Nigeria

Nigerian government urged to declare bandits, armed herdsmen, kidnappers as terrorists

However, speaking in a telephone interview with newmen during the weekend, SOKAPU’s president, Jonathan Asake, said his group “is not positive” towards the prospects of the peace-building efforts.

The Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has called on the Federal Government to immediately declare bandits, armed herdsmen and kidnappers as terrorists given their devastating activities of killings and destruction of properties across the country.

The president of the union, Hon. Jonathan Asake, stated this while addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, saying the activities of bandits have taken a more worrisome dimension with the destruction of farmlands.

“We call on the Federal Government to immediately declare these armed Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers, bandits or whatever name they parade as terrorists,” he said.

SOKAPU stressed that there seemed to be a recurring vicious circle of violence meted on Southern Kaduna communities, which always coincides with the commencement of the raining season, and has often culminated into massive destruction of lives and property, including displacement of thousands of people.

The union recalled that “last year 2020 when the raining season commenced in May, there were massive onslaughts of genocidal proportion across Southern Kaduna communities, particularly in Chikun, Kajuru, Kachia, Kaura, Kauru, Sanga, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf LGAs. These assaults left in their trail death, destruction and displacements, with a huge humanitarian crisis.

“Again, this year, with the commencement of another raining season, the onslaughts have resumed which coincides with the period when our farming communities need to be on their farms.

“With particular reference are the recent attacks on communities in Zangon Kataf LGA where no fewer than 100 persons have been massacred within seven days, 12 villages completely decimated and over 90 percent of Atyap land deserted by inhabitants over fears of frightening uncertainties.

“It is sadly unbelievable that 10 days after these massacres and displacement in our communities, from all observable indices, there appears to be a conspiracy of silence or a deliberate attempt by the government to downplay the severity of the atrocities and genocides being perpetrated by these attackers across our communities.

“In conclusion, let me state here for the umpteenth time loud and clear, that whoever comes to our communities, either as individual or group, to kill, maim, rape, destroy and displace our people and take over our homelands, no matter how long it takes, every square inch of our lands will be recovered by our generation or future generations,” Asake reiterated.

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