While praising the Federal government for the initiative, SOKAD maintained that Southern Kaduna is remains and epic centre of the violence in which it accused herdsmen of being the major perpetrators.
The position of SOKAD was contained in a Statement signed in Gainsville, Florida, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday.
The statement signed by the President of SOKAD – USA, Dr. Freeman Kamuru, its Secretary, Danlami Ngboze and Financial Secretary, Saidu John, reads: “The decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) of the Federal Government of Nigeria to set up a Sub-Committee to visit the frontline States “involved in herdsmen/farmers conflict and hold consultations with the stakeholders and interested parties on how to end the conflicts”,is a good and welcome move that is long overdue. The People of Southern Kaduna in Diaspora are pleased that the Federal Government has finally began to pay attention to this very serious problem that it has ignored for too long.
“This is the singular challenge of our time that is seriously straining our cohesiveness as a nation. 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 state security services.
“However, we are concerned that the visit may omit one of the frontline areas 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 mission of the visiting NEC Sub-Committee need to be accurately defined, if not, the findings and final recommendations may miss the mark and leave us without a solution.
“Equally concerning is the fact that Kaduna State, which at one time was the epicenter of herdsmen terrorism, long before they spread to other states, is not included among the States to be visited by the Committee.
“This omission defies logic and reason. Even today, we received a reliable report that innocent and defenseless worshippers in a church were sprayed with bullets by herdsmen, killing 4 and seriously wounding scores! On a daily basis, the lives of over 3 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 dust 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 for the inclusion of Kaduna and Plateau States on the visitation list, other legislators have remains mostly silent.
“The Legislative delegation from SK, regardless of party affiliation, should work together and forge a unified front in demanding the addition of Kaduna State to the visitation list. 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 SK.”