Southern Kaduna House of Representatives caucus of Kaduna State have organised a press conference on the persistent gruesome killings of natives, residents and citizens of the region. The federal lawmakers, said, “We are the representatives of all natives, residents and persons domiciled in Southern Kaduna, regardless of their colour, creed, race, religion, political ideology or ethnic nationality.”
They urged the people of their respective consttituents, saying, “We admonish all our constituents to be law abiding even in this challenging times. As elected representatives, we are the voice of all these categories of people, regardless of their ethnic group in the National Assembly. It is on their behalf that we condemn the raiding, killings, kidnappings of our people. These actions are unconstitutional, criminal, inhuman and highly condemnable. Therefore, it is necessary for all hands to be on deck to checkmate this ugly scourge within the ambits of the rule of law.”
Adding that, we are also using this opportunity to commensurate and express our condolence to all who have lost their loved ones and properties as a result of the attacks. it is our prayer that the Almighty God, who created Heavens and the Earth, will comfort the bereaved and help us as a nation to bring the perpetrators of this evil to justice and to end these unnecessary killings.
The Right to Life of every Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a constitutionally guaranteed right as encapsulated in Section 33(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and it provides ‘every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a Court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria’’.
The implication is that under the laws of our nation and indeed of all civilized nations, extra-judicial killings on any ground whatsoever is not just abominable, it is evil, unconstitutional, inhuman and a heinous crime. The Killings of the people of Southern Kaduna or anybody at all in Nigeria is highly condemnable and must be brought to an end.
This is because life is the essence of human existence and the protection of this right is a global concern. Hence, the Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR) 1948, which has now attained the status of customary international law, and its contents, has found its way into the Constitution of all civilized nations including Nigeria.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) is premised on the principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice and Section 14(2)(b) provides that the Security and Welfare of the People shall be the primary purpose of government and Section 17(2)(b) provides that in furtherance of the social order, the sanctity and dignity of the human person shall be protected and preserved by government. Section 17(3)(c) guarantees the health, safety and welfare of all persons. Thus, the primary objective of any government in Nigeria is to preserve the life and property of its citizenry, no matter their ethnic, religious or ideological differences. The inability of any government to secure the lives and property of its citizens or ensure their welfare implies failure of government.
It is no longer news, that the people of Southern Kaduna, have become preys in their fatherland, they have consistently been invaded, slaughtered in cold blood, raped, killed and their properties destroyed and pillaged in public glare. With little success in investigating and apprehending the perpetrators of the said attacks.
As representatives of the people, we have identified: herdsmen and farmer clashes; forceful land grabbing by non-natives of southern Kaduna; reprisal attacks; banditry; criminality as some of the major causes of the killings and hostilities in Southern Kaduna.
These problems can only be solved if the rule of law is allowed to take its full course. Rule of Law entails adherence to the principles of supremacy of the law over all citizens and subjects in Nigeria, equality of all citizens and subjects before the law.
While we note that these attacks are deeply rooted and multifaceted in nature, the failure to investigate arrest and prosecute the perpetrators has continued to embolden the attackers.
In these difficult times, statements by people in authority should serve to heal and unite the people, rather than inflaming passion and justifying the heinous acts.
As representatives of the people of Southern Kaduna, we hereby state unequivocally that the life of every citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, regardless of ethnic, religious or ideological differences must be protected as required under Section 14(2)(b) CFRN 1999(as amended).
We therefore condemn the armed attacks and killings of the people of Southern Kaduna by the armed militia groups or any group whatsoever no matter their motive and we condemn the justification of any attacks on our people or any reprisal attack.
The Federal Government as well as the State Government have both made efforts in the past to stem this ugly tide. Such efforts must be increased, it must be people centred, it must be more transparent and effective.
The People of Southern Kaduna should be vigilant and law abiding and avoid taking laws into their hands, regardless of any provocation. They should co-operate with law enforcement officers and report these miscreants when necessary.
We call for the arrest, investigation, prosecution and conviction where necessary of these attackers so that they can desist from unleashing mayhem on the people of Southern Kaduna.