Ben Agande, Kaduna.
The Adara Development Association (ADA), the community where the state government said 66 persons were killed on the eve of the postponed presidential election has raised alarm that the state government has embarked on the arrest of its prominent citizens in order to frame them up.
In a statement issued Sunday evening in Kaduna, the association accused the governor of pitching the communities in the state against each other for political gains.
The statement signed by Barrister Luke Godwin Waziri, secretary of the association urged the governor to act like a father and not to provoke tension in the state.
The statement reads:
“On Friday 15th February 2019, on the eve of what would have been our national elections, we watched with shock the governor granting an interview that 66 people were allegedly killed in Kajuru, Kaduna state. The governor went ahead to list the number of villages that were attacked but deliberately excluded Ungwan Barde where our people were killed. He also gave the gender statistics of those allegedly killed and the tribe of the victims but again mischievously left out the 11 Adara people who were killed.
“He insinuated that the incident happened on the eve of the election. But the truth is that the incident took place between Sunday 10th February, to Tuesday 12 February 2019 in Ungwar Barde in Kufana District, where 11 innocent Adara people were earlier killed without any provocation.
“The district head of Kufana wrote an official report to the police about the incident. The member representing Kajuru in the Kaduna State House of Assembly also informed the government about the incident. Even the chairman of the Local government, Cafra Caino was also aware of the incident. But to our greatest surprise, the chairman did not take steps to set the records straight when lies were being spread against the people he leads.
“After the incidents, the communities that were affected even came together and started the process of reconciliation amongst themselves. Through all these, nothing was heard from the government, nothing was said by the government and nothing was done. None of the affected community was even visited by him.
“We were shell shocked when on Friday the governor issued a statement about killings days after the dust had settled and the people themselves were working to understand the incident in order to find measures to address it.
“To further complicate matters, media houses kept reporting it as ‘Breaking News’. It is really incredulous that the eve of the election was the most appropriate time the governor found to disclose the attacks, give the ‘specific number’ of those allegedly killed, the ethnic group they belong and the names of the villages affected. There could never have been a clearer attempt by the governor to instigate crisis than this malicious, insensitive and incendiary strategy.
“The Governor did not stop there. He went up on different TV houses and newspapers on the issue as one heralding news – still giving a one-sided version and intermittently spicing it with the word ‘reprisal’ at a time when he ought to have been putting finishing touches to his candidacy for elections that would have held in hours. It is not hard to see what such theatric was intended to achieve.
“This completely lends credence to everyone’s belief that the governor is seriously working toward instigating a crisis in our land and Kaduna state for his own deadly benefit. But we in Adara land have resolutely decided that no amount of blatant provocation would make us to lose our calm. Our peaceful disposition is legendary and we will continue with that.
“Faced with mounting pressure to prove his allegations of ‘66 killed’, the governor hurriedly visited some few places but ensures that the District head of Kufana, Mr Dauda Titus and the National President of the Adara Development Association, Mr Dio Maisamari were quickly arrested and locked up for the duration that he visited. The reasons are just too obvious! The District Head was released only when the governor had concluded his visit while Mr Dio is still being held by the Police.
“We invite the world’s attention to the serious and indiscriminate arrest of our people and chiefs. Many of them have been arrested for just no reason and without due process. We call for their immediate release and demand that Governor Nasir El-Rufai desists from making life difficult for our people with his arbitrary, divisive and incendiary use of power.
“We want to place on record before the whole world that El- rufai is working assiduously to instigate a crisis in Kaduna for his own political gain, and that should crisis break out, local and international observers should know who to hold responsible” the statement concluded.