The leadership of the various Nigeria’s sociopolical organizations, including Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum on Saturday paid a solidarity visit on the people of Southern Kaduna over the incessant killings in their communities.
This is coming as youths from the troubled Southern Kaduna stormed the state capital with “enough is enough” protest, grounding activities at the junction of the Kaduna Refinery and Petroleum Company (KRPC).
The delegations who announced a collective donation of N2m to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), at the Gonin-Gora camp, renewed their call for restructuring of Nigeria.
Speaking at the IDPs camp after visiting some of the affected communities in Southern Kaduna, National Chairman of PANDEF, Air Commodore Idengesit Nkanga (retd), said they were in Kaduna to identify with the ‘long suffering people of Southern Kaduna’.
PANDEF Chairman said, “The overall leader of the PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark has asked that we come along with the delegation of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum to identify with you all at this time and season, to encourage that the season will never remain like this.
“He (Clark) said we should encourage you that even if you don’t see us from afar, it doesn’t mean that you are not on our minds. So, we are here to demonstrate our support. This is not the best of times. This is not the kind of forum we would have loved to come and share with you.
“We are here principally to assure you that those of us on the other side of the Niger – the South-South people are with you in spirit, soul and flesh,” he said.
Taking his own turn, Spokesman of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who accused the Presidency of serving as the mouthpiece of the attackers of Southern Kaduna people, said the delegation were in the state, to commiserate with the natives who had been under “genocide.”
According to him, for the authorities to say that the attackers were out for revenge, means the government knows the attackers.
Odumakin said, it is unfortunate that, security operatives looked the other ways while genocide was being carried out on the Southern Kaduna people and “the people are being told that the killing was a revenge”.
According to him, “We are here today to say that the God almighty will bring justice to the land. Those they killed will not be killed in vein.
“Who are these people and who spoke for them and who did they complain to? Whoever said that type of thing, knows where the attackers are coming from.
“Our position is that for the South-south, Southwest, Southeast and the Middle Belt, whatever attacks one, attack all. So, the attacks against Southern Kaduna, is an attack against all of us. That is why we are here this afternoon to commiserate with you,” he said.
Also, the National President of the Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, Dr. Onyia Nwodo, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to safe the country from an imminent collapse following the spate of insecurity in the country
Nwodo, who was represented on the occasion by the President of the Ohaneze group in Kaduna, Chief Ben Churchill-Aniekwena said, “It is quite pathetic and sad. We feel what you feel, but God is watching.
“At this stage, may I draw the attention of all the state apparatus of coercion; I mean the Inspector-General of Police, other security forces, the judiciary and the Commander -in – Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful to safe this country from total and imminent collapse. Enough is enough.”
President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus in his remarks said Nigeria needs some critical changes. He therefore renewed the call for the restructuring of the country where power would not be too concentrated on the federal government.
He said argued that, the people of Southern Kaduna would not have suffered persistent attacks currently experienced, if they were under the native police.
He said that, “We have been crying for restructuring of this country. If there were native police, will they allow this people to kill you? No. But we have everything centred in the Federal Government – police, military and others. So, they don’t have commitment to you. That is why we are crying for restructuring so that we can be defended by our people.”
Expressing appreciation to the visitors on behalf of Southern Kaduna, National President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Hon. Jonathan Asake, said the visit marked a genuine concern for humanity and love for his people.
Asake noted with regrets that instead of the authorities to tackle the genocide on Southern Kaduna, both the state and federal governments were busy justifying it.
“I want to use this opportunity to say thank you to our brothers from the South-south, South-west, Southeast and of course, the Middle Belt that have found time to come to Southern Kaduna to commiserate with us as the continues onslaught on our communities; the invasion on our communities and the genocide that have been going on,” Asake said.
Meanwhile, the Southern Kaduna protesters who earlier stormed the major highway connecting the state capital with Kaduna South Senatorial zone, dressed in black attires to depict a mourning mood.
They accused both the federal and state governments of not working their talk to end what they called “genocide” in their area.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read, “end killings in Southern Kaduna”, “we cannot continue like this”, “Southern Kaduna lives matter”, “government has failed us”, “allow us to defend ourselves if you can’t” among others.
They however vowed not to retreat until some of them who were picked by the police are brought back.
Confirming the arrest of an unspecified number of the protesters to our Correspondent, Police Public Relations Officer in the State, ASP Muhammad Jalige said, the arrest were made because there was no prior notification of the procession.
“Yes some of them were arrested because they did not inform us about the protest. I cannot tell you how many of them were picked now but i will get back to you later,” he said.