Another day, another Fulani -led pogrom in Christian Southern Kaduna - By Rev.Fr. William Abba

 Another day, another Fulani -led pogrom  in Christian Southern Kaduna -  By Rev.Fr. William Abba

I cry for southern Kaduna. I am inconsolable. The level of carnage and killings can best be described as a 'pogrom'. Who will be our Moses ? We had hardly recovered from the attacks that was visited upon the inhabitants of Godogodo by Fulani herdsmen.

Still counting their loses and reeling in pains and anguish. Confidence was gradually been built and the locals were beginning to consider returning to their homes and lands. This is despite the silent killings going on. There's hardly any day that passes without any recorded deaths. Locals going to their farms and getting gunned down. This is becoming the new normal. The presence of security of some sort gives some hope . Then this! Yesterday, a group of Fulani herdsmen dressed in military uniforms attacked yet another community in Pasakori area. Precisely Tudun Wada, slaughtering about ten people. This circle of violence started last week. A local was killed by the Fulanis. The natives, angry and enraged, drove away every Fulani that was in sight. Few days later, the Fulanis came back. Not to kill or burn houses. But to set up their foodstuff in flames. Once they identified the food barn, they set on fire.

Thus, the entire village lost all their food to fire. How will they survive the coming year? That was to be the beginning of a well Orchestrated evil agenda. Then in the evening yesterday, death and sorrow came knocking on this community. The Fulanis have just unleashed their angels of death. Ten able bodied men went down gruesomely. I wonder how it is that this community didn't notice. Soldiers entering a community without an army patrol Van clearly marked and you didn't suspect ? God! They thought soldiers have come to secure them. They were wrong. They are mercenaries. Dressed in army uniform. I love the army and the institution they represent. But I think a lot of evil has been perpetrated and they watch helplessly. Who supplies these kits to these terrorists? I hope I get the answer some day. I strongly advocate the withdrawal of the army from southern Kaduna. Their presence to a large extent emboldens the enemy. He's sure to get some form of cover. By the time the Fulani herdsmen know that no one will shield them when they foment trouble, they will behave themselves. They seem to have the backing of the state. So they are an untouchable bunch. And this is the southern Kaduna drama panning out. Some people have carefully written the script. Some powerful visitors are hell bent on taking over our land and occupy.

This is where the worry lies. Are we incapable of organising ourselves by ourselves? If government fails to guarantee the security of lives and property of our people, are we not capable of coming together to form a strong coalition? Southern Kaduna has a sizeable number of retirees. Military and police. Where are they? We have an army of willing and determined youth but they are like a toothless bull. They cannot defend the land with bare hands. Where are our illustrious sons and daughters? You are comfortable in the cities. I understand that. But the onus of rallying our boys into a formidable force lies squarely on your doorsteps. Do not desire political correctness over the lives of your people. When they pursue you out of Kano, Katsina Sokoto etc , you can run home. But if they follow you here, where else do you have to run to?
I suspect that the government has turned a blind eye. That is if they have not even tacitly endorsed it. We have not heard as much as a condemnation of this evil, either from the federal nor state government. At best, one hears a weak and an afterthought kind of double speak to deceive us. There are unconfirmed rumours of a helicopter that landed somewhere around. After a little while, it went off and disappeared again. We had thought that the security were merely patrolling and carrying out surveillance. Some are speculating that it might have dropped weapons to the jihadists in the bush. This will be taken as mere hearsay. But there won't be smoke without fire. How can a helicopter take over the airspace without some clearance from certain quarters?

I don't know what role our traditional leaders can play here. They are singing discordant tunes. No harmony. Every one of them is keenly interested in safeguarding his kingdom. But if all the southern Kaduna chiefs do not come together to take a common resolution regarding this crisis, the experience of North East and Benue will soon be ours.

Meanwhile, Godogodo, Gidan Waya, Ninte, Pasakori etc have all been deserted. They are desolate towns. This is clearly the intention and motive of the aggressor. Scare them away until the become cowards and flee from their fertile land.
I heard the deputy governor came around and held some kind of meeting in Manchok. I wonder what results will be achieved. People spoke and poured out their anger on the deputy governor. I hope he has enough balls to say it the way it was told him to the governor. But beyond the rhetoric, what can we do? Most certainly the answer is not far fetched : prayer and action (These are the only twins capable of wriggling us out of this disaster). Before then every community reserves the right to carry out checks on suspected havens of these criminals. If you suspect a particular Fulani settlement harbours arms and criminals, raid them. Conduct stop and search on vehicles coming in and out of communities. The youth can form vigilante groups for these purposes. Whether government recognises them or not. They don't need an act of parliament to enforce this. We have a duty to protect our lives.

*Williams Kaura Abba is a Catholic Priest in Kaduna State.

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