The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has alleged that there is ethnic and cleansing with the killing of over 102 Christians in Godogodo and Gidan Waya communities in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State by Fulani herdsmen.
The umbrella Christian religious organization also said that 50,000 houses have been burnt in 25 Christian communities, where as 102 people have been killed and 215 injured in Kaduna State within six months by the herdsmen.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja today, as he received representatives of the 25 villages displaced by the crisis rocking Southern Kaduna, the President of CAN, Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, said the killings amounted to ethnic and religious cleansing.
According to Ayokunle, Christians in those communities in Southern Kaduna have been facing the dangers of annihilation, extinction and genocide because of the threats of attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
“Many of them can no longer live in their communities, 32 people were recently given mass burial. Whoever is killed, whether Christian or Muslim, deserve not to be killed in this country.”
Ayokunle wondered why Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, who is the chief security officer of Kaduna State, would visit the two communities only once despite the fact that many houses were burnt and three villages were taken over by the gun-wielding Fulani militants.
“Is this not Boko Haram in another colour? I want to plead with the government; this is a moment of truth. It is not about politics, religion or ethnicity. It is about the value that is attached to life.
“To keep Nigeria as one is first the task of government before it becomes the task of the citizens. Ethnic and religious cleansing should stop henceforth. Every systematic killing should stop.
“We know the President is trying but that is not enough. You have to do more to save these innocent lives. We are appealing to the Federal Government and Governor El-Rufai, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to do their work and let us see and not rhetoric. Killings in those communities have continued up till now. Let us not forget that an invitation to aggression depends on the degree of frustration.”
The Secretary of CAN in Godogodo Zone, Rev. Chawangon Nathan, said that the problem which started on May 26, 2016 had degenerated to uncontrollable crisis due to the non-challant attitude of those in authority.
According to Nathan, not less than 25 villages in Southern Kaduna had been brought down by the Fulani herdsmen, who he said media unfortunately described as unknown gunmen.
He added that despite knowing the culprits, the security operatives refused to arrest them.
Nathan said: “Over 102 people have so far been killed with about 215 sustained various degree of injuries. 50, 000 houses burnt in 25 villages, over 10, 000 displaced and over 30, 000 hectares of land destroyed deliberately by Fulani herdsmen within six months.
“The governor visited only one village once and the impact of that visit is not felt up till today. There is religious sentiment among the security operatives.” [myad]