Kajuru killings: Middle Belt Forum seeks release of Adara leaders

Women lamenting the killing of loved ones
Women lamenting the killing of loved ones

By Ikenna Uwadileke

The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the series of attacks in Adara community in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna.

The National President of the forum, Dr Bitrus Pogu, who made the call during a press conference in Abuja, also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of nine Adara leaders, who are presently in detention over allegations of conspiracy and homicide.

He expressed worry that circumstances surrounding the abduction and assassination of the Paramount Chief of Adara, Agom Galadima had not been investigated.

According to him, the police are yet to conclude investigation on the killing of the paramount ruler in spite the parading of some suspects November 2018.

Pogu urged the Federal Government to ensure that the pre-2015 status of all traditional institutions in Kaduna be maintained.

He said: “communities in the middle belt region seem to be suffering from a deliberate agenda poised at dispossessing the natives of their ancestral lands.

“While local Fulani herdsmen known to the area continue to live in peace with native communities, armed herdsmen militia have continued to visit communities with deaths and massive destructions without attempt by security forces to apprehend and prosecute them.

“We call on the international community to mount pressure on Governor Nasir el-Rufai and other relevant authorities in Nigeria to stop the killing of innocent men, women and children by deploying adequate security personnel to ensure quick restoration of peace to the besieged communities.

“The attention of both the state and Federal Government is hereby sought to tackle the food, medication and shelter needs of displaced persons located in various camps and hospitals.

“We also call on the Federal Government to set up a commission of inquiry to probe the alleged killings of Fulani as alleged by el-Rufai,” Pogu said.

He said that Adara natives have continued to state their innocence over Governor Nasir El-rufai‘s claim which has continued to be the reason for the killings.

He accused the governor of instigating the current bloodshed by alleging that Fulani had been killed by Adara people.

“With the announcement by the governor, the stage was set for reprisals that would later turn the entire area into a flowing stream of endless human butcheries.

“Up till now, the allegation that 66 Fulani were killed is still unproven and unsubstantiated.

“Considering the wave of massacres across the Adara communities in Kajuru and Kachia Local Government Areas, and observing the silence by El-rufai, it is obvious that he incited the current bloodshed.

“This is when he alleged that Fulani had been killed by Adara natives without any shred of evidence or proof,” Pogu said.

He noted that the release of leaders of victim communities, including the Wazirin Adara would go a long in ensuring that peace returned in the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that gunmen had attacked two communities in the troubled local government area in the early hours of March 11 and left in their wake a yet-to-be ascertained number of casualties.

The attacks occurred in Ikirimi village, as well as Iri, Dogon Noma in Ungwar Gamo, both in Kajuru.

The March 11 attacks came a day after a similar onslaught left 16 people dead in Ungwar Barde, the village where the violent attacks started on Feb. 10.

This was followed by the detention of nine Adara leaders, including Bawa Magaji, the Wazirin Adara.

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