Muhammad Sunusi Abdullahi
In a Joint press statement by Fulani groups over the killing and destruction of properties of Fulani pastoralists in Zangon Kataf and parts of Kauru Local Government Areas of Kaduna state, the Fulani groups said its imperative to bring to the attention of the government, the media, civil society organizations and the international community the unfortunate events that have been taking place in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area and parts of Kauru Local Government Area commencing from 11th June, 2020 to date whereby our members are deliberately targeted, killed and maimed in a coordinated and systematic manner that leaves them with no other conclusion than the fact that they are premeditated and well planned.
The release was jointly signed by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Kaduna State Chapter, Mobgal Fulbe Development Association (MOFDA), Kaduna State Chapter, the Bandiraku Fulbe Youth Association Of Nigeria (BAFYAN), Gan Allah Fulbe Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) and the Fulbe Development And Cultural Organization (FUDECO), Kaduna state chapter.
“The purpose of this press release today is to put the records straights and to clear certain mischievous misinformation regarding the incidence especially as paraded by certain individuals and groups that have deliberately chosen to make misleading representations calculated at diverting the attention of public and the government from the true facts on ground and the actual level of carnage and wickedness meted on our peace loving and law abiding Fulbe communities in the Atyap (Kataf) Chiefdom and its surrounding villages.
“It is on record that the current crisis emanated from a land dispute between the native Kataf (Atyap) farmers and the indigenous Hausa farmers of Zango town which eventually metamorphosed to an allegation of killing of a farmer of Atyap tribe who went to cultivate the disputed farmland by unknown persons.
“The unanswered poser still remains, why should the Atyap youths transfer their aggression on peaceful Fulani communities which have nothing to do with either the farmland dispute or the alleged killing of the Kataf farmer? The answer is probably not far-fetched, the Atyap youths have been brainwashed and sponsored for such evil acts by a certain illegal union which has been instigating and supporting Adara youths to launch similar attacks against Fulani communities in Kajuru local government Area of Kaduna state and even in other parts of Southern Kaduna geo-political zone.
They said the level of damage to the lives and properties of their members during the attacks is enormous as it cannot be possibly assessed and quantified in money terms.
“However, through reliable sources we have received reports evidencing that several unsuspecting Fulbe communities were attacked by the Atyap youth with attendant losses of human lives, burnt houses, destruction of properties and several herds of cattle rustled in the nooks and crannies across the Kataf (Atyap) Chiefdom.”
“We use this medium to urge the public to disregard the deliberate misinformation and falsehood being dished out by SOKAPU in its usual but outdated style of ‘‘rubble rousing in order to get undeserved attention’’, the Atyap Community Development Association and other mischievous nervous individuals and groups seeking to divert attention away from the real atrocities.”
“We have equally noted the level of unprofessionalism exhibited on daily basis by some press men and media houses who rush to publish every junk and hate story against our members across the country without any form of cross checking and without affording our members equal opportunity to tell their own stories. We hereby condemn such type of media practice as unethical and unacceptable in the 21st century.”
As they they urges their members to remain calm, steadfast, law abiding, optimistic and cooperate with all relevant authorities to ensure that justice is served on the perpetrators of all the attacks no matter what it takes and no matter how long, they also appreciate the efforts and prompt response of security personnel and the government towards ensuring the return of normalcy in the area.
“We urge the security to please go farther by not only ensuring that the dead bodies of our members that have not been recovered for burial are all recovered and buried accordingly but all missing persons and cattle still scattered in the villages are recovered and handed over to their families and owners.”
They also call on the government to ensure that culprits and their sponsors are identified, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and executed to serve as deterrence to other intending culprits and their sponsors.
“The government, nongovernmental organizations and all well-meaning individuals and groups should urgently come forward and render humanitarian services and assistance to the injured and other surviving victims of attacks as well as to cater for the internally displaced persons who are scattered across different areas in dire need of food, shelter and other forms of assistance in order to get them resettled and restart their normal lives once again.
“Finally, we want to state without equivocation that we will not hold our arms as individuals and groups to allow anybody no matter how highly placed to intimidate, harass, blackmail, undermine, oppress or underrate our people any longer in any form or in any part of this state. We therefore warn that any form of aggression, intimidation, blackmail, attack, hate, victimization or oppression of our people by the Kataf (Atyap) youths and their sponsors must stop.”