Southern Kaduna killings: We didn’t pay herdsmen – El-Rufai’s deputy clarifies
//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna, N/w Nigeria//
Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Yusuf Bala while featuring on Channels Television breakfast show on Tuesday has again denied any form of payment to foreign Fulani herdsmen to stop the killings in Southern part of the state as reported in some media (not gobroadsheet).
There has been wide critism and confmmation as regarding the El-Rufai’s alleged payment of foreign Fulani herdsmen so they van stop killings in the region. Recall also that Special Assistant to the governor on media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan had earlier refuted that same report that his principal was misrepresented.
The number two citizen in the state explained that the security challenges occurring in the southern part of the state was inherited by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration, saying peace across board tops the priority list of El-Rufai’s administration.
He said, “security situation in Kaduna State varies from Northern to Southern part of the state. My community, Manchok and other Moro’a villages and Attakar Community lost hundreds of persons to this kind of skirmishes in 2014”.
The deputy governor described the false information being peddled on the media that State government paid some Fulani herdsmen to stop killings in Southern Kaduna as highly ridiculous.
According to him, what the governor did was that he set up a committee of indigenous Fulani in the area affected by the attacks to reach out to victims of the 2011 post-election violence to plead with them to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance.
He frowned at the generalization of the attacks on the entire Southern Kaduna instead of the affected communities as the case may be.
The deputy governor expressed concern over the attacks on the affected communities in the area but noted that government was doing its best to ensure a lasting peace in Southern Kaduna: “Nobody is happy with the killings in the state; we are working tirelessly to end the attacks. No price is too high to pay to secure a life”
He further stated that Government planned as last resort full military option where dialogue fails to stamp out the criminal elements in the region.
Bala attributed the difficulties in nipping the attacks by herdsmen to the ECOWAS treaty which guarantees free movement to member states.