By Joseph Danlami Bagobiri
(Continue from yesterday)
In all these we have watched with pains and patience for about two years now how government in the state is being managed as a personal estate in a way that excludes many stakeholders from the state.
We want to state emphatically that Kaduna State is for all of us, regardless of political, ethnic and religious affiliations. Therefore, the governor should stop running it as his personal establishment. Kaduna State is the only state that we can call our own.
And because Kaduna State is our state, we are contributing significantly for its progress not only on the spiritual level, but also our works in the areas of education, medical care, social uplift and building of capacities of the people. Government must recognize us as equal stakeholders in the management and running of the affairs of the state. We will not accept being treated as aliens in our state.
Those that divine providence have entrusted with the chilling responsibility of governing the State politically must govern justly and in a manner that includes not one that excludes other segments of the State.
We therefore ask for Good Governance in Kaduna State that will include the following:
- That those who take up the mantle of leadership will see the whole state as their Constituency and so should devout themselves conscientiously to ensure Justice and fairness for all irrespective of Religious, ethnic and political considerations.
- That they will work hard to ensure equitable distribution of political offices among adherents of the two main religions in the State.
- That they will see to it that in the application and use of resources that had accrued to the state and the siting or locating of developmental projects and services for the improvement of the quality of life of the people, that due regard is given to the North/South divide in the state and that no part of the state is placed in a disadvantaged position.
- That the delineation of constituencies and siting of polling units which was arbitrarily and fraudulently carried out in the past to ensure rigging from the source in favor of one section and religion in Kaduna State must be revisited and corrected using both the geographical and numeric data that were ignored when the current policy was foisted on the people.
- We also demand that giving the destruction that has taken place in Southern Kaduna in terms of loss of lives and properties, that the policy of reconstruction and rehabilitation undertaken by the Federal Government in respect of the North East and some parts of Plateau and Kano State must be extended to Southern Kaduna not as a concession but an entitlement. We ask that a bill for this be presented at both State and National Legislative assemblies.
- That they will see to it that the success achieved so far in the promotion of a culture of Religious and ethnic harmony in the State by the Makarfi and other past administrations in the State are not only sustained but further built upon and strengthened.
The Spate of persecution of Christians in Northern Nigeria
Christians in Northern Nigeria and especially in Southern Kaduna today, have in the past seven years been facing some of the worst persecutions ever experienced in the world as a result of their faith.
The persecution of Christians in Northern Nigeria is so severe that within 10 years (2006-2014), according to the report of a research carried out by the Open Doors Ministry on the impact of persecution and violence on the Church in Northern Nigeria reveals that: 12,000 Christians were killed, 1,3m displaced and 13,000 churches were either destroyed or abandoned (Anne Mulder report).
So we can safely surmise that we have been programed for annihilation because we don’t share the same cultural, religious and political convictions as obtainable in the entire North West, North East and North Central Geo-political zones of the Country. These systematic attacks have political and economic undertones. They are aimed at intimidating the populace and weakening their political and economic engagements thereby heightening their level of poverty.
In Southern Kaduna, which is also within the Northern geographic area (where Kafanchan diocese is located), the persecution, killings and destruction of the Church is not only phenomenal but unprecedented.
There are mass graves littered in different places within the region that include: Katsak around Gidan waya and Godogodo in Jemaá Local Government Area; Fadan Karshi axis in Sanga Local Government; Moroa Chiefdom in Kaura local Government area; Zonkwa axis in Zangon Kataf Local government area etc. Between 2014 and 2017 current records show that well over 1,000 people have been killed in more than 4 Local Government Areas mainly by Fulani Herdsmen in Southern Kaduna. These sporadic attacks occurred in about 56 villages/Communities. These sporadic assaults left several people injured and some are maimed for life. The number of houses destroyed are over 1,500 and not less than twenty churches were destroyed and properties worth N5billion are lost which include houses, shops, schools, food stores/barns, farmlands and vehicles[i] etc…
These casualties resulting mainly from the attacks of Fulani herdsmen who constitute the forth deadliest terrorist organization in the world today, qualify Southern Kaduna to enlisted in the Federal Government program of Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of our ruined environment.
Bagobiri is the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese and Chairman, Southern Kaduna Christian Leader’s Council.
* This piece does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Thisage and its owners.