Nasir El-Rufai

Concerned Kaduna indigenes under the aegis of Coalition Against the Abrogation of Indigenous Rights (CAAIR), on Thursday faulted the recent abolition of settler/indigene dichotomy by the Kaduna State government.

Convener of the coalition, Mr Habila Akut, said this in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Akut described the decision to abolish settler/indigene dichotomy in Kaduna as a plot to undermine the indigenes of the state.

According to him, Gov. Nasir el-Rufai’s abrogation of the settler/indigene dichotomy amounted to a deliberate effort to exterminate the history, languages, cultures and diverse distinct identities of Kaduna indigenes.

“How can any well-intentioned government contemplate eliminating indigenous rights anywhere in Nigeria or Africa?

“He wants everyone else to leave their ancestral homelands where they retain ‘indigeneship’, and come to Kaduna where they will no longer be indigenes, if he has his way.

“History has shown that the worst genocides, killing entire members of indigenous communities, have been carried out by seeking to declare the ancestral territories of the people empty of native indigenous inhabitants.

“If people from other states and countries like Chad and Niger come to Kaduna and be given same rights as the (abolished) indigenes, will indigenes from Kaduna be given same rights as indigenes in Katsina, Oyo, Anambra, Borno or Plateau States?

“This isolation and targeted dehumanisation must be resisted by all people of goodwill within and outside Nigeria,” Akut said.

He said when the UN General Assembly voted in September 2007 in favor of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), it was passing a verdict against attacks on and abolition of indigenous peoples.

“We, therefore, join the global community in defense of indigenous peoples.

“Accordingly, we hereby state that the indigenous people of Kaduna state reject and condemn this move by Gov. el-Rufai.

“We call upon the international community to speak out against this attack on indigenous people of Kaduna.

“We also call upon all indigenes, non-indigenes and other residents of Kaduna state to totally reject the policy masked as ‘Residency Card Policy’.

Kaduna state government on Thursday April 11, 2019, abrogated the settler/indigene dichotomy and set up Kaduna Residents Registration Agency to execute the plan.

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