Senate probes Southern Kaduna killings
By Taiye Odewale
Senate yesterday resolved to carry out thorough investigation on killings that recently took place in Southern Kaduna which claimed over 800 lives.
It condemned the senseless killings allegedly carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District.
In a motion sponsored by Senator Danjuma La’ah (PDP, Kaduna South), the Senate noted that since 2011, various communities in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District of Kaduna state had been consistently attacked by herdsmen, resulting in deaths, injuries, loss of property and displacement of the communities.
He said since the December 23, 2016, communities of Ambam, Gaska, Dangoma, Tsonje, Pasankori, Gidan Waya and Farin Gada of Iama’a and Kaura local government area have been under serious attack by the herdsmen, resulting in several deaths, injuries, as well as wanton destruction of properties worth billions of naira.
“A total number of 808 persons were killed in 53 villages across the four local government areas in the affected areas, while 57 people were injured, farm produces estimated at N5.5 billion were destroyed and a total of 1, 422 houses and 16 churches were burnt during the attack.
“In the last one year, we have witnessed a harvest of killings by these marauding herdsmen with several cases of massacre in Agatu in Benue state, Uzo Uwani in Enugu state, with several attacks in Taraba, Delta and Edo states, to mention, but a few,” he said.
Saraki, in his earlier remarks on the crisis, said: “While we have our attention on the economy and are working with sweat on our brows to improve it for the betterment of our people, we cannot lose sight of the callous and growing circle of violence across the country, especially now in southern Kaduna.
“We condemn in totality to depravity being exhibited on the streets of Kafanchan. This Senate will not pay lip service to it neither will it sit idly by and watch innocent Nigerians being slaughtered on the basis of their religion, ethnic group or political persuasion. No, we will not stand aloof.
“Let me, therefore; use this opportunity to call on the leadership in the state to use its authority and constitutional mandate to bring to immediate halt the growing orgy of violence that has enveloped Southern Kaduna. This new theatre of conflict is one too many and must be nipped in the bud.
“We will ensure a thorough investigation is carried out to unravel the issues and advice government appropriately on the matter in order to ensure that all those found culpable are severely dealt with irrespective of who may be behind them.
“This will ensure there is no repeat of this madness and assure the people of Kaduna that injustice and impunity will not be allowed to triumph over our collective will to maintain our national unity and coherence.”
The Ad-hoc committee is, however, yet to be constituted.