By: Bomba Dauda
In a press statement signed by the national president of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, Comrade Jonathan Asake and issued to Gurara Accord, the group expressed dissatification over a purported letter written to the Interim Chairman, Kaura Local Government, Mr. Bege Katuka, by the Moro’a Traditional Council.
According to SOKAPU, Our decision to go public is predicated on two issues,” the group said. Adding, Firstly, there is a letter purportedly written by the Moro’a Traditional Council and addressed to the Chairman, Interim Management Committee of Kaura LGA, signed by one Joseph Y. Turman as Secretary of the Council.
In the letter, the traditional council drew the attention of the Chairman of the Local Government Council to what he described as the “incessant violent attacks between the Attakar and Fulani communities in Kaura Local Government Area.” In the same letter, the traditional council lamented what it refered as the “unending attacks and gruesome murders on both sides” involved in the conflict that has resulted in what the council described as “unprecedented influx of refugees in our Chiefdom, especially in Sabon Gari, Gizagwai and Zankan village areas of the Chiefdom, among others.”
Furthermore, the letter emphasized that Moro’a Traditional Council at its meeting held on Monday March 30, 2020 “resolved to advise you to immediately create an Internally Displaced Peoples Camp (IDPC), preferably in Attakar Chiefdom to enable the refugee return home. This is to forestall any breakdown of law and order within Moroa Chiefdom as there are strong rumors that we could be attacked, should the refugees remain in the Chiefdom.”
The letter concluded by “appealing to the Hon Chairman to put mechanisms in place to ensure the relocation of the refugees as an immediate one, as Moro’a Land seems to be sitting on a time bomb.”
In its reaction SOKAPU said, “It is a common knowledge and also going by the content of this letter, that there have been violent attacks between Attakar and Fulani who the Attakar have been long time host to on their ancestral lands in Kaura LGA. These recent violence has led to influx of refugees from trouble-proned Attakar Chiefdom into Moro’a Chiefdom where most of the fleeing refugees also have kinsmen. It is also very clear that the author of this letter feels threatened that Fulani attackers may invade Moro’a communities keeping Attakad refugees under the guise of ‘retaliation’ on the Attakad refugees there. The fear of the author of the letter is that Moroa may suffer collateral damage should such grim fear becomes a reality.
“More so, SOKAPU had gathered that a meeting was purportedly held in one of the district head’s house in Moro’a, where one Fulani Ardo who was in attendance, threatened that if the Attakar IDPs in Moro’a Chiefdom were not evicted, then the Moro’a People must blame themselves, should the Moroa eventually suffer the same fate with their Attakar IDP hosts in the eventuality of an attack. This probably explained why the author of this letter was in a hurry to ensure that Attakar refugees are relocated in a haste as requested in the letter. Yet, he did not mention what the Local Government Council should do with the Fulani refugees in Zankang, Moroa land, who also fled to safety with their Attakar hosts to Moroa land. Is he saying that the Moroa are happy and safe with the Fulani refugees than with their Moroa kinsmen?
“But as far as SOKAPU knows, the most revered traditional leader of Moroa, His Royal Highness, Dr. Tagwai Sambo is attending to his health and could not have been at the purported meeting. He could not have approved the expulsion of traumatised, displaced Attakar natives who share strong blood kinship with the Morao and once ruled over them until recently.
“Again, if the fear of the author of the letter was the average position of the host communities, such a letter should have come from the Moroa Development Association (MDA) – the independent Moroa pressure group and sociocultural association. But the MDA has affirmed that it was not consulted before the letter was written and issued.
“We have been reliably informed that the following are under detention on the orders of the police in the past 4 days.
They are: the Acting District Head of Zangan, His Highness Mr Peter Zango; the Attakar National Youth Leader, Mr Abin Moses Vincent; Village Head of Adu, Mr Adamu Bature and Village Head of Afan, Mr Ayuba Uyit.
“Also with the police are: Fulani Chairman of all the Ardo of Kaura LGA, also the Chairman, Meyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Laura LGA, Alhaji Hari and Fulani Ardo of Zankan, Alhaji Bala Mamuna.
“SOKAPU, as an umbrella organization of all ethic nationalities in Southern Kaduna, is deeply worried by these unfortunate developments, especially during these precarious moments of Coronavirus pandemic where persons all over the world are advised to remain at home and embrace social distancing. We fear greatly for the health of these leaders.
“More worrisome is that the detention of these leaders should not be allowed to increase the already tensed atmosphere in their communities at a time when peace and orderliness is most needed in country battling COVID-19.
“But if there is an established complainant and charges against them, they should duly be charged to court so that they can immediately pursue their bail, if granted, in order not to violate their fundamental human rights or expose them to further danger of COVID-19 infection.
“At this point, we appeal to the author and persons behind this letter calling for the relocation of Attakar IDPs from Moro’a to think twice about their action and know that we are all one, carrying the same cross and must embrace the virtue of being our brothers’ keeper, while resisting all attempts to divide and rule us as a people. Remember, our strength is in our unity.
“At this juncture, we wish to call on the government and relevant security organs to consider the Attakar axis as a serious security flashpoint and beef up more security presence in order to forestall further bloodshed resulting from attacks and reprisals in these areas.”