Why Peace Is Becoming Elusive In Southern Kaduna, By Mukhtar Garba Maigamo
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”- Malcolm X
The cumulative burden and the incidence of violence in Southern Kaduna (from 1980s to the recent one in 2011) which this present administration of Elrufai inherited now –sadly, is becoming hard nut, not in itself really, but because those self-appointed Town Criers of southern Kaduna are just two-faced characters. They are the ones propelling this by their sheer hypocrisy and double standard.
They underreport any attack on Fulani but overblow every reprisals carry out. It has also become a point of duty for them to be hypercritical of everything and anything about the Kaduna state governor-Elrufai. While the governor is trying very hard to bring an end to this violence, they are frustrating that by their utterances and actions. They are now attempting to change the narrative of this conflict to genocidal war just to present the President, the APC and the Kaduna state governor in a bad light.
However, before I move further, let it be clear that my stand has always been that any attack, kidnapping, killings-whether reprisal or not; or any other form of crime is condemnable. Also as a student of peace, I subscribe to the doctrine of social justice as the enabler of peaceful coexistence. Social justice in this context is to be construed as the promotion of a just society by protesting injustice, prejudiced on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliations etc, or injustice in whatever form.
Sometime in November 2016, on Tuesday weekly market of Samarun Kataf there was an attack by the Youths who blocked roads, burn cars wantonly and killed two Fulani herdsmen based on the rumors that Fulani killed one of their people. They also took to the streets with dangerous weapons, and destroyed the very signboard of the recent Kafanchan Declaration Peace Accord.
At that same day simultaneously, 2 Fulanis were also killed at Kan-Kurmi village. But surprisingly, there was a conspiracy of silence among the self-appointed Town Criers as always has been. There was no report, there was no words of reproach, no condemnation, no nothing. Just a deafening silence from them.
Now, on Tuesday, the same market day and at the same spot, 3 people were shot by some people who are suspected to be Fulani, and whose motives would be seen to be avenging the killings of their brothers that happened in the market two months ago. The act is condemnable in its entirety but the double standard of our two-faced southern Kaduna friends is too glaring because they refuse to condemn the first one perpetrated by their ‘brothers’ but they are condemning this one. They did not even stop at condemnation but they constantly employ a dangerous connotation and link it with the governor on account of his identity and creed.
Surprisingly, on Wednesday the Emir of Jamaá, Alhaji Muhammad Isa Muhammad II was ambushed and attacked by irate youths when he was returning back from Security Council meeting with the governor. CAN is quiet, SOKAPU is not only quite, it has even denied occurrence of the incident. No words of reproach from Rebuen Buhari- a new Town Crier; Moses Ochunu didn’t write reproachful article from University of Vanderbilt USA. This is the double standard we are talking about. If the very people and institutions who are thought-police and moral compass of their communities and happen to be central to the conflict resolution, but become partisan in this manner, the peace we are all seeking for will be elusive.
It is worth repeating here that governor Elrufai inherited these security problems from cattle rustling, rural banditry, and arm robbery, kidnapping and reprisal killings in southern Kaduna. But yet he is determined in addressing them. Southern Kaduna violence become a centre-stage in all the security issues since when they came on board.
Many a people know that, the violence we are facing now is a spill over of the way and manner the previous administrations handled the crisis before now- for political correctness, for political expediency; which bred impunity in our society. It started during IBB era and continued unabated.
One will have to wonder seeing Rueben Buhari now at the forefront of lambasting this government about the issues of killings in southern Kaduna. When he served in the government of late Patrick Yakowa, there were same violence in the zone, but he didn’t blame his principal. This shows clear enmity and hatred. We are seeing many of him today under the cloak of humanists and if we don’t rise and resist these people the peace we are all seeking will keeps on eluding us. We must do away with sentiments and see clearly the intentions of some merchants of conflict who profit in this one. We must also reject the so called citadels and demagogues whose actions and utterance only exacerbate the problem.
Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,
A Public Commentator, Conflict Resolution expert lives in Kaduna State. 08066792996
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