CAN meets Gov. El-Rufai over Southern Kaduna killings
By Our Reporter
August 17, 2020 - The Christian Association of Nigeria has met with Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna over the recent incessant killings in the southern part of the State.
This is even as the governor challenged those claiming genocide and land grabbing in Southern Kaduna to present evidence of such atrocities.
Speaking when the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, visited him on Monday, the governor said that the southern Kaduna crisis was nothing more than “totally unnecessary frenzy of communal attacks, reprisals and revenge.”
El-Rufai noted that the latest crisis was triggered by dispute over a piece of land.
“The briefings represent our answer to the terrible avalanche of skewed narratives of the current crisis, ranging from outright lies about the nature of the conflict to baseless claims that the Kaduna State Government is doing nothing to contain and resolve it.
“Part of the false narrative of the history of violent conflict in southern Kaduna is the loose use of terms like land-grabbing and genocide. They are being used in this current cycle of conflict, just as they were in the 2016/17 and the 2011/2015 cycles.
“We have requested and encouraged anybody to present evidence of any inch of land within Kaduna State that has been forcibly or illegally occupied.
“Were such a clear, physical and actual transgression to occur, it will constitute not only an injustice against the community displaced, but a challenge to the authority of the state within its territory that cannot be allowed to stand.
“We challenge anyone to characterise or differentiate the communal clashes, attacks and killings in parts of Northern and Central Kaduna State, as well as in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger States from those in Southern Kaduna.
“Is it because in all the other cases, the victims are lesser humans or lacking in voice and media hype? What happened to our common humanity?”
The governor also briefed the CAN delegation of the efforts the government has made since 2015 to stop the violent conflict, address its causes and create a path for the diverse communities to live in peace and security.
He said that some of the efforts included the setting up of a committee chaired by Gen. Martin Luther Agwai to study and proffer ways to stamp out attacks in southern Kaduna which had intensified since the violent aftermath of the 2011 elections.
Others were addressing the problem of sara-suka gangs, widespread cattle rustling and other acts of rural banditry, establishing military and mobile police outposts in Kafanchan, as well as a peace commission among others.
In his remarks, the CAN President said he led the delegation to Kaduna in view of the ongoing crisis and the need to stop the continuous killings in the State.
He advocated for a round table solution over the matter rather than throwing counter-accusations between government and other stakeholders over the killings in southern Kaduna.
According to him, everyone looks up to the Governor as a father of the State and the understanding with which he should handle every accusing finger pointed at him
“Your office is like that of the dung where all kinds of rubbish are dumped. When you were not in charge of governance of the State, nobody was pointing accusing fingers at you”.
Ayokunle said no bandit or cattle rustler should be allowed to strike and disappear without being apprehended and prosecuted.
He encouraged people to engage in community healing, forgiveness and reconciliatory meetings to bring different ethics groups in communities together so as to chart the way forward for peace.
Ayokunle further called on government to strengthen the State Emergency Management Agency and the State Peace Commission for the development and rebuilding of southern Kaduna