HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF SOUTHERN KADUNA
Kaduna State has 23 Local Government Areas and is divided into three Geo-political zones. The Northern, Central and Southern zones.
Southern Kaduna consist of eight (8) Local Government Areas namely:
- Sanga, and
- Zangon Kataf.
The area has about thirty (30) ethnic groups, among which include: Hausa-Fulanis, Jaba (Ham), Atyab (Kataf), Kadara (Adara), Bajju (Kaje) in addition to Nigerians from other part of the Country. The Muslims constitute about 40% while the Christians have 60% of the population. Most of the major towns in Southern Kaduna were founded by Hausa Fulani, eg: Zango, Kachia, Unguwan Rimi, Zankuwa, Kagarko, Jere and Jama’a (Kafanchan). Hausa Fulani were the largest single tribe in Southern Kaduna. In spite of this, they are always targets or victims of circumstances. Some of the upheavals experienced over the years include, in chronological order:-
- Kasuwan Magani crisis of 1981
- Gure-Kahugu crisis of 1984
- Yarkasuwa crisis in 1986
- Kafanchan criss of 1987
- Zangon Kataf crisis of 1992
- Kafanchan Shiate criss of 1996
- Issuance of staff of office to the Emir of Jema’a Crisis in 1999
- The Sharia Riots of 2000
- Bajju-Ikulu crisis of 2001
- The Kidache in Chawai Chiefdom violence of 2010; and
- The 2011 Post-Election Violence which led to the killings of over 2,000 persons, many of them trans-human Fulani herdsmen that were unfortunately returning to neighbouring countries, and happened to be passing through Kaduna State.
This metamorphosed into subsequent skirmishes and recent conflicts such as the:
(a) alleged destruction of Kafanchan Praying Ground in 2013;
(b) alleged killing of an Okada rider in Kafanchan in 2013;
(c) conflict over Eid Praying Ground in Kachia 2014;
(d) attacks in Ninte (Godogodo) in 2016;
(e) Kafanchan Demonstration and subsequent attack on the Governor’s convoy, in 2016;
(f) attacks in Goska in 2016;
(g) attack of His Highness the Emir of Jama’a at Samaru Kataf, 2016;
(h) the Kasuwan Magani crises of 26th February, 2018, 18th October, 2018 in Kajuru Local Government Area which has continued to linger; and
(i) most recently in 2020, Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Kaura and Jema’a Local Government Areas which have continued to cause conflict and exacerbate the circle of attacks and counter attacks.
In the light of the above, we wish to inform the whole world on the untoldprompted the recent ugly situation in the area. 1. INDIGENE SETTLERS DICHOTOMY The Muslims were always referred to as settlers, while it is historically on record that Southern Kaduna was founded by Fulani tribe called KACHECHERE. It is important to note that by immigration the tribes in Southern Kaduna migrated from other part of the Country. (Some came in the morning, some in the afternoon and others in the evening).For instance, the Bajju or Kaje migrated from Bauchi; Atyap (Kataf) migrated from Kargi – the East part of Zaria; Kaninkon and Kagoma from Taraba; Jaba and Koro from Kano etc.
It is also on record that, the ancient town of Kauru and Kajuru were as old as Zaria city founded by Hausa-Fulani. While Jema’a emirate was founded by the Hausa-Fulani in 1810. Note that Zango town which was also founded by Hausa-Fulanis has been in existence right from West African Trans-Sahara trade. Kagarko and Jere were also founded by the Hausa-Fulanis as well as Kachia.
We hereby debunk the claims of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) of its personal interest that its members are the only indigenes of Southern Kaduna. Happily, the constitution of the country is seriously against the indigene/settler dichotomy.
2. MOUNTING ILLEGAL ROAD BLOCKS
We wish to call the attention of the Federal and Kaduna State Government on the illegal roadblocks being mounted by the armed youth with the aim of identifying Muslim brothers and sisters at different locations in Southern Kaduna for attack irrespective of tribe. For instance:
a. Gambo Magaji (Mechanic) was attacked in Zonkwa on 20th July, 2020.
b. Saleh Adamu aged 26 was attacked and killed at Unguwan Katsit, Kafanchan on Wednesday 22nd July 2020.
c. Sulaiman Ado Jagindi was also attacked on his way to Kafanchan at Maraban Kagoro on Wednesday 22nd, July, 2020 around 4:00pm.
d. Imrana Yahaya and Muhammadu (Modu) were attacked and killed at Tum.
e. Musa Sallau (Secretary to the District Head of Dangoma) was attacked and killed at Takau I, on the same Wednesday 22nd July, 2020.
f. Muhammad Gidado was shot while rearing his cattle at Unguwan Masara, Kafanchan,
We want to put it on record, the Muslims living in towns and Villages of Southern Kaduna constitute about 40% of the population have never, ever mounted any illegal roadblocks or moved out their areas to lunch any form or kind of attack to Non-Muslims in their neighbourhood respectively.
