By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Barely 96hours after appealing to kaduna state Governor Mallam Nasir el-rufai to suspend the 24hours curfew imposed on Zango kataf and Kauru local government areas of southern Kaduna due to rise in hardship incurred on the rulal farmers by Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, the State government has extended the curfew and deployed more troops to the areas to enforced it
SOKAPU, the umbrella body of southern Kaduna natives, had in a press statement in 1st July 2020, stressed that, 97 percent of those affected by the 24hours curfew imposed on two of their local government areas are indigenous rulal farmers who are locked up without food and access to farming.
The body, in the release, also lamented that markets, churches and other rulal activities were adversely affected by the curfew, adding that SOKAPU office had been flooded with Save Our Soul, calls from the affected people as a result of hungry and starvation.
But rather than relaxing the 24hours curfew, the Kaduna State Government, extended the curfew indefinitely and deployed troops to Zango Kataf Local Government Area of the state, according to the statement credited to the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan.
‘The Kaduna State Government has deployed troops to Zango Kataf Local Government Area of the state as part of measures to find a permanent solution to the perennial crises that keep erupting in the area.
“Violent clashes broke out in the local council on June the 11 between Kataf, Hausa and Fulani communities that were reportedly having a dispute over ownership of farmlands, a situation which led to the loss of lives.
“Following the renewed conflict, the state government on June 12 imposed an indefinite curfew in Kauru and Zango Kataf Local Governments.
“The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan who visited the area to assess the situation, said extending the curfew is part of steps to manage the tension and restore calm”, it stated.
Earlier, a statement issued and signed by SOKAPU national public relations officer Mr. Luka Binniyat, and made available to journalists in Kaduna, stated that the 24hours curfew imposed on the areas as a result of murder of 32 years indigenous teacher over disputed farm land, does affect the Fulanis.
SOKAPU stated that “The two LGAs have now been under a rigid 24-hours curfew for 19 days and still counting.
According to the Union, “97% of those affected by this curfew are indigenous local farmers who are locked up without food or access to their farms. “Being predominantly Christains, it is now against the spirit of the curfew to attend church activities. Markets are shut and farming activities have come to a halt.
“SOKAPU is daily besieged by SOS calls from starving families. Those who have money in the banks cannot move out. Relieve cannot also reach them as all roads, especially in Atyap Chiefdom are shut”, they stated.
SOKAPU continued that “Yet, Zangon Kataf and Kauru LGAs are not in any form of crisis or conflict. Even in Kaduna town, there was no time that the town was under 24hr curfew for over a week during conflicts.
“Fulani herdsmen are hardly affected by curfews as they always quietly move away in their typical migratory patterns.
“This is not the first time that governor Nasir el-rufai of Kaduna state is meting out such a hurtful executive order of no security gains over Zangon Kataf LGA”, it stated.
SOKAPU in the earlier statement appealed to the government of Kaduna state to lift the curfew and eased the suffering of their people, and also called on the National Assembly, the Nigeria Human Rights Commission, opinion and religious leaders, good spirited persons and the international community to intervene in this matter.
It’ll be recalled that “On the 11th, June, 2020, Kaduna state government imposed a 24hrs curfew over Atyap and Chawai Chiefdoms in Zangon Kataf and Kauru LGAs of Kaduna state respectively”, SOKAPU stated. End