By Biodun Busari
The Kaduna state governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Jonathan Asake, has said that residents of no fewer than 148 communities in Southern Kaduna have been displaced by bandits.
Asake, the erstwhile President of Southern Kaduna People Union (SOKAPU) also disclosed that he had been visiting the communities destroyed and plundered by bandits in the state since he assumed office in September 2019 until he resigned in July 2022.
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He said these in an exclusive interview with Vanguard on Monday in reaction to a comment by Governor Nasir El-Rufai that bandits have formed a parallel government in the state.
The former SOKAPU president added that 80% of Kaduna residents in Chikun local government have been banished by the terrorists and forced into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
Asake said, “Ever since I became the president of SOKAPU from November 2019 until I resigned last month, all we have been doing in SOKAPU is visiting communities ravaged by these insecurities.
“And to visit people that have been displaced by people from their communities into IDP camps. And we have been crying all along that our people are being attacked. The people of Kaduna state are being attacked in their various communities.
“At the last count, we have nothing less than 148 communities that were displaced in Southern Kaduna alone, not to talk of other parts in Kaduna like Igabi local government.
“We have continued to cry out how these terrorists called bandits have forced members of our communities into IDP camps. Over 80% of Chikun local government have been displaced.”
Asake accused the state government of living in self-denial of the reality when SOKAPU had first raised the alarm.
He continued, “When we first cried out that these terrorists have displaced our people and formed a parallel government, the government denied it.
“But now he made a confession that indeed that they have formed a parallel government. The chicken has come home to roost.”