By Suleiman Umaru
In spite of Farouk Yahaya, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, COAS, promise to take the battle to the Bandits Camp in the north wesernt states of Zamfara, described as a home of the Bandits, Kaduna and Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General home state, armed herdsmen, which has been the major problem of Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, has become a major threat in Kaduna state, to further compound the insecurity situation in the state.
The Value News online Magazine findings shows that in the last couple of weeks a number of villages in Zagon Kataf and Kauru, Local Government Areas of the north west state, have been attacked by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen, leading to the escape of over a thousand residents from the affected Communities to the internally Displaced People, IDP’s Camps and other areas, where their security could be guaranteed in the state and neighbouring Plateau state.
. The situation was so bad in the two Local government Areas that neither the troops nor Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, men, have an answer to the attacks as many of the villagers were said to have relocated to Kagoro, Kanfachan and neigbouring Jos, Capital of the north central state of Plateau state to escape the attacks.
Luka Binniyat, spokesperson of the Southern Kaduna, People’s Union, SOKPU, who could not hide his feelings shad described Nasir El-rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, , during Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency and now governor of the state attitude in handling of the crisis perpetrated by the a suspected armed herdsmen in the two flashpoint Local government Areas very unimpressive.
An aggrieved Binniyat, noted that the Humanitarian crisis caused by the suspected armed herdsmen attack on the two Local Government Areas may not have bordered El-rufai, the state governor, let alone offer assistance to the people or alert the Army, in order strengthen the security situation because of his attitude towards the people.
Although, the SOKPU, spokesperson, had said that in the one week of the armed Herdsmen siege in the two Local Government Areas of the Late Balarabe Musa, home state, 32 people were killed and four villages , sacked, but the Channels Television , reported that five people killed.
The Channels Television report was said to have been confirmed by Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner of Home Affairs. The Commissioner who was said to have provided an insight into the armed Herdsmen attack on the Zangon Kataf and Kauru Local Government Areas Communities had said that those killed were around the Maduachi Forest. However, he disclosed one person was killed in Kurmin-Masara village, along Bakin Kogi in Atyap Chiefdom.
Residents also said the armed Herdsmen attacked the Jankasa General Area Ground-, which is the boundary between Zagon Kataf and Kauru , Local Government Areas, and killed a man in his fam. There are indications that the assailants extended their attacks to Ungwan Rana in Zonzon District and killed one other person at Ungwan Gaiya village.
Many believe that both for the quick intervention of Operation Safe Haven and Police Tactical Squad, who were said to have responded to a distress, the attack could have spread to other neighbouring Local Government Areas to Zagon Kataf and Kauru in the state, which may further deepened the crisis.
A security expert who spoke to the Magazine on condition of anonymity, disclosed that El-rufai, the Kaduna state governor may not have taken immediate action to ascertain the level of damages in the two Local government Areas attacked because of his believe that the attackers are Bandits because of the government refusal ‘’to Negotiate with them in order to pay ransom to secure the release of abducted persons including AlHassan Adamu , 83 year-old, Emir of Kajuru, in Kajuru, Local Government Area and 13 members of his family including the Emir of Jaba Chiefdom in Jaba Local Fovernment Area. The Bandits had demanded for N200 million ransom to release the Emir of Kajuru and N100 million on the Head of the Emir of Jaba Chiefdom.
The Kaduna state governor may have told those that cares to listen that ‘’the Bandits and their Leaders have decided Collectively to target the state because of the position of his government never to Negotiate with Criminal elements to pay them Taxpayers money’’. He was said to have made it clear to those coming to Kaduna for Banditry, in the guise of Herdsmen or involved in Kidnapping that they ‘’will most likely end up dead ‘’.
While residents of Zango Kataf and Kauru, Local Government Areas in Kaduna state are crying out over the repeated attacks by suspected Armed Herdsmen attack, the situation in Bassa, one of the flashpoints Local Government Areas in Plateau state for such attacks are back on the news.
Ronku Aka, a Clergyman and Bra Ngwe Irigwe of Irigwe, ethnic Nationality, had said that the soldiers deployed to the ccene watched ‘’as residents of his Community and other neighbouring Communities were attacked and killed by the armed Herdsmen during a recent attack of the Bassa Local Government Area.
He had alluded to the fact that the soldiers could not do anything because they had claimed that they did not have any instruction to make arrest from their Commander to stop the attack. The aggrieved Monarch , may have opened up when Gideon Para-Mallam, a Cleric and President of Para-Mallam, Peace Foundation , a Non- Governmental Organisation and other officials of the Foundation visited his Palace in Miango, on Saturday, August 7, 2021.
The Paramount Ruler believes that the insecurity situation in the state may be getting worse on a daily basis because the governor, who was supposed to be the Chief Security officer of the state was helpless as he could not give orders the Army Chief or the Police Commissioner in the state to deploy their men to a troubled Local government Area in the state without the approval of Yahaya, a Lt. General and COAS or the IGP, who must give the final order.
The Plateau state Monarch may have sent a message to residents of Zangon Kataf and Kauru, Local Government Areas , in Kaduna state, running away from suspected armed Herdsmen attacks in their villages to Jos, that the state may not be safe for them for now because of the recurring armed Herdsmen attacks.
Security experts believe that the frequent attacks by the suspected arms Herdsmen, in different parts of the country could be stopped if only the Leadership of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, could step in to call their members to order.
MACBAN, which has been an Advocacy Group for the Fulani Herders for decades, have its Headquarters in Kaduna. Note that the Association is involved in liaising with the government both at the state and Federal level, on behalf of members, land use rights, Nomadic Education, and Conflict resolution, between the Pastoralists and farmers.
Indeed, the continued involvement by the Herders in Banditry activities in Benue and other parts of the country including Kaduna state and the failure of the MACBAN, Leadership to control the Herders may have informed why there have been calls on the Katsnina state born Nigerian President to declare it as a Terrorist Group just as the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, have been labeled as a Terrorist Group. The call which is coming mostly from the southern part of the country may have been ignored by the Nigerian President on the ground that they are Pastoralists, were not into any Criminal activities.
It is on record that at different times the duo, Buhari, and former President Goodluck Jonathan, from the south-south state of Bayelsa, had at different times served as Patron of MACBAN. At present, Sa’ad Abubakar, a retired Brigadier General and Sultan of Sokoto, is the Patron.
It is not surprising why Nigerians believe that the Daura born Politician and Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, particular, have a major role to play to bring the Banditry activities of the Herders which have resulted in killing and slaughtering innocent people in different parts of the country under control.