoing efforts to check the herdsmen and farmers crises in the country.
The National Economic Council (NEC) had weeks back set up a committee to visit states ravaged by the crises.
But it seems Kaduna State was not included among states to be visited despite the over a thousand persons killed and hundreds of communities sacked by the herdsmen.
Apparently reacting to the omission, the diaspora group described the action as “deficient of logic and reason.”
While praising the government for setting up the panel, it, however, insisted Southern Kaduna remained an epicentre of the herdsmen’s killings.
These are contained in a statement signed by the President and Secretary of the United States’ branch of the group, Freeman Kamuru and Danlami Ngboze, respectively.
SOKAD said it is pleased the Federal Government is finally paying attention to the problem after many years of living in denial.
“This is the singular challenge of our time that is seriously straining our cohesiveness as a nation,” the group stated.
“The delay in making such a move has most certainly contributed to the loud calls for restructuring as many Nigerians have felt that the Federal Government has deliberately, by commission or omission, decided that some lives are expendable and do not deserve protection from the security services.
“However, we are concerned that the visit may omit one of the herdsmen killing fields – Southern Kaduna; and the Federal Government is not accurately defining the problem.
“While it may be politically expedient to call the terrorism of the herdsmen a conflict with farmers, even the casual observer of events in our beloved country knows that this problem has largely been herdsmen hacking down innocent citizens, usually unsuspecting, unarmed natives, and very often, in their sleep.
“The few casualties among the herdsmen have always been associated with defensive efforts or in a few cases, reprisals from raw emotions after entire villages and their people have been wiped out,” the group said.
The group called for a proper definition of the mission of the government’s panel, arguing that failure to do so may negatively affect its findings and recommendations.
It also called for the inclusion of Southern Kaduna, which it said was at a time, the hotbed of the crises before spilling to other parts of the country.
The group said it has received a fresh report that innocent and defenceless worshippers in a church were sprayed with bullets by herdsmen, killing four and seriously wounding scores.
Continuing, the group said, “On a daily basis, the lives of over three million citizens in that part of Kaduna State are in danger of sudden death at the hands of terrorist Fulani herdsmen.
“There is simply no social activity from dusk to dawn, even in areas not placed on a curfew. Until recently, all tertiary institutions of learning were shut down for over a year in that part of the state.
“Simply put, there is no state more frontline in this pogrom than Kaduna State. We ask that the NEC revise the itinerary of the visiting committee and include Kaduna State, along with the already selected states of Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and Adamawa.
“SOKAD- USA joins Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) in expressing our displeasure for the glaring omission of Southern Kaduna on the list of frontline areas to be visited and request a correction. We also decry the ineffective representation of Southern Kaduna by our Senators and members of House of Representatives.
“Except for Mr. Marshall Katung, the Honorable Member representing Zangon-Kataf and Jaba constituencies, who made a forceful and passionate plea on the floor of the House of Representatives for the inclusion of Kaduna and Plateau States on the visitation list, other legislators have remained mostly silent.”
The group, however, appealed to lawmakers from Southern Kaduna, regardless of party affiliation to work together and demand the inclusion of the area among places to be visited by the panel.
The herdsmen terrorists do not check the party affiliations of their victims when they set out on their evil missions. Effective representation demand that we all work together for the common good of Southern Kaduna,” the group said.