(L-R Femi Adi, SA Media to Gov El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, IMC, Jema’a LG, Dr. Bege Katuka and his Laura counterpart, Alex Musa at a joint press briefing in Kaduna on Thursday)
//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria//
Iterim Management Committee Chairmen of the troubled Jema’a and Kauru Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, Dr. Bege Katuka and Alex Musa Iya respectively have said their utmost priority is to ensure absolute peace returns to Southern Kaduna to pave way for much desire development and economy growth.
They also said that the state government under Governor Nasir El-Rufai has been making frantic efforts to ensure the region regains its distorted peace.
The LG bosses spoke on the heel of the recent outbursts of Senator Danjuma La’ah representing Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, that the state government has done nothing to stop killings in Southern Kaduna.
Specifically, Bege said, Godogodo Chiefdom was ab initio the most peaceful area in Southern Kaduna until 26th May, 2016 when rumoured killing of one Ango Bali, who is still alive, led to a mob attack against a Fulani settlement, where a Fulani leader was killed.
“Our people acted on unconfirmed information that Fulani herdsmen had attacked and killed Bali. But the said Bali is walking alive today. If our had verified and discovered that the man was not killed as peddled, we would not have been where we are today.
“Instead of verifying, our people went straight to Fulani settlement, unleashed terror on them, killed one of their leaders and set ablaze about 60 huts. So, this is what brought us to where we are today with its ripple effect, which has now escalated to so many communities. It has led to vengeance and reprisals.
“But, while we don’t want to join issues with any of our leaders, we are here to clarify and set the record straight that, the government is leaving no stone unturned to stop killings of our people. We are combining reconciliatory efforts with security actions to bring an end to the unfortunate crisis.
“Since 26th May, efforts have been made to put the past behind us. These are people who have been living together for over several decades base on trust.
“What we need at this point in time is for our leaders to join forces, irrespective of their political difference to address this problem head-on. We must avoid politicising security, at least for the sake of innocent people who are being killed,” they stressed.
The council chairmen however noted that the way forward to a peaceful Southern Kaduna is dialogue and genuine reconciliation.
They therefore extended hands of fellowship to all state and federal law makers of Southern Kaduna extraction join them in their efforts to bring back peace, without relating it to politics or religion.
“It is important for our leaders both at the state and national assemblies to come and support us in effort to restore peace and tranquility to our dear state especially, the affected communities in Southern Kaduna.
“The state government has been involved in all our reconciliation and dialogue moves. The government has invited all the affected and warring parties to meetings all in an efforts to to ensure peace in our communities.
“We are on ground, we know what we are doing and we enjoin others who love the region to come and join us to broker peace without relating it to politics or religion”, added Bege.