Kaduna District of the ECWA church has alleged an orchestrated plan to drive its members and other indegenes out of various parts of Southern Kaduna following killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen with a view to taking over the land.
Most areas experiencing the horror, include Godogodo ,Kanikon and Chawai chiefdoms culminating into the occupation of several villages by the Fulani. Addressing a World News Conference in Kaduna this Wednesday, the Chairman of the District Church Council, Rev Zachariah Gado said as today the Fulani have occupied a number of villages including Unguwan Dauda , Anto Maisamari and cultivated large farm lands and also erected permanent structures with corrugated zinc, while indigenes who survived the attacks had to flee the areas.
Rev Gado said it is deeply shocking that in the 21st Century, not only are Fulani militia carrying out a campaign of forced displacement and occupation, in W reminiscent of previous centuries, but also that it is occurring so blatantly under the full gaze of a succession of modern democratically elected governments. ”Even more worrying is the assertion by both the Kaduna State Government and many Fulani groups that 20,000 hectares of land is earmarked for the exclusive use of Fulani as grazing reserves in Santa LGA, .
Note that this is i n addition to the lands that have already been seized by violence”.
While alleging the quest for territorial acquisition motivated by the attacks,Rev Gado said the outburst by some Fulani associations recently, has confirmed the ethnic cleansing and destruction of villages and houses of worship with a view to entrenching their own religion allegedly being marginalised. According to him, since the latest onslaught on Southern Kaduna began, at least 93 persons have been killed , most of them women and children , while about 1,300 homes and churches have been razed.
While reaffirming his stand in unity with every Fulani, Hausa and Muslim groups that seeks peace ,unity ,justice and development , the church, he said, could no longer maintain silence in the face of unabated illegality , violonce and the wasting of innocent lives.
Rev. Gado who attributed the renewed killings to the announced intention of the state government to ”recreate existing cattle grazing reserves”, in southern Kaduna ,advised the government to stop the creation adding that doing so was tantamount to rewarding perpetrators of murder , arson and destruction for their crimes. He appealed for compensation for the affected persons, while relief materials be provided for those displaced.
On the 100 million Naira offered by the Kaduna state government for the rebuilding of churches and mosques destroyed, Rev Gado said the gesture was acknowledged but should be directed towards the provision of relief materials to the displaced persons, as the villagers who supposed to utilize the amenities were either killed or fled .
He declared a 3-Day fast beginning from Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd of November 2016 and enjoined all ECWA members and other Christian faithful to join in the spiritual exercise for God’s intervention in what he called ” persecution of the church in Kaduna State.