•We must punish perpetrators of S/ Kaduna killings —el-Rufai
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo has said that drastic measures were needed to stop the lingering crisis in Southern Kaduna, saying that the crisis has the capacity of consuming everyone if not halted.
To realize the objective, Osinbajo said that a process of reconciliation and peace building has to commence where every aggrieved individual or group would be listened to before bringing all the parties together.
The Acting president spoke in Kaduna yesterday where he had gone to inspect the level of work at the Kaduna airport where air traffic had been diverted to ahead of the closure of Nnamdi Azikwe International airport, Abuja next week.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting which fell on the sidelines of his visit, Osinabjo stated that the mindless killings, violence and the spread of hate were not panaceas to the problems on the ground.
The Acting President however emphatically told the gathering which had the State Governor Nasir Ahmad El- Rufai, representatives of the religious bodies, traditional institutions and ethnic groups as well representatives of Fulani community in attendance that there were no quick fixes to the problems as the enmity and the hatred had permeated.
Revealing that he had been briefed, accompanied with different reports he had read on the matter, the Nigerian leader said he was still studying the issues to enable him broker a lasting solution.
He said: “I will like to begin a discussion on the very terrible crisis that has gone on for a while in Southern Kaduna. Let me say first that there is no question at all that many have suffered, families have lost loved ones, a lot of blood-letting has taken place in Southern Kaduna in the past few weeks and I want to express my sincere condolence to all of those who have lost families and friends and who have been traumatized by the terrible things that have been going on in Southern Kaduna in the past few months.
“But I must say there’s no question whatsoever that violence would never stop any of the problems we are experiencing today, there’s no way we will resolve it that way. On this matter I have read documents; quite a few of the reports, as a matter of fact, I have tried very hard to study the crisis in Southern Kaduna, personally, I have read quite a few documents including reports of past crises.
Recently, I have taken briefings from the service chiefs a couple of days ago on what is going and since I got in today, I am also taking briefing from some of the senior officials of the armed forces and state security.
“And I want to say that I don’t want us to be in a hurry, I am certainly not in a hurry because I don’t believe that a crisis where there is so much blood letting and hatred over the years can be resolved by a couple of meetings. No, I don’t believe that is possible.
“I have talked to his Excellency the governor, that what I would like to achieve is not a quick fix but I want us to begin a process and I want to be a part of that process that will listen to each group separately and then get everyone together.
The Acting president however promised to convene meetings with representatives of CAN, JNI, MACBAN and other stakeholders separately.
Fielding questions from journalists earlier on the diversion of air traffic to Kaduna, Osinabjo said that all stakeholders had been duly sensitized.
He said, “We are here to inspect the progress of work at Kaduna Airport because we deserve the temporal substitute for Abuja airport for both local and international flights.
In his opening remarks, Governor el-Rufai vowed to bring the the instigators and perpetrators of the killings in the last 37 years to justice.
He revealed that some suspected individuals were not invited to the meeting so as no to give them a clean bill of health.
“Ladies and gentlemen that we invited here, I will like to say that you are here on the invitation of the Vice President.
There are some who were not invited for the reasons that they know, because we suspect they are behind some of these problems and we do not intend as state government to give legitimacy to anyone under investigation for being behind some of these problems”, he said.
Also speaking, the CAN Chairman, Bishop George Dodo, Agwan Atakad, representative of the JNI, Alhaji Sanusi Maikudi and National Assistant Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Ibrahim Abdullahi put the violence squarely on 2011 post-election crisis even as they tried to proffer solutions.
While CAN chairman, Rev. George Dodo lamented that those behind the arrest were yet to be arrested, the Representative of JNI in Kaduna State, Alhaji Sanusi Maikudi said that failure to act on the recommendations of commissions of inquiry was also fueling the crisis.