3. RUMOUR MONGERING
On the 11th of June, 2020 an unfounded rumour circulated that, the Muslims killed one Chawai man, and without verifying the Christian militia went on rampage killings and burning Fulani settlements spontaneously, which also led to the attack and killing of one Sale Adamu on baseless rumour. It is also observed that, whenever there is a rumour on any form of crisis in the area, illegal roadblocks are mounted to ambush innocent Muslims on transit.
4. LOPSIDED ACTION BY SOUTHERN KADUNA ELDERS
It is also very disheartening that, whenever Muslim Communities in Southern Kaduna are attacked and killed, the Christian Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders and Political Elites keep mute or even ignore the crime as if Muslim lives are valueless but on the contrary, if a slightest provocation on their anointed people by unknown person receive exaggerated comments, press conferences, protests and submission at the State and National Assemblies.
APRIL, 2011 GENOCIDE
In all the crisis in Southern Kaduna from 1980 to date, the most horrendous of this was the April 2011 post-election violence, it is the part that the unwarranted categorization of Christians as indigenes (sons and daughters of the soil) and Muslims as settlers or the generic but unwholesome categorization of Southern Kaduna as a Christian enclave had all being factored to deny Muslim Communities deserving affirmative Citizenship and political rights all over the World. Ancestral origin has never being used as a criteria for Social, Human and Democratic rights as is being promoted by the elites of Southern Kaduna. The Hausa-Fulani people have been known to have established permanent settlement in the region since time immemorial, sparing over centuries.
We wish to remind the World that, 2011 Post Election violence was planned to eliminate the Muslims in Southern Kaduna area. We cannot easily forget the genocide that took place in Zonkwa, Unguwan rimi, Matsirga, Kagoro, Madakiya, Kasuwan magani, Kachia, Gidan maga, Kwoi, Kafanchan, Maraban Rido, Gwanin gora, Chawai etc. it is sad to Note that thousands of Muslims were killed and massacred in cold bloods at Southern Kaduna.
- POLITICIZING THE SECURITY
We also want the world to note that the security challenge in Southern Kaduna is age long with recent phase dating to about forty years since the Regime of Alhaji Balarabe Musa. Contrary to the outright lies and blatant falsehood peddled by SOKAPU blaming the Federal and State Governments over the crises for reasons based known to them.
We observe the followings:
a. The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) instead of being the mouthpiece of people living in Southern Kaduna irrespective of Religion or Ethnic affiliation has become unfortunately a political watch dog of only the Christian of Southern Kaduna. This is an irony of history.
b. The banditry attacks currently ravaging the Country, is a National Security threat that is affecting both Muslims and Christians. Eg: Kerawa in Igabi LGA where 64 people were killed and many were rendered homeless; Birnin Gwari where hundreds of innocent lives were lost, many became refugees, houses and livestock were equally lost; Chikun, Kajuru, Giwa, Zango, Kaura, Kauru are some of the local Government areas affected by the activities of these bandits. While neighbouring States like Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto are also victim of these atrocities.
c. The Kaduna State House of Assembly to pass a law that will stop calling Hausa-Fulani as settlers in Southern Kaduna.
d. We appeal to the Government to create Chiefdoms for the following Hausa-Fulani settlements, namely: Kasuwan Magani, Kachia, and Zango Urban, that will go a long way in promoting the well-being of the people and given them sense of belonging.
It is the responsibility of any Government to ensure that the lives and properties of people are protected. We therefore call on the Governments at all levels to live up to their expectations and respond quickly to dismantle any roadblocks and halt any attack against passer-by.
The sponsors and perpetrators of these killings should be traced and be brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.
Political elites, Religious leaders and Elders of Southern Kaduna should stop playing politics with the lives and properties of the Muslims in Southern Kaduna.
We commend and support the effort by the Kaduna State to draft a white paper on the two reports of committees of enquiry and reconciliation on Zangon Kataf crisis of 1992. This gestures should be extended to other reports of inquiries set up by previous Governments.
We also appreciate the effort of Kaduna State Government for being proactive and respond to attacks (the Governor chase bandits along Kaduna –Abuja road as an example).
We strongly want to further appreciate and commend the effort of His Excellency, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai for his quick and immediate intervention in any form of crisis. Eg: facilitation of Army and Mopol barracks in Southern Kaduna.
We commend the interview with Channels Television rendered by the former Deputy Governor, His Excellency Barnabas Yusuf Bala Bantex for speaking the truth about the crisis in Southern Kaduna and being very objective and categorically condemn the idea and negative perception of Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya and Honourable Asake.
We equally salute the courage of all peace loving sons and daughters of Southern Kaduna in particular and the State in General.
May God bless Kaduna State, may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.