• Says Govt Should Reconstruct Ravaged Communities, Rehabilitate Victims
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) Youth Wing has given conditions under which lasting peace could be guaranteed in the crisis-ridden communities while urging government to rebuild affected areas and rehabilitate victims of attacks and killings.
The youth wing’s officials listed communities and villages in Southern Kaduna affected by the bloody violence to comprise Jema’a, Jaba, Kagarko, Kachia, Sanga, Kaura, Kauru, Zangon Kataf, Lere, Kajuru and Chickun Local Government Areas, saying “the places have been ravaged by armed herdsmen’s criminal activities for years now.”
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, yesterday, its National Chairman, John Isaac, said natives affected by the negative impact of the attacks were not less than 900,000, while internally displaced persons (IDPs) stood at 100, 000.
He said: “We also recorded over 700 deaths and even more people severely injured or missing, with hundreds of millions worth of farm produce destroyed. These attacks have also resulted in extensive damage to social, economic, health, and market infrastructure, while numerous homes have been destroyed.”
He said unless the government commences a process of rebuilding ravaged communities and rehabilitation of people, the peace process would be built on falsehood.
Isaac said: “Many schools, hospitals, markets, and places of worship have been destroyed or closed. Communities have been completely abandoned, especially in parts of Chickun, Kajuru, and Zangon Kataf councils. While there is still a semblance of economic and agricultural activities in affected communities, the economy of most of such communities is on the verge of collapsing, as farmers, for fear of attacks, can no longer go to their farms.”
While commending the peace initiative of Kaduna State Government, he said: “We the Southern Kaduna Youths believe achieving tranquility in the region will require bringing an end to the killings, and the culprits brought to book. Government should effectively handle the humanitarian crisis and implementation of an effective reintegration and rebuilding, as well as the effective reconstruction of social and physical infrastructures across affected communities…”
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has disclosed that in the last five years, the state has spent billions to support, equip, and sustain federal security agencies to provide peace in the state.
El-Rufai, who said this, yesterday, observed that the resources could have been better used for investment and reduce the human and physical infrastructure deficits the state suffers.
While addressing 22 senior Christian and Muslim clerics at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, El-Rufai said the diversity of faith should not be a reason for division and violent conflicts.
The governor, on the occasion, inaugurated the House of Kaduna Family, a platform designed for leaders of faith to dialogue, interact and assume collective responsibility for messages that assist the faithful to live up to the highest ideals of their religions as peaceful, law-abiding citizens.