SOUTHERN KADUNA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATIONS (SOKACDA) COMMUNIQUE OF THE CDAs MEETING HELD AT THE KAGORO TOWN HALL ON SATURDAY, 30TH JULY, 2022


INTRODUCTION
The Southern Kaduna Community Development Associations (SOKACDA) Forum held a crucial meeting on Saturday, 30th July, 2022, at the Kagoro Town Hall, to deliberate on issues of national importance to the Southern Kaduna communities. The major issues considered by the meeting included the on-going Court Case instituted by the CDAs at the Kaduna State High Court in the Kafanchan Judicial Division. Other issues included the constitution of the Southern Kaduna Leadership Council, Southern Kaduna Political Demands in the 2023 general elections, and the evolving political developments in Kaduna State generally, and Southern Kaduna in particular. The meeting received reports and briefings on the various issues, made observations and analyzed them, and made resolutions as hereunder presented.

The Court Case Over the Kaduna State Traditional Institution Law
The CDAs Forum observed that the Court case was instituted against the Kaduna State Government following attacks by the government on the traditional institutions in Kaduna State generally, but particularly those of Southern Kaduna ethnic nationalities. Specifically it was observed that:
Some of the chiefdoms (like Adara Chiefdom) had been abrogated, others like Adara, Numana, and Jaba chiefdoms were balkanized and split; while many had their names arbitrarily changed and the nomenclatures of the traditional institutions and titles of traditional rulers were changed even when the ethnic nationalities protested and rejected such unilateral changes.
Our traditional rulers have been humiliated and subjected to inhuman treatment, including arbitrary arrests and imprisonment. Some traditional rulers were murdered and others kidnapped by terrorists, thereby targeting the traditional rulers of Southern Kaduna with violence.
Districts and Village Areas were abrogated; where chiefdoms had 20 districts they were reduced to four, those with 15 districts were reduced to three, and those with 10 districts were reduced to one. These deliberate acts of administrative crippling and disorganization have created wide ungoverned spaces, which have been taken over and occupied by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, killer herdsmen and other criminal armed groups. The terrorists and criminal groups have massacred unarmed people, destroyed communities, and driven the people out of their villages, and their ancestral lands taken over by the marauding gangs and armed groups.
The Kaduna State Government, using the Traditional Institution Law has destroyed the traditional and historical processes of selecting and appointing traditional rulers, and converted the traditional rulers into political appointees, thus desecrating the traditional institutions.
The Traditional Institution Law is highly discriminatory and divisive along religious and ethnic lines; the Law tramples on the rights and freedoms of our ethnic nationalities to self-determination; it is calculated to subjugate the people of Southern Kaduna and destroy their customs, traditions, values and cultural heritage.
Resolutions: The CDAs Forum therefore resolved:
To prosecute this case to the logical conclusion of setting aside the Traditional Institution Law and return to the situation in 2015, before the Mall Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai administration began to use State Power to attack and destroy our traditional institutions.
All CDAs should redouble efforts to raise resources to encourage the Legal Team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria in their determination to see justice done.
All 56 CDAs should endeavor to attend all Court sessions alongside the 17 communities that are the plaintiffs in the case. All CDAs should inform members of their communities on the importance of this court case.

Constitution of the Southern Kaduna Leadership Council
The CDAs Forum expressed profound appreciation to those who had the vision to midwife the establishment of the Southern Kaduna Leadership Council. While subscribing to the objectives of setting up of the Council, the CDAs Forum observed that particularly during political campaigns all sorts of groups appear and claim that “Southern Kaduna is behind them”, whereas they seek to divide the people for their personal gains.
Resolutions: The CDAs therefore resolved:
To fully support the Council in its activities and urge them to serve as a platform for coordinating the affairs of genuine organizations of Southern Kaduna.
To urge the Council to be representative of Southern Kaduna, covering all areas of the region in the Northern, Central and Southern Senatorial Districts of Kaduna State.

Southern Kaduna Political Demands in the 2023 General Elections

The CDAs Secretariat circulated a document bearing the above title, which was used to brief the meeting on efforts to come up with a Southern Kaduna Agenda during the 2023 elections.
Resolutions: Following incisive discussions, it was resolved that:
All CDAs should take the document to their communities and raise awareness on issues of importance to the people in the localities.
All communities should use the document as a guide for identifying issues they should raise with persons seeking to be elected to the State House of Assembly, the House of Representatives, the Senate and Government House Kaduna.
The CDAs Forum Secretariat should collate submissions from the communities to update the Southern Kaduna Political Demands, and collaborate with SOKAPU and the Southern Kaduna Leadership Council to provide decisive leadership in interacting with political parties and political office seekers.

Political Developments in Kaduna State
Several CDAs expressed concern that they had heard that the President of SOKAPU had resigned in order to contest for office of Governor of Kaduna State. CDAs felt that as those who had elected the SOKAPU President, he should have consulted with leaders of the Community Development Associations before resigning from his position. Following lengthy discussion the CDAs observed and resolved as follows:
That Hon. Jonathan Asake has the right, like any other person, to seek for any political office in Nigeria.
That the former SOKAPU President’s quest for political office was not a community project, but a personal one and he has the freedom to pursue his personal political ambition without necessarily consulting with the community leaders. It was advised that any further discussion of this particular issue should be raised with the SOKAPU Board of Trustees (BOT), Central Executive Committee (CEC), National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Congress.
That as at the time of the CDAs meeting there were six (6) individuals from Southern Kaduna who were known to be contesting for the office of Governor of Kaduna State on the platform of different political parties, and the CDAs Forum will accord them equal status as individuals pursuing their individual political ambitions.
That the CDAs Forum, in partnership with other Southern Kaduna umbrella organizations, will interact and parley with gubernatorial candidates of all political parties, from all parts of Kaduna State, based on defined criteria, in order to decide who to support. The choice of the people should depend on who has capacity to win political power and use it for the collective good and development of the people of Kaduna State.
That the people of Southern Kaduna should commit themselves to:
Ensuring that the current regime of naked discrimination against our people does not continue after the election of 2023.
Close ranks and unite to put an end to political, social, economic exclusion that the people of Kaduna State have suffered in the past seven years.
The CDAs Forum urges the people of Kaduna State to come together to put an end to insecurity, violence, and engineered religious and ethnic divisiveness that the people have suffered in the past several years.
The CDAs Forum calls on the people of Kaduna State to embrace those who stand for peace, justice, healing and reconciliation, and to distance themselves from religious and ethnic chauvinists of every description.

Dr. Zuwaqhu Bonat Qs Haruna Musa
CDAs Forum Chairman CDAs Protem Secretary

